03/22/2014 at 9:42 AM #49222SaccoVParticipant
You can check out the announcement here. I think this is a very good hire for Va Tech, far better than their previous two coaches. The ACC is getting coaching rich!03/22/2014 at 9:45 AM #49223
This is an infinitely better hire than I ever thought VPI could/would get. I think this really says something about the changing landscape of the NCAA and college basketball and how the power is really going to shift to the top 64 teams in the power conferences…especially if they ultimately break away and create their own ‘super division’.03/22/2014 at 9:49 AM #49225
TSN: Why Buzz Williams made the move (Link)
Marquette coach Buzz Williams is headed east to coach Virginia Tech, the Hokies announced. The news was first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pat Forde.
On the surface, the move seems rather surprising, given that the Hokies are not a team known for much basketball success in recent years, and Williams had proven himself as a coach with the Golden Eagles, having led the team to three straight Sweet 16 appearances before struggling this past season when Vander Blue made the surprising move to enter the NBA Draft following the 2012-13 campaign.
However, a source close to Williams told Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy that his situation at Marquette had grown less attractive in the past year, which made him interested when Virginia Tech’s new AD, Whit Babcock, pursued him.
Moving to the ACC will give Williams a higher profile than he enjoyed in the newly configured Big East. But Williams has considerable work to do to get his team to become a contender. The Hokies have been to the NCAA Tournament only once since 1996, and that berth came seven years ago. Williams replaces James Johnson, who went 22-41 in two seasons with the school. He was fired earlier this week.03/22/2014 at 9:55 AM #49229BJD95Keymaster
Price of poker going up. WAY up.03/23/2014 at 8:30 PM #49396TexpackParticipant
The Big East is becoming very unattractive. This is a HUGE upgrade for Va Tech. The only question is whether or not he can recruit to Bleaksburg.03/24/2014 at 9:05 AM #49455Pack LeaderParticipant
I have always thought of Buzz as a ‘hate him if hes not on our side’ type of guy.03/25/2014 at 9:25 PM #49586WulfpackParticipant
Buzz Williams called Va Tech a “sleeping giant”.
Check out the financial commitment the Hokies are now making to basketball:
Williams, 41, signed a seven-year contract worth $18.2 million, with a starting salary of $2.3 million that will increase by $100,000 each season. Babcock said it includes a buyout that “will be very expensive for us if we want to get rid of him .?.?. and for him, it would be very expensive for him to leave for three” years.
Williams earned about $2.8 million last year while at Marquette, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Virginia Tech has also increased the basketball program’s assistant coach salary pool to $725,000 after none of the team’s assistants earned more than $200,000 previously. Babcock will also add additional positions to the program’s infrastructure, although “there were some things that we would have to say no to that maybe he was used to hearing yes.”
Babcock said this sort of financial commitment will “stretch” the athletic department’s coffers thin over the next few years, especially since Virginia Tech owes former coach James Johnson more than $800,000 over the next three years and Johnson’s predecessor, Seth Greenberg, is still due about $600,000 from his buyout. Former athletic director Jim Weaver is also set to make $930,000 over the next two years as an athletic department consultant.
Babcock said he hopes an increase in ticket sales and fundraising, as well as the ACC’s lucrative television contrast with ESPN, will help pick up the tab. No donor funds were used in signing Williams.03/27/2014 at 6:08 AM #49649
This is the kind of situation that put Maryland in a tough financial situation. Things were already tight for them, but after Debbie Yow left they decided to first Friedgen and move Gary Williams to a paid consultant making something like $400k a year to not do anything. The additional short term stress of millions of dollars a year in additional expenses in a department that was already tight was crushing.
If VPI’s facilities and other drawbacks end up being too much for Williams to overcome then this situation will be TOUGH for everyone. It isn’t like they’ve got the best basketball fans in the world.03/27/2014 at 9:08 AM #49669WulfpackParticipant
I think they have as good of fans as most other ACC schools. Don’t tell me their fans are worse than BC, FSU, Miami, Wake, etc. Remember when Greenberg was there and they were decent they had quite a home court. Same thing with Prosser and Dino st Wake. You just have to be relevant and they will come.
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