By now everyone has been energized by the buzz emanating from the rebooted athletic department. OK, almost everyone has.
The following quote was part of Whit Babcock's opening statement from his press conference last Monday.
"We are prepared, within reason, to invest for a favorable return. Sometimes you have to spend to acquire talent in this profession and we're prepared to do so if it's the right person and right fit. We won't spend frivolously, but we must be aggressive if this opportunity presents itself."
It's evident he's a man of his word.
About two years ago it was a big deal when Tech's assistant pool got bumped to $480,000. The athletic department's not living on Ramen omelets anymore. In actuality, Jim Weaver's tight budget helped Whit to package a competitive offer. Babcock said as much himself, "Jim absolutely ran a good department and operated in the black, so there is some what you'd call a reserve [pot]."
In related news, recall Andy Bitter's Q&A with Bud Foster at the beginning of the month. Bud divulged how Tech was lagging behind other football schools in staff size.
"And then I wanted to look at their [Ole Miss'] infrastructure. You know, it's not just us tweaking our defense, but what you see out there is people have a lot of people in place to help in a lot of areas. And I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but I think Virginia Tech or maybe we as the ACC -- I can't speak for everybody in the ACC -- but I think if you probably did some research, it'd probably be interesting to see the amount of people we have in Virginia Tech to even the ACC."
AB: I think I've read that you're one of the smallest football staffs personnel-wise?
BF: "Yeah, and in my opinion, this is just my opinion, we need to catch up because of recruiting. Not so much the quality control guys and the football part of it, but in the recruiting part of it, that's where the Alabamas and even like Ole Miss, they've had the last two years, they've had two top-10 recruiting classes.
Again, Whit's anted up.
In answering question re: hoops assistants, Babcock said football staff "is a little lean." Said VT's added couple positions for recruiting.— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) March 24, 2014
Coaching changes have modernized and reinvigorated Beamer Co.'s approach to recruiting. Now there'll be more resources to aid in the legwork.
Oh, and an interim financing plan for the $21.3 million, 120,000-square foot indoor practice facility was approved today, which should be open by August 2015.
It's anything but business as usual in Blacksburg. I feel like an old person for writing this, but this doesn't feel like my Virginia Tech. However, I couldn't be happier. I'm excited, anxious, and extremely hopeful for the future.