Dec 22, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Buzz Williams congratulates guard Ahmed Hill (13) during the game against the Virginia Military Keydets at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
The last two seasons have been very rough for the Virginia Tech Hokies as James Johnson’s two teams finished both seasons in last place in the ACC. Fan interest declined in those two seasons with Cassell Coliseum not having a single sellout in either of those two seasons, and not a single crowd of 7,000 or more last season.
This past offseason, some big changes happened with Jim Weaver retiring as athletic director with Whit Babcock replacing him. Babcock has proven to be one of the best athletic directors in the country, and made a big move by firing James Johnson and hiring Buzz Williams away from Marquette.
Even though the Hokies are currently 8-8 and will likely finish near the bottom of the ACC, there is plenty of excitement among fans due to Williams being the head coach, and that is helping the Hokies sell tickets.
The Virginia Tech athletic department has announced that Virginia Tech’s game against the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday, February 25th is a sellout. This is the first sellout for Virginia Tech since March 4, 2012 against NC State in what turned out to be the final home game for Seth Greenberg in Blacksburg.
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Yes, this game is against Duke, but the last time Virginia Tech played Duke at home in 2013, the Hokies did not sell that game out. Virginia Tech is definitely in a rebuilding year this season, but there is plenty of fan excitement for the future of Virginia Tech basketball.
One main reason for this sellout is definitely Buzz Williams. Williams has brought a buzz and excitement to the program after the struggles of the last two seasons mainly due to his huge amount of success at Marquette.
Williams has a lot of respect not only for his winning history, but also for the type of person he is in the community. He has proven to be a guy that fans can rally around with many confident that Virginia Tech will once again be a quality basketball team in the very near future.
The other main reason for this drought ending has to be Whit Babcock. James Johnson might have had two really bad seasons, but it’s rare for an athletic director to fire a head coach after two seasons. That is exactly what Johnson did before making a home run hire in Buzz Williams.
Babcock and the Hokies also did not reaise any ticket prices while offering some more inexpensive ticketing options in the higher portions of Cassell Coliseum. Babcock has brought tons of energy to Virginia Tech athletics, and Hokie fans already know that Babcock was the perfect hire for the job.
The combination of Buzz Williams and Whit Babcock has led to the Hokies’ first sellout since 2012. However, the Virginia Tech vs Virginia might join the Hokies vs Duke game as a sellout. We will just have to wait and see.
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