James Johnson Fired

HokieSports.com announced James Johnson was released as men's basketball coach. The following statement is from new Athletic Director Whit Babcock.

"I want to thank Coach Johnson for his dedication and hard work for our university and our basketball program over the past seven years," Babcock said. "A change of this significance affects many people and is never taken lightly, but I felt a change and a new direction was necessary for the long term, best interest of our department."

Johnson took over a program that had been gutted, and was in need of a rebuild. However, he could only muster 6 ACC wins in two seasons of play.

Comments

maybe coach Taylor might be interested - GO HOKIES!

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

It was already a dumpster fire. This is our New AD taking control of the situation, and (hopefully) starting over and doing things right from the beginning. It's refreshing.

This^^^!
I said in some earlier threads that Whit is going to show who he is. This is the 1st step in that process and it is in a high profile part of the VT athletics program. Yea, I feel for JJ, but a new direction is what was needed. OK, Whit, what's next?

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Whit would've been given a pass of he held on to JJ another year. He didn't take it. He wants to win! GO HOKIES!

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

Holding onto JJ for anther year would have similar to LOLUVA's decision not to fire the Timecop after he laid an egg last football season. They're football is a joke because they know they stink and they refuse to take a shower.

I'm glad Whit doesn't have the same losing mentality.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

"As long as they are keeping score we might as well win" - Whit

Got to be quote of the year

WHO WANTS TO START THE RUCKUS!?

Tough deal for JJ. I'm kind of conflicted but not so much as to shed a tear to see him leave. I'm just wondering who actually wants to run this program. Lots of young talent but no pedigree of success. Sure do miss Seth right about now.

We are still an ACC team. That will attract some good coaches. Hopefully.

Best of luck to JJ. He was dealt a shitty hand, but was in way over his head. It will be interesting to see Whit hires. I would love for us to be relevant in bball again. This is one of the best times of the year, and now we aren't even remotely close to a bubble team.

"Give me a fucking beer", Anonymous Genius

whoa whit aint playin. i think we can all agree jj is class act and a good man who was simply in over his head. in the end this is whats best.

now let the uninformed speculation of who our next coach is gonna be begin!

"It's worth it right? It's worth it to lay it all on the line for your brothers!"
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster (both quotes)

Here comes the fallout. Hope the new hire is here fast enough to fix this.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Panic?

I heard there's a 7'13" German guy named Dieter Something who regularly throws in 45 footers and stuffs balls from the top of the board who's looking for an American university where he can study engineering and maybe get a peek from the NBA. Also heard his favorite color is maroon. Know any schoool like that?

'80 Grad, beer was cheaper then, so was gas.

Is his name Bucky "Dieter" Hodges?

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Mein German ist not up to Schnuff these days zo it must be zat Hodges fellow. The new coach will have options if he's open to them, and Frank Beamer doesn't mind.

'80 Grad, beer was cheaper then, so was gas.

DRINK!!!

(what do HesOAT drink anyhow?)

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

I have to try this.

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

results:

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Honestly, long term integrity of the program is more important than keeping a couple recruits right now. Keeping Bibbs would be great, but I'd much rather take the time to hire the right guy for this job than to move quick in hopes to keep a class intact.

Moving knee-jerk to keep a class is supposedly why we hired JJ, which is how we got in this mess to begin with.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis

I agree that long term is what needs to be the ultimate focus, but if all the folks on here are going to be quick to demolish JJ for not delivering regardless of the hand he was dealt, than losing recruits better not be the fall back for whoever is brought in next. Double edged sword when it comes to how we look at coaches. I am just glad that Whit did it the right way, waiting for the ACC tournament to conclude, talking with JJ 1-on-1 and then making his decision from there. I agree with several of the pundits on twitter that Whit probably has some confirmation of interest from at least a couple of his top candidates to make this move.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

This. Agree 100% with you, Alum07. We're starting all over again for the second time in three years. This time we need to be a hell of a lot smarter than last time and so far we are just by looking at the timing of the termination. We need to make a smart, solid hire. If those guys leave, that sucks but oh well. Those two guys aren't going to rebuild this basketball program that is essentially in the basement's basement right now. Whit and whoever he brings in will be responsible for that.

We need to make a smart, solid hire.

He said we need to make a SMART hire, we must be getting SHAKA!! #sarcasm

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

Darn, scooped. Just posted this in a thread, sorry for that.

I wish him all the best. I hate to see people fired but I'm optimistic that we'll go after somebody that can get us competitive.

now, i dont pay attention to basketball. i should, i guess, but i just never liked basketball. at any rate, i never quite understood why greenberg was fired; my last year or so at tech he brought a buzz (i.e. time on espn) that seemed to stay with the program all the while he was there. all i know about the jj era is that we sucked to high hell. where do/can we go from here? can we even attract anyone?

