Virginia Tech, Whit Babcock agree to contract extension

Posted at 7:11 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 19:12:26-04
Athletic Director of the Virginia Tech Hokies Whit Babcock. (Photo: by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

Athletic Director of the Virginia Tech Hokies Whit Babcock. (Photo: by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech and Director of Athletics Whit Babcock have agreed in principle to a contract extension for Babcock to serve as athletic director through June 30, 2024.

Babcock began his tenure at Virginia Tech in January of 2014 and has made a significant impact on Virginia Tech athletics in his nearly three years on the job.

“Whit has done an outstanding job during his short tenure here, leading our athletics program with integrity, professionalism, and unrelenting commitment to excellence,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said. “More than that, he has embraced the spirit of Virginia Tech, which has been reflected in the quality and character of his coaches and staff, and the accomplishments of our student-athletes both on and off the field. We hope to keep Whit and his family in Blacksburg for many years to come.”

“I am very thankful to Dr. Sands and the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors for this contract extension,” Babcock said. “My family and I love it in Blacksburg, this is home, and it is a blessing and honor to be here during such a dynamic time at Virginia Tech, both academically and athletically. I am also grateful to our staff and coaches in the athletics department who are doing an amazing job and creating such a special culture here. Athletics directors often get too much credit and this is certainly one of those instances.

In his first three years at Virginia Tech, Babcock has made four key coaching hires and oversaw the restructuring of the Hokie Club, the athletics department’s fundraising arm. Additionally, he promoted Desiree Reed-Francois to Deputy Athletics Director in June of this year. In this 
role, Reed-Francois is recognized as one of the top athletic administrators in the nation and has been instrumental in elevating the department’s overall external operations, fan engagement initiatives, marketing efforts and in crafting the Pylons of Promise, Virginia Tech’s commitment to the student-athletes it serves. She originally joined Virginia Tech in May 2014 and served as Executive Associate Athletics Director & Senior Woman Administrator for two years.

Babcock’s ability to attract top coaching talent to Virginia Tech began with the hiring of Buzz Williams just two-months into his tenure. Williams joined the Hokies in March 2014 after six years at Marquette, where he posted 139 victories and five NCAA berths.
 His hiring paid dividends for the Hokies in 2015-16 as men’s basketball coach Williams led the Hokies to a 20-win season and an NIT berth in just his second season.

“I will always be indebted to Buzz and his family for taking a leap of faith with us early on; his coming to Blacksburg really got us jump started,” Babcock said.

Babcock’s biggest hire came when Justin Fuente was named the new football coach succeeding the legendary Frank Beamer, who retired after the 2015 season after 29 years as head coach.
 Fuente came to Virginia Tech after four seasons at the University of Memphis, where he turned around a struggling program and guided the school to 19 wins in his final two seasons there. Fuente’s program is currently ranked 21st nationally and leads the ACC Coastal division.

Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, and raised in Harrisonburg, Babcock lettered four years in baseball at James Madison University, graduating in 1992. Babcock is married to the former Kelly Watts of Enterprise, Alabama. They have three children: Andrew, age 16; Brett, age 13; and Eli, age 12.