NCAA

My Final Year – Virginia Tech Athletics

My Final Year - Virginia Tech Athletics


As I sit here preparing for my final year as a coach at Virginia Tech, a wave of mixed emotions arises.

I’ve been a part of this program for 23 years, and it’s exciting and bittersweet to know that it’s time for me to pass the reins to someone else.

This wasn’t a rash decision.

I’ve been thinking about retirement for a couple of years now, and this is the right time to step away.

While I still have good health and the motivation to continue coaching, the moment has come for someone else to put their stamp on the Hokies’ legacy and take Virginia Tech to new heights.

And while I feel very content with my decision, saying goodbye is never easy.

When I made this decision this past Spring, my focus was on ensuring that both athletes and staff were prepared for this transition.

And it continues to be a big focus of mine this year, too.

But knowing that this program is ready to hit the ground running when I’m gone is a great feeling and makes everything a lot easier on my heart, too.

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Looking back

These forty-plus years of coaching have been the honor of a lifetime.

It all started back in high school when I looked up to my own coaches and thought to myself, “That’s what I’d really like to do.”

When you love something with a passion, there’s a certain level of effort and grit you just can’t fake. I poured my heart and soul into becoming the best coach I could be these past decades, and once I did, that fire has never gone out.

Joining Virginia Tech in 2001 β€” after 13 years at SMU β€” was a seminal moment.

Coming back to my roots in the D.C. area and finding a welcoming college town to raise my family was a blessing.

It took time to build the program, and there were plenty of challenges along the way, but looking back, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished here during my tenure.

20 NCAA individual champions, 342 All-America Honors, 4 top-five finishes at the NCAAs, 21 ACC team championships, and so much more.

And none of this would have been possible without the incredible support from our fans, administration, and community.

This was not just my journey.

This was our journey.

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Memorable moments

As this final season is going to be packed with many “lasts”, I can’t help but think about some of those moments that have truly shaped my career and the entire track and field program at Virginia Tech.

One of those moments is definitely Queen Harrison winning the Bowerman Award in 2010.

It really changed the trajectory of our program and put Virginia Tech on…

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