Basically, Seth's relationship with the athletic department and, supposedly, his staff and players had soured. This was, as I understand it, one of the reasons JJ left and went to Clemson. Weaver saw this and the fact that in his last 3 seasons we went from top 4 of the ACC to close to the basement. In the 09-10 season we were 24-8 (10-6) good for 4th in the ACC regular season, in 10-11 we were 22-12 (9-7) finishing 6th in the ACC, and in his last season we were 16-17 (4-12) finishing 9th overall and tied for last in terms of ACC play. Weaver saw a downward trend and made a decision. Maybe it wasn't the right one; maybe if Seth had stayed Dodo, Harrell, and Green could have lit it up and helped us win it all. But, instead, he was fired, Dodo transferred to UF and Harrell decommited and went to U of L. Despite all the what-ifs and the fallout, I honestly think firing him was the right decision. He had developed a reputation of a coach who floundered in big moments. I'm pretty sure his record in close games was something like 53-55 but I can't remember where I read that. He got us into the NCAA Tourney just once in his nine years, admittedly being snubbed a few seasons. He just couldn't push us over the edge.

This was all done waaaaaaaay to late in the off-season and many of the coaches we would have looked at were already elsewhere so Weaver turned to JJ in an attempt to try and prevent a mass exodus. Now here we are 2 years later at the absolute basement of the ACC due to a number of factors. Our new AD decided that a change needed to be made and we can only hope that Whit hires the right man for the job.

We still have a couple things going for us. We've got some really promising freshman on our team and, God willing, some good scorers coming in. We're still in one of the best, if not THE best, basketball conference in the nation. And we've got some of the best fans.

We need someone who can generate success with a unit that is not what you would call talent rich, someone who can energize not only the players but the fans as well (a lot of the energizing the fans needs to be addressed by the athletic and marketing departments as a whole). There are a number of candidates that have worked with much less talent than we currently have and generated much more success than we've had in a while. The question is whether or not Whit will be willing to open up the purse strings a little and actually hire someone worth the money.

Sorry for the long post, I'll leave this here to make everyone happy
Fuller high five

Just another gut-wrenching, can't breathe, I lost my voice, not now, did that just happen, just gimme this one, Virginia Tech Saturday

Yup. That about sums it up.

Just another gut-wrenching, can't breathe, I lost my voice, not now, did that just happen, just gimme this one, Virginia Tech Saturday

I will never see this gif and not give a leg

exit light

Maybe it wasn't the right one; maybe if Seth had stayed Dodo, Harrell, and Green could have lit it up

That's the problem that they saw. Along with JJ leaving for a lateral move, there was almost one assistant leaving per year the last 5 or 6 seasons for Seth. Dodo was already leaving no matter what (he and his mother didn't really like Blacksburg) and Green was probably going to transfer if Seth stayed as well, so that just leaves us with Harrell who may not be as progressed as he is right now had he come to Blacksburg.

So while the timing and manner of which the firing occurred was horrendous, it was a necessary move. JJ was a likable guy amount the department, so considering how late the firing was, it's not surprising he is who we ended up with. It wasn't the best situation and I honestly thought he'd get one more year, but now all we can hope for is that Whit has a few tricks up his sleeves and is going to make that home run hire that is going to satisfy fans and one that can field a complete, competitive team next year.

Wow, you guys are really down on Seth!
I thought he was the best thing to happen to VT BBall in 30 yrs! I think Seth's miss on two Curry brothers probably led to him being canned as much as anything; that and his feud with athletic dept.

But assistants leaving!? That's a sign that they're wanted! These guys didn't quit and take a job at the BBurg Baskin Robbins, they moved on to bigger, higher-profile programs.

Someone mentioned that Seth created a buzz, and that's the best a program can do outside of winning their conference or upsetting the bracket sheets. We had ESPN on campus for BBall, for a team that rarely made the big dance! And they were there because the students turned out, we had a reputation for big upsets, and Seth had some connections with the media. I think the program was headed in the right direction, and Seth earned the right to have a year below .500.

Every time I see him on ESPN I cry a little inside, thinking VT wouldn't recognize a good basketball coach if one fell out of the sky.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

I wouldn't call JJ leaving to take the same position at Clemson "moving on to bigger, higher-profile programs." He wanted out because the environment under Seth was toxic.

I think the VT administration catered to JJ a lot more than they did SG.

SG was fired and informed by the media, then Weaver lured JJ back with his first HC gig and a long-term contract.

If the toxic environment you speak of is your assistant be more valued than the Head Coach, then I agree.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

Greenberg didn't deserve to find out from the media but he earned every bit of being fired. You don't run off five assistant coaches in three years that all took lateral moves because you are a good coach to work for. The players spoke to it as well. He needed to go and did.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

I think we can all agree that the situation was handled poorly by all parties and nobody came out of it clean.

