Track and field coaching legend Dave Cianelli announces retirement

Track and field coaching legend Dave Cianelli announces retirement

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech director of track and field and cross country Dave Cianelli announced Thursday his intention to retire upon the conclusion of the 2024 outdoor season, marking the end of one of the most illustrious careers in school history.

“I would like to thank Jim Weaver and Tom Gabbard for giving me the opportunity to come to Virginia Tech back in 2001,” Cianelli said. “Thank you to Whit Babcock and Chris Helms for supporting our program during the past nine years. Our program would not have attained the level of success it has enjoyed without these four individuals. 

“A huge debt of gratitude to all of the coaches and staff who worked so hard throughout the past 22 years and contributed so much of themselves to this program. To our Virginia Tech alumni and donors, thank you for your loyalty, financial gifts and faith in our program as we move forward. Most of all, thank you to the hundreds of student-athletes who chose to attend Virginia Tech and help build this program. 

“To my family, Ellen, Mariah and Sebastain, thank you for your love and patience during this journey.”

Cianelli’s legacy as one of the sport’s most influential coaches is marked by his 74 NCAA Champions, 490 All-America honors, 373 individual conference champions, 32 World Championship qualifiers, and 22 Olympic qualifiers. At Tech alone, Cianelli has overseen the success of 20 NCAA individual champions, 13 top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships, 242 ACC individual champions, and 21 ACC team titles. The 19-time ACC Coach of the Year and 18-time USTFCCCA Southeast Region Coach of the Year enters his 23rd season directing the Hokies.

“Coach Cianelli is one of the most successful coaches in the history of Virginia Tech Athletics,” director of athletics Whit Babcock noted. “He is the consummate professional and his leadership ushered in an era of sustained excellence for our track and field programs. Dave’s illustrious career is filled with championships and national honors. However, he would be the first to tell you the relationships he builds with his student-athletes and coaches is what he cherishes the most.

“Dave is a model leader, who managed his programs the right way. He was also a great resource to our other head coaches, mentoring them along the way. We look forward to celebrating Coach Cianelli and our programs as he takes a final lap over the 2023-24 seasons.”

In 2007, Cianelli claimed the program’s first-ever ACC indoor championship title….

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