Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college named Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, Virginia Tech is now a comprehensive, innovative research university with the largest number of degree offerings in Virginia, more than 125 campus buildings, a 2,600-acre main campus, off-campus educational facilities in six regions, a study-abroad site in Switzerland, and a 1,700-acre agriculture research farm near the main campus. The campus proper is located in the Town of Blacksburg in Montgomery County and is 38 miles southwest of Roanoke, in the New River Valley. Through a combination of its three missions of teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, Virginia Tech continually strives to accomplish the charge of its motto: Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).
28,432 on-campus; 82.6 percent undergraduate students; 17.4 percent graduate students; 57.1 percent male; 42.9 percent female. Total enrollment on and off campus is 30,870.
Virginia Tech received 21,201 applications for the fall 2009 freshman class. The typical student who was offered admission had a high school grade point average of 3.94, with the middle 50 percent being between 3.71 and 4.15. The average cumulative SAT reasoning test score was 1250, with a middle range of 1160 to 1330.
FULL-TIME INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY
1,369; 61.9 percent are tenured (fall 2009).
More than 207,000 living alumni from every state and more than 100 countries.
BOARD OF VISITORS
A board of visitors, appointed by the governor of Virginia, is composed of 13 members, headed by a rector. Current board of visitors members are John R. Lawson II, rector; George Nolen, vice rector; Michael Anzilotti; Frederick J. Cobb; Beverley Dalton; Ben J. Davenport Jr.; Michele L. Duke; Douglas R. Fahl; Calvin Donnell Jamison Sr.; Sandra Stiner Lowe; James W. Severt Sr.; James R. Smith; and Lori L. Wagner. The president of the state Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Paul Rogers) serves as an ex-officio member. The presidents of the Faculty Senate (Gary Long) and the Staff Senate (Thomas Tucker) are also ex-officio, non-voting representatives. Each year, an undergraduate student (Kristina Hartman) and a graduate student (Rebecca French) are selected through a competitive review process to serve as non-voting representatives to the board. Kim O’Rourke is the board secretary.
The university offers bachelor’s degree programs through its seven undergraduate academic colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences (which also offers an associate degree in agricultural technology), Architecture and Urban Studies, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Natural Resources and Environment, Pamplin College of Business, and Science. On the postgraduate level, the university offers master’s and doctoral degree programs through the Graduate School and a professional degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, a private independent school jointly managed by the university and Carilion Health System, is scheduled to open in fall 2010.
The university generated $396.7 million for research programs in fiscal year 2009, ranking it 46th in the nation. Each year, Virginia Tech receives significant external support for research, instruction, Extension, and public service projects. In the most recent fiscal year (2008-09), the university received 2,384 awards to conduct research. Support for these projects originates from an ever-expanding base of sponsors. Researchers pursue new discoveries in agriculture, biotechnology, information and communication technology, transportation, energy management (including leadership in fuel-cell technology and power electronics), and a wide range of other engineering, scientific, social science, and creative fields. This research led to 23 patents and 30 licenses and option agreements in fiscal year 2009.
The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center offers opportunities for businesses to establish close working relationships with the university and nurtures entrepreneurs with new inventions and developments. Located on 120 acres adjacent to the main campus, the center consists of 26 buildings housing more than 140 companies with approximately 2,200 employees.
SPECIAL ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
In our Cooperative Education Program, sophomores and juniors can alternate semesters of study with semesters of professional work. The University Honors Program helps qualified students expand their intellectual powers through special sections of regular classes, seminars, and independent study. The Study Abroad Program consists of academic programs, tours, and independent travel, often conducted in conjunction with overseas universities and institutions. Students enrolled in the corps of cadets are eligible for the Army, Air Force, and Navy ROTC programs.
OUTREACH AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Outreach and International Affairs, which spearheads the university’s outreach mission, encompasses a number of university-wide programs. These programs include the Center for European Studies and Architecture in Switzerland; Commonwealth Campus Centers in Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke; the Office of Economic Development; the Office of International Research, Education, and Development, including Education Abroad and applied research programs in developing countries; Outreach Fellows; Southside Outreach Programs, including the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville and Reynolds Homestead in Patrick County; and Outreach Program Development, including the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement, Continuing and Professional Education, Language and Culture Institute, The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Outreach Program Services, Service-Learning Center, The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, and Upward Bound/Talent Search.
Virginia Tech has a number of facilities located across the commonwealth and one facility in Europe. These include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg; several locations in the Virginia Tech National Capital Region; Hampton Roads Center in Virginia Beach; Virginia Tech Roanoke Center; Virginia Tech Richmond Center; and Virginia Tech Southwest Center in Abingdon. Virginia Tech also owns and maintains the Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, which is part of the university’s study abroad program. Tech owns The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, which it uses for academic programs, continuing education, seminars, and conferences.
Virginia Tech’s operating budget in 2009-2010 is more than $1 billion and is distributed to two divisions: the university division and the Cooperative Extension/Agricultural Experiment Station division. The state appropriates a portion of the funds, and the remainder originates from student tuition and fees, grants and contracts, sales and services, federal sources, user fees, and others.
VIRGINIA TECH FOUNDATION
As of June 30, 2009, the Virginia Tech Foundation’s assets and managed funds — including gifts and bequests — totaled $943.4 million. The total endowment owned and managed by the university was $454.7 million. Endowment value per student was $15,130.
Virginia Tech is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. NCAA Division I-A men’s varsity sports at Tech are football, basketball, baseball, soccer, indoor and outdoor track, swimming and diving, wrestling, tennis, golf, and cross country. Women’s varsity sports are basketball, tennis, volleyball, swimming and diving, indoor and outdoor track, soccer, softball, lacrosse, and cross country. An extensive intramural program offers opportunities for participation in more than 20 recreational activities. The university also participates in intramural sports and club sports programs that allow students to compete against programs from other colleges and universities across the country.
Can you tell how we feel about our 21 Hokie athletic teams? Our students practically live in maroon and orange; you can hear their thunderous cheers during weekend home games at Lane Stadium. As members of the elite Atlantic Coast Conference, the Hokies provide fans a chance to attend some of the most competitive games in the nation.
Now in its 48th year of existence, Cassell Coliseum provides Virginia Tech basketball with one of the greatest home courts in all of college basketball. Winning has been the norm in the facility since its opening in 1961. Cassell is perhaps even more exciting today than ever in its history. The 2007-08 season saw a record 166,858 fans pack the building.
A facility long known as one of the great home-court advantages in college basketball, “The Cassell” now gives Tech opponents one of the most difficult environments in the Atlantic Coast Conference. And in the 2007-08 season, the 4,000,000th fan witnessed a Hokie victory.
Cassell Coliseum enjoyed a renaissance of sorts during the 2003-04 season, but truly came to life during the 2004-05 season. The Hokies finished the season 13-3 in the coliseum and saw all eight ACC games sell out. Tech’s 13 home wins that season were the most since 1994-95 and tied for the fourth-most home victories for a Virginia Tech team in Cassell Coliseum history. That excitement increased in the 2005-06 season, when the Hokies finished 10-7 in the building and saw 14 sellouts, including all eight home ACC games. The 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons also witnessed all eight conference games as sellouts.
The 2006-07 season witnessed many outstanding games, but two contests will rank among the most memorable in school history. On Jan. 13, 2007, the Hokies defeated top-ranked North Carolina 94-88 in front of another full house in the Cassell. And just eight days later, the Hokies downed No. 22 Maryland 67-64 in overtime. That game was played in front of 8,500 fans, mostly students, who braved an ice storm to make Cassell Coliseum the tough home court that it has come to be. The 2007-08 season saw the young Hokies post a 14-3 record and capped the year with three packed home games in the NIT. The festival seating for those three games only enhanced the facility’s reputation as a great place for a great fan base to watch a basketball game.
Since opening, the coliseum has attracted more than four million fans for men’s basketball. Tech finished sixth nationally in Division I in increased attendance during the 2003-04 season, drawing 95,136 for the season, about one-third more than the season before. And Hokie fans improved upon that. Virginia Tech led the nation in increased attendance during the 2004-05 season, averaging 9,406 per game, the largest average attendance in Cassell Coliseum history. That record was broken again in 2005-06, as the Hokies averaged 9,764 per game and once again in the 2006-07 season, at 9,822 per game.
Cassell Coliseum is constantly undergoing improvements. Eight years ago, new state-of-the-art video screens were added, and six years ago, each seat in the arena was refinished to its natural wood look. Prior to the 2002-03 season, the athletics department completed step one of a three-step process to renovate and improve the ambulatory of the coliseum. New video screens were added in the concourse, as well as a new design to the court, reflecting the Hokies’ entrance into the ACC. Two years ago, the north and south ambulatories were upgraded to blend with the work done on the east and west ambulatories prior to the 2004-05 season.
Restoration and sealing of the exterior concrete walls and buttresses of Cassell Coliseum took place in 1997. Roof repair was completed in the fall of 1996, with replacement of the roof surface and installation of structural access to the heating and lighting systems as well as installation of steel beams in the top of the arena.
The men’s basketball team was given a gift from Pat and Sandy Cupp of Blacksburg, Va., to renovate the men’s basketball locker room, which is now the Bill Foster Basketball Suite, named after one of Tech’s most successful men’s basketball coaches.
Entering the 2008-2009 season, the Hokies have won 470 out of 608 games played in Cassell, for a winning percentage of .773.
During the 1994-95 season, Cassell was the site of high excitement as the Hokies serves as the hosts for two National Invitation Tournament games en route to the championship. The Hokies beat Clemson in a first-round game at the Coliseum and then scored an emotional 64-61 third-round win over New Mexico State, turning the arena into a madhouse. Tech continued its strong home showings in the NIT in 2005, as the Hokies defeated Temple 60-50 in front of more than 9,100 fans in “The Cassell”. The Hokies’ three home games in this past season’s NIT were all sellouts.
The first basketball game played in the Coliseum was on January 3, 1962, as the Hokies routed Alabama 91-67. The near-capacity crowd had to sit on the concrete floor to watch the initiation of the new building because the seats had not arrived.
There have been four perfect season records for the Hokies in Cassell: two 10-0 years (1961-62 and 1965-66), an 11-0 campaign (1972-73) and a 14-0 season (1975-76). The Hokies have lost only one game on their home court in 11 other years, including 13-1 records in 1977-78 and 1987-88.
In-state rivals have had little success playing the Hokies in Cassell, winning only 14 of 122 visits.
On September 17, 1977, Virginia Tech officials and friends dedicated the Coliseum in honor of the late Stuart K. Cassell.
Construction for the main portion of the Coliseum began in 1961. It was completed in December 1964, at a cost of $2.7 million. Built by T.C. Brittain and Company of Decatur, Ga., it housed a 10,052-seat basketball arena, locker rooms, two auxiliary gymnasiums, offices and other athletic facilities. Although capacity crowds are a frequent occurrence in Cassell Coliseum, the largest crowd ever recorded was an overflow of 11,500 for Purdue on December 3, 1966.
Adjacent to Cassell Coliseum is the Jamerson Athletic Center. It was completed in 1982 and dedicated in the fall of 1983, and named in honor of J.E. Jamerson and his son, William E. Jamerson, owners of the firm that built the building. The complex contains administrative and coaching offices, athletic department accounting and business offices, team and coaches’ meeting rooms, the Jim “Bulldog” Haren Weight Room and the Gordon D. Bowman Memorial Club Room on the top floor for Hokie Club members.
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field
The Virginia Tech football team has enjoyed over a decade of success, going to 17 straight bowl games. A big part of that success is the home-field advantage the Hokies enjoy at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field.
Billed as the toughest place in college football for opponents to play by Rivals.com, the Hokies play on not only one of the best playing surfaces in the nation, but with the south end zone and west side additions, the Hokies compete in one of the best stadiums in the nation.
Now entering its 46th season as an arena of collegiate football competition, Lane Stadium/Worsham Field has gone through numerous changes, renovations and additions. But through it all, it has always been regarded as one of the finest places to watch – and toughest places for opponents to play – a college football game.
A Towering New Look
The third in a series of upgrades was completed at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field prior to the 2006 season, finishing off a magnificent project on the west side of the stadium.
Ground was broken in November of 2004 for the project and crews began building around the former press box, laying the above and below ground settings, as well as removing the two light towers on that side of the stadium.