Yes we can. Dirty business, sports is.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

If he was that great a coach, after Tech let him go, he would have immediately been hired by someone else to bring their program into the future. The fact is most of those assistants noted when they left that they couldn't work for Seth anymore as their primary purpose for leaving the program. JJ turned down a money match by Weaver because he felt the working environment at Clemson would be better for him. Seth rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and wasn't wildly successful as a head coach. His notoriety for his crying rants and his expertise in the Final Four Out of the NCAA got him his connections to ESPN. He had a 167-117 record because he scheduled powder puffs out of conference but overall he had a losing record in conference while he was here at 66-71. The best we ever finished in conference was tied for 3rd. I cant seem to find the reference to our strength of schedule while he was here, but I believe it was around 130th in the NCAA. Considering who we have in conference, you have to almost work at it to have this bad a strength of schedule. Seth is gone and we are better off for it. Let Whit bring in someone that actually may develop a true winning program. And many of us know a good coach when we see it.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

"Wasn't wildly successful" is an improvement over "dumpster fire".

JJ was definitely a downgrade, and one that VT paid for over the last two years and will pay for another 3 years.

As for Seth not getting a HC gig right after the VT firing, he seems to be doing alright on ESPN these days; If they pay so badly then why does John Gruden keep turning down NFL gigs to do about the same role?

No, Seth being one of the ugliest commentators on sports TV instead of twittering 17 yr-old kids for a mid-major should not be an argument against his coaching.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

He was good for our basketball program and it's exposure. But in today's collegiate athletics especially ACC basketball, when you don't perform to your expectations you get canned. After bringing us up to the top of the ACC, you can't get continuously worse over the next three seasons with a talented roster and end up in the basement of the conference. All while losing players and coaches each year. He created those high expectations for himself by winning and he couldn't keep up with it.

"Facyson is a baller."
-CFB

Taking lateral or less jobs at UAB and other low end mid major programs is not moving on to bigger, higher profile programs. The amount of one and done assistants was caused by Seth, not by big programs coming knocking on our door.

Seriously need to hire someone with proven success a lower program and need to do it NOW. We can talk for days about JJ's lack of success on the court but we actually had a decent class (for us) coming in and I really don't want to lose them. Hopefully, someone can come in and start working on putting this dumpster fire of a program out instead of letting it burn a little longer.

JJ is a class act and I really hope he lands somewhere that he can do well.

Just another gut-wrenching, can't breathe, I lost my voice, not now, did that just happen, just gimme this one, Virginia Tech Saturday

Hopefully we won't hear about his replacement for a couple of weeks, because said replacement is currently coaching in the NCAA Tournament.

That would kill our recruiting and the recruits would be gone. This needs to be over in a week or two tops.

Better to sacrifice a year and get the right guy than rush quickly and sacrifice the next 3-5 years under the wrong guy.

I am hoping Whit already has somebody in mind, and can announce quickly.

Then it would have to be someone not currently in the NCAA tournament. Is that someone you would really want?

Take someone who got snubbed I think might be an option.

It would have to be someone not in any form of Post Season play, so they would have had to be bad enough to not qualify for the CBI unless he is going after an Assistant Coach or someone from an NBA staff. If its a current Head Coach, we had better pray its someone that has a team somewhere in that mix and wont be available until they lose.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

All recruits for next year have signed LOIs, I believe. There's time to do this properly.

Yes they have but unless we play hardball, which we didn't last time, all they will have to do is request release from their NLI. Finney-Smith waited a week to request release from his scholarship. Harrell waited four days to request release from his NLI. I understand its a different AD this time but I don't see us playing hardball if they ask to be released.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

When Seth Greenberg came here, he retained literally every single one of Ricky Stokes' players and recruits and brought Zabian Dowdell with him. Let's not autmatically assume that this move is going to trigger a mass exodus of players like it did when SG was fired.

I agree, the players obviously realize they aren't playing well and as much as they may have liked JJ, they are more than likely just as open to the idea of a new coach that could make them better players and win more games.

Go Hokies!

The difference here being that Ricky Stokes last recruiting class was serviceable at best. Jamon Gordon had a serviceable career at Tech and Coleman Collins had one above average season at Tech in 2005-2006. They were the entirety of that class that made it to Tech for the next season. Greenberg brought in Dowdell. Davis Stubbs and Chris Tucker walked on. Collins and Gordan are both still playing professionally, Collins in Bahrain and Gordon in Europe.

JJ has a class just outside the Top 40 now. Both of the shooting guards have the potential to be impact players next season.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

There were more than two players on that team, every single player stayed.

Your right and other than Bryant Matthews, who else staying on that team mattered? Seth came in and did the same thing JJ did, played three freshmen. JJ wasn't able to keep Finney-Smith, which wasn't surprising considering his AAU coach got a job at Florida about the same time Seth was fired, same funny thing happened with Harrell's AAU coach at Louisville. Ten years ago AAU wouldn't have had that swing and letting a kid out of his NLI probably wouldn't have happened back then either.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Don't you talk bad about Jamon Gordon or we'll have words

Jamon Gordon was one of, if not the best defensive guard VT has every had.

Which is why he was the focus of my first comment from that team and why he is still playing professional basketball. The flip side of the coin is that that class, that team didn't accomplish enough under Greenberg. Unfortunately, they lost in the second round of the NIT in 2005 and second round of the NCAA his senior year.
ACC Defensive Player of the Year his senior year as well. I still always saw him as a steady contributor but lacked that game changing difference maker except against Duke and North Carolina his senior year. I guess you can contend that going to the post season twice in a Tech career is above the norm but to me it wasn't enough for the talent they seemed to have.
2003- 15-14
2004- 16-14 Really frustrating team that went 13-3 at Home. They couldn't fight out of a paper bag on the road though.
2005- 14-16 Sadly probably Gordon's best year at Tech statistically speaking. It just didn't translate on the court as a team
2006- 22-12 Second round NCAA exit getting our doors blown off by Southern Illinois.

Career record at Tech was 67-56. Is that all on Gordon, no Dowdell played a big role in the underachievement as well. Were there exciting moments, absolutely. If Gordon had been more the game changer, he would have caught on in the NBA, even as a role player off the bench. I do remember still having hope when he signed with the Wizards in 2007 but even they didn't really give him a shot unfortunately.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

So you want to hold these kids to their commitment after coach JJ that they sign to play for gets fired, but SG needs to go when the players say so?!?

Its only fair to let these kids decide if they want to play for our new-hire HC or not, and once they make that commitment its work-work-work, regardless of whether the kids think it too hard, are not getting enough time for video games, or they're not the #1 shooting option.

I hope that Babcock can turn this thing around with the right hire. This is his first major decision he needs to find a HC who can run a program, fill the seats, recruit, and create a buzz. Cinci is has been wildly successful in BBall, so he knows what the other side looks like.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

I never actually said I want to hold any players to their commitments and your circle logic of moving from JJ being fired to how Seth was fired doesn't make a lot of sense. If you were an Athletic Director, that had FIVE professional assistant coaches over a few seasons leave the program citing concerns of how Greenberg treats people with utter disrespect, what would your next move be? I would probably bring in the other staff members and the players on the team to see if it was a one off situation or a real issue. Weaver determined that Greenberg was a real issue and fired him. He did it poorly but he did it with the right information.

As for the players. We didn't hold Harrell to his NLI when Greenberg was fired and we let Finney-Smith out of his scholarship at the same time. If there are players on this team that want the same opportunity than they should get it.

All of my posts about the incoming recruits so far have said that I hope that whoever Whit hires is able to convince them to stay because they bring shooting ability that is currently missing on this roster. I never said I want to hold anyone to their commitment. Not sure where you are coming from in that regard. If they choose to opt out of their NLI, than they should be allowed to do so. So far, at least from the one tweet that Joe posted from TJ Lang it appears that the recruits are in a wait and see who is hired before making a decision mode.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Ok, maybe I misunderstood about letting the players opt out of their NLI. Its only fair to the kids to let them talk to the new-hire HC and decide from there. If it means we lose recruits, so be it.

After watching the Babcock press conference, the JJ era ends with a resounding thud. The shortest tenure in the ACC in 40 years comes to an end. Babcock gave JJ a resounding vote of "no-confidence" in his firing. As you know I was a SG fan, and think Weaver fawned all over JJ so as not to lose him.
Here is an article I like that puts another perspective on it:
http://www.dailypress.com/sports/teel-blog/dp-teel-time-babcock-mens-bas...

Looking forward, I'm glad Babcock mentioned "spending to acquire talent" if available, and admitting that we are a "rebuilding project". Understanding that .500 in the ACC and an occasional March Tourney appearance is the long-term goal, I think the next coach has a long leash considering Babcock is known as a level-headed AD. The fact that his schools have always had basketball success makes me think he will spend the money on the right hire and worry about the fund raising later.

BTW, thanks for your write-up on the potential coaching candidates; super-informative.

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

Working on the next list of candidates from the recent posts now so stay tuned to an update later tonight.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Sweet! Thanks Rob! Consolidating all of those from all of these threads will help me be more efficient at my favorite hobby! VT Sports on TKP!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!


That would kill our recruiting and the recruits would be gone. This needs to be over in a week or two tops.

I don't think so, unless they had already been thinking about trying to get out of LOI (M Harrell for instance). Seems most recruits want to wait and see who is hired.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

We want ahead coach that is in the top 64 at least, and I hope we can steal away from a top 25. I HOPE we don't hear about any announcement until after the tournament. Just like we didn't hear anything till a day after the ACC tournament ended. I hope we don't get an assistant. This IS ACC basketball. A good friend said we don't have to say "ACC basketball is like SEC football" Coaches, assistants and quite a few players dream of playing in this conference. With a beautiful practice facility. Cassell Coliseum is a great place to play - and rough on opponents when its packed, we should have no problem getting very good recruits, top-notch coaching staff.

Are we a dumpster fire? - No, we are fine. maybe a small trash can fire... but If it wasn't for us being in the ACC, money does come into the program, and the new practice facility - then maybe...

We will talk for days.. but let's enjoy March Madness, fill out the brackets.. and split the billion dollars :)

Well, next year when Moorehead or another coach from any sport is poached from us and we can't match or even raise the offer we know why. We're paying three, head basketball coaches...

"Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism." Kenny Powers

Dont forget about the beaver! We are still paying him!

I'm hearing that the GW head coach will be a big target for us. Makes perfect sense for many reasons. Would be a great hire IMO. Also, keep an eye on the Dayton HC. 2 stellar candidates, who I think we could/would have a real shot at.

Lifelong Hokie. Football enthusiast. Hoo Hater.

It's funny you mention Lonergan. I was having drinks the other night with my brother-in-law and tossed his name out there. He was a longtime assistant under Gary Williams at UMD and coached Vermont to the NCAA tournament before heading to GW.

A friend of mine played PG for him at Vermont and was an assistant for him at UVM (still is, though under John Becker) and loved him. He could help us try and reclaim some of the Capitol Region from the Twerps.

Steve Pikiell is another great candidate to keep an eye on.

@PhillyHokie007

FWIW, Lonergan claims that GW is his "dream job".

I would think it's pretty standard for coaches to say that for wherever they're currently coaching or interviewing to coach

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

Yes, but Lonergan is a D.C. guy that played at Catholic University. He obviously has strong ties to the area.

He also went to high school in DC, has his family nearby his new house and has already established GW near the top of their conference. All things working against us but I think that if Whit sells it right he could be convinced to come compete against K, Williams, Pitino, and Boeheim.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

What hurts us is that VT is really super far away from DC, there's no connection between the school and the area whatsoever...

That's what hurts Tech in almost all recruiting cases, football, basketball, coaching searches etc. Its not near a major city, it has crappy weather four to six months of every year. A kid choosing between half the school year with girls in bikinis and access to a beach inside an hour of almost every major school in Florida compared to that really has to be sold that Tech is the best place for him. A coach has to look at how they are going to sell kids on coming to Tech when making the decision to come work here. Tough job for Whit to sell how the previous coaches have been treated, the recent past decade of performance in regards the post season, the current state of Cassell, the current state of attendance. All are going to be factors. I just have to think Whit already knows who his guy is and that person has indicated that these wont be issues for them.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Why would Whit have to "Justify" how previous administrations have treated MBB Coaches? He's not Jim Weaver. The Post Season and Attendance issues speak for themselves.

Agreed. Two different guys. Two different approaches. Etc. Weaver did a lot of positive things for Tech but he really screwed up basketball on his way out the door. Everyone said one of the biggest issues for the new AD would be the "basketball problem" and well... he's addressing it. No coach that is willing to consider us will write us off because of this unless they are completely ignorant. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize a pretty substantial changing of philosophy is currently underway within the VT athletics department. If that coach is serious about us, he will have to consider not if he thinks he'll have a very short leash, rather, do I agree with this change of philosophy and will it be a fit for me. As far as I'm concerned, people like Brian Hamilton at SI can just stfu.

What hurts us is that VT is really super far away from DC, there's no connection between the school and the area whatsoever...

I wouldn't say that, DC area is our largest alumni base. That being said, I realize that a 4 hour drive to friends/family is quite inconvenient.

Twitter me

We are 4 hours from DC, 3 hours from Richmond, 3 1/2 to Raleigh, 2 hours from Charlotte. I'd say we are in a good central location.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

Anyone heard anything about this?

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

I don't want to say anything bad about JJ, but I have heard from some very reliable people that he had an approach to coaching that was...difficult to work with/under. I will leave it at that. Though I will say that what I have heard likely did not impact Whit's decision to make a coaching change.

@PhillyHokie007

That is very interesting to hear!

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

JJ seemed to take a morphed form of Seth and and his assistant coach Kanaskie. He really wasn't the same guy like before he was hired. Really not surprising to hear stuff like this.

I bet I can can translate what "counter-offer" means here...

If you bozos are dumb enough to pay me (insert piggish, ludicrous, pourin' Dom on the floor monetary amount here) sure, (holding back laughter) I'll come to Blacksburg.

Honestly, I'd make that same offer back to him if I were Whit.

He's a HOT commodity in the region right now and would immediately turn around the program. We'd make that money back and then some with merchandising deals and rejuvenation of the fan base.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis

I might be wrong but I could see him doing that.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

Hell, I'd even extend the offer to $2.5M.

Yes, its pricey, but that money will be made up and then some in the future. Shaka Smart in the ACC would be bad news for everyone else. We make that hire, and it'll be that little bug in the back of UVa's ear, even after this season.

Whit, if you want to know how to show the VT donor base that you're serious about making us a contender across the board, THIS is the kind of hire you go after. I'm tired of the bargain basement hires. Do something flashy and open the checkbook. Even if it doesn't work out, just show us you're committed to greatness and I'll consider it a win.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis

I agree completely!

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

Whoa - $2.5 Million would put him in the top 10 of all college coaches and would be a raise of over $1 million from what he currently makes.

I would be OK with making a big splash with a big name, but there has to be a limit.

That current contract though definitely leans towards VCU. It runs until 2028 and I believe has a three year salary buyout if he decides to take a new job. That would cost Tech $4.5 mil up front on top of his salary.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

There is just no way VT pays him more than Frank, we are a football school through and through. While we would all love Smart at the price you are suggesting it isn't doable.

These people are losing their minds!

Maybe its time we face reality then about what Frank Beamer makes here. If we are really truly committed to be a football first school than maybe its time Beamer got a raise commensurate with his competition. Then we wouldn't be having this conversation about Beamer's salary or an offensive line coaches salary. If we really want to be the best in either sport than we are going to have to lay out the big bucks.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

Testy

When I get my 20th leg, I'll be sending one your way for this post!

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis

YES

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis

Keep in mind that Beamer's salary isn't necessarily a reflection of the athletic department's ability to pay him fair market value. We are not privy to the conversations that Beams has had in the past with JW & Co, so I wouldn't be so quick to associate his salary and compensation with a cheap department.

JoePa, for instance, requested and maintained a low base salary to free up more money for other parts of the team and department. Frank has always put his staff ahead of himself, and though his salary is considerably higher than JoePa's was, he is quick to secure fair compensation for his assistants.

Nevertheless, I wholeheartledly agree with you on your point that if we want to compete with the big boys, we need to understand the realities of the current marketplace. This goes back to the discussion we have had time and again in recent months: In order to compete with the big boys and have the funds to compensate our coaches, it begins with all of us and how much we are compelled and/or willing to donate. Enter Whit.

@PhillyHokie007

I agree with you for the most part, it wouldn't be as much of an issue if Frank was paid closer to that of his competition. However, as Foster discussed in a recent interview with AB our football program doesn't have nearly the staff size of other major programs. So if we want to compete with the big boys and not have our football coaches wearing so many hats we would have to also pay the new coaches. I think this is doable down the road with Whit revamping the fundraising efforts of the hokie club but we are making the basketball hire now when the extra funds aren't in the picture.

These people are losing their minds!

After he does better this next season I agree. We need to see the results of the offseason first. Particularly in the form of a BCS appearance and at least an 11-12 win season.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

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Fosterball

Hell, I'd even extend the offer to $2.5M.

Yes, its pricey, but that money will be made up and then some in the future.

http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/yeah-nailed-it1.gif

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis

Not real surprising since everyone I knew that went to VCU was willing to donate a decent chunk of change to keep him.

Not to speak ill of the figuratively dead, but I had heard that the reason so many of our recruits are from out of the state is because he had effectively destroyed many major relationships necessary to effectively recruit in-state.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

OK, I'll bite, who is Ty Hodges?

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Works for Roanoke Times, does some play by play stuff, and writes for Gobbler Country I believe. He did broadcasting stuff when he was a student at Tech as well.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

This is the relevant question to ask, and I'm glad someone here asked it. He's the guy who basically made up Weaver saying Virginia Tech might have interest in the SEC: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2012/11/20/3673798/virginia-tec....

After searching Roanoke.com, I found just two articles with his name on the byline. One was titled "Raiders advance in field hockey" the other "HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP". He hasn't written a thing at Gobbler Country since November.

He might have spoken with someone in the athletic department, but he's the exact opposite of what I'd consider to be a reputable source. Please stop embedded his Tweets here.

Sure thing. I did talk to someone this evening who is high up in the Hokie Club who I know for a fact has connections who did confirm some of the things he said.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

Still, and this isn't to discredit you or Ty, in cases like this it's probably better to err on the side of prudence. Rumors are hard not to share but if Andy Bitter or Aaron Mcfarling aren't reporting it we probably shouldn't be discussing it here. Just my $0.02. I appreciate your desire to share up-to-date info (I'm sure everyone here is appreciative of it) but I'm more interested in who WB decides to hire as a replacement than possible underlying reasons for JJ's firing. I especially don't think it's wise to post tweets that reflect negatively on JJ. He just lost his job today and I don't think he'd appreciate being smeared. I know I wouldn't.

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

I completely understand, I know where y'all are coming from. I was probably one of the few who didn't smear Seth when we was fired and I know many, many people who did and still are smearing a guy who had a child graduate from the same university as us and another who was a student, cheerleader, and dating a baseball player at that same very school.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

I gave you a couple legs...

yay for being civil! :D

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

And one back to you good sir! I must admit, I do love this site!

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

For what it's worth doesn't AB only do football? I don't know about McFarling but I thought AB was just football.

I think you may be right..McFarling tweeted about the JJ firing so I'm sure he covers VT in general. This is, after all, a football blog, so even though we discuss other sports I stand by my statement.

have a leg for setting things straight though

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

He might have spoken with someone in the athletic department, but he's the exact opposite of what I'd consider to be a reputable source. Please stop embedded his Tweets here.

Sure, but consider:

  1. 2013 grad, probably still has contacts on campus and maybe within hoops program
  2. Has done work for local ESPN affiliate- potentially further developing realtionships with hoops staff
  3. Has one heck of an imagination if he made all this up
  4. 3rd party connection in women's hoops corroborates Hodges claims

Just sayin...

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

5. Has a history of making things up / bending the truth.

Even in this situation he's already backpedaled a bit.

2:12 PM "Just spoke with a very good source inside the basketball program for about an hour. Learned some very damning things about J.J.'s tenure."

[String of damning tweets from his source with no mention of another source.]

3:00 PM "Perhaps the most telling thing about Johnson is that he was described to Whit Babcock as a "tyrant" behind closed doors. #Hokies"

[Oh look, magically a second source appears.]

7:21 PM "My source is not the staffer that called JJ a "tyrant." That was from a different higher up member of the basketball staff. #Hokies"

Even if it's a little thing like that, given his history of misconstruing facts, you're at best getting a partial truth. If you're happy with that, then so be it. However, I don't want this website to be a vehicle for partial truths because the telephone game is a nasty means of information exchange.

Sure, I understand where you're coming from Joe.

I would say that any doubt about truth of the info was corroborated by my source (#4), and that source is EXTREMELY trusted.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

I wanted us to part ways with JJ, but this sounds like my old high school bball practices so i don't understand are people becoming soft?

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Short answer is yes. That was a word thrown around a lot this year.

Soft indeed, I once had an hour long "conditioning" practice AFTER a game...

WOW! I'm stunned... you wondered why we have so many guys hurt and think its bad luck... If this is true- just wow.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

What's everyone stunned about? This sounds like my basketball practices in the 8th grade.

I'm pretty sure a coach doesn't determine if a player dives into an air vent after a ball, it's not like he made him do it. I was a GK all through high school soccer and that never made me dive into the goalpost for a ball because the drill wasn't over yet.

I don't think I am believing all of Ty Hodges claims here...

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

It's hard to tell. He wouldn't tell who his source was but I would like to know. He does seem to usually be up on stuff though.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

It was just awfully quick with all the negative JJ stuff and the Shaka Smart previous offer stuff all at once. Color me skeptical.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

I hear ya on that man!

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech, Tech, VPI

The dent isn't in Cassell, it's in the practice facility and I'm pretty sure Cadarian was the one that went into it. They pushed the bigs pretty hard on rebounding drills, trying to instill some fight into them.

As far as players walking out on a practice, I don't think I ever saw that, but I know Cadarian's locker was cleared out at one point and the team had to come to his rescue to get back on the squad and Marshall had told JJ he was transferring about 2 or 3 weeks ago, so I imagine he was probably one of the others.

This bit about Shaka Smart kills me. Maybe he countered with a # that he knew couldn't be met? Either way it looks like Weaver's penny pinching burning us again.

Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Whitley, Hosley, Fuller, Exum

Is there really any surprise here?

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

I wonder if JJ would have kept his job if our friends up the road hadn't won the ACC and gotten a #1 seed. I'm sure Whit had to do something to keep the growing distance between us and them from getting any larger.

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

interesting point...I'd wager that the difference between their bball program and ours isn't as vast as it is for football

I mean, it's not like it's been 10 years since we've beaten them..heck, didn't we sweep them a few times in the last decade?

"I like to hit a home run early" ~ Whit "knows how to create a Buzz" Babcock

Not 10 years, but I do believe that they have beaten us 5 straight games. I sincerely hope not, but it is feasible that they may get us in 10 straight games.

HALLELUJAH!!!! Thanks,Weaver 5yrs @ 800th/yr.

georgebd

Whit faces an early test. The EZ part is done- JJ seems like a decent guy but Whit really didn't have a choice: VT had one win in the last 2+ months of games. The test will be bringing in someone good. GO HOKIES!

Commonwealth Cup Champions since Sat, Nov 27, 2004 at 4:05:00 PM EST

Seems like VT is in between a rock and a hard place with this situation-

We need money to pay for a coach that can get us where we need to be.
But We need more Hokie Club members to help raise money (Or need current members to give additional money...

Which comes first - the chicken (coach) or the egg (money)?

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

Whits experience with Tuberville says he thinks you hire the coach then raise the money.

A bad coach sucks your athletic department dry in so many ways.

So, from everything I've read in the comments, we all agree that Whit is re-hiring Seth... right? RIGHT?

Sorry, I've been drinking, again.

But, I'll just leave this here.

Why the hell not?

Seth's success on TV really makes him much more attractive. He is more of a household name now than ever and was never a bad coach.

We won't rehire him, but someone will. And we are looking for a guy a lot like Seth. Experienced, known name, defense first, can excite a program.....

Yeah, my post was largely TIC. But, I think Seth got the shit end of the stick. Maybe he wasn't the most congenial of guys but he actually won and had some signature victories... and in ACC competition. I won't be so naive as to pretend VT is going to be a conference championship contender anytime soon (maybe never) but, damn, he was run out of town on a rail.

UVA just won the concerence regular season, tournament, and got a #1 Seed in the NCAA tournament. Basketball isn't football, it's not as hard to "get good" it's designed to be kind of cyclical for all but the biggest programs, but the important part of a cycle is that it has low points AND high points. You get the right coach with the right players in the right system and you can compete.

We don't have to be this bad at basketball for this long. It's OK to demand more. Even in the halcyon days of Seth Greenberg, it was OK to say "this isn't good enough, one tournament appearance in a decade isn't good enough." Even with all of the "obstacles" we face. We can do better than Seth Greenberg, and we can do better than 2 tournament appearances in 20 years.

It's OK to want more.

Completely agree. We need to get to the point where being towards the top of the ACC is expected, and anything less is unacceptable.

One time I was walking back to campus from the Lane lot in pouring rain and Seth Greenberg pulled up in his Escalade and drove me to my dorm. Cool guy, and would be a great hire.*

*to run Uber in the NRV.

@seanhoganvt

I said it before, he came into a bad situation as head coach and was never given the support he needed. Thanks, JJ, wish you the best of luck. Hopefully, Whit can get our basketball program together.

Live for 32. Ut Prosim. Let's Go, Hokies.

Please bring me Tony Amaker! He played High School ball for Robinson or Lake Bradock in Fairfax Co. - VA Roots Check, Recruiter Check, disciple of Coach K - Check, Currently Under paid - Check. Winner Check! ACC Team has to be a plus and he will be able to reuse his set of maroon ties! Sign him up long term with big buyout, and heavy performance bonus package. LETS GO!

Stop it with the Negative Waves!

Of course I meant Tommy, but Tony would be an improvement as well! My fingers sometime(s) take the easiest route to the keys.

Stop it with the Negative Waves!

#GREGGMARSHALL4VT

But seriously, why isn't this a thing yet?

Don't expect a winning record for at least a couple more years.

A little off topic but am I the only one who thinks VCU has the most annoying fanbase in the country? I mean when Hokie Sports announced JJ was being fired on twitter some VCU fan started trashing Tech and called it a step down from VCU without any Tech fan saying anything and when a Tech fan disagreed he automatically called him arrogant. Why do they hate Tech so much? I never have understood. I live in Richmond and they constantly trash Tech all over the local radio.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

It's their Napoleon complex

WHO WANTS TO START THE RUCKUS!?

Exactly. They don't have football. They say it's not a problem, but they take it very personally.

I found Mason fans to be similar when they were on top of the world. I think it's because they don't have a football team, much like UVA.

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Jealousy

They have one of the top mid major programs in the country and they have one of the best programs in the state and region, but because they are not a premier university and because they are not in a major conference, nobody outside of VCU alumni in Richmond cares. They can't stand the fact that even when our basketball program is terrible and our football program took a step back to just mediocre they're still completely overshadowed by VT and UVa athletics in this state, and since UVa completely surpassed them this year, they only have 1 direction to take their frustrations out on.

Its very, very much like the attitude that ECU fans have towards just about everyone in NC. For years they had the better football program than anyone else in the state, and the media simply didn't give a crap.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis

I am of the opinion that when it comes to basketball that we probably need to consider VCU a major program now, along with the Atlantic 10 Conference. The A-10 put six teams into the NCAA tournament this year and I expect them to remain relatively competitive with that level barring significant changes in their current coaching slate. St Louis and VCU are both five seeds, UMass is a six seed, George Washington is a nine seed, St Josephs a ten seed, and Dayton is an eleven. St Louis and VCU have both been ranked almost all season in the top 25, GW, UMass and St Joe's have flirted with the rankings all season as well.

Compared to the ACC, who also has six teams, the SEC, three teams, PAC12, six teams, BIG10, six teams, Big 12, seven teams and Big East, four teams, American four teams, the Atlantic 10 has arrived. Are they the top conference in this discussion, no but I would argue that they are probably the fifth best conference this year.

If I were to rank them:
ACC (1 seed, (2) 3 seeds, 6 seed, 9 seed, 12 seed)
Big-12 (2 seed, 3 seed, 5 seed, 6 seed, 7 seed, (2) 9 seeds)
BIG10 ((2) 2 seeds, 4 seed, 6 seed, (2) 11 seeds)
PAC-12 (1 seed, 4 seed, 7 seed, 8 seed, (2) 10 seeds)
A-10 ((2) 5 seeds, 6 seed, 9 seed, 10 seed, 11 seed)
SEC
Big East
American

It still doesn't require their fans to have an attitude equivalent to LOLUVA fans lust for Zima but that's outside our control.

Rob Peterson
VTCC
Charlie/Hotel Company
Class of 1999

When you aspire to be the best, you choose your competition. They chose VT over UVA to pick on and call their rivals. I can't say I blame them.

OK, but for basketball this year, that focus is clearly misplaced...

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

I mean it's more complicated than just not having a football team. It's the differences in universities and cultures. We have the biggest alumni network in the state and as we all know, Tech fans are very vocal and supportive. VCU has always been an underdog in every aspect. They're finally on top with national recognition and in a major conference (if you don't consider the A-10 a power basketball conference you need to reevaluate your outlook, 6 tourney bids this year is no fluke). They have every right to be cocky, but our culture of being nice off the field and only punching your teeth in on the field/court and so their more aggressive city culture rubs us the wrong way, especially since most of us probably root for VCU in the tournament.

WHO WANTS TO START THE RUCKUS!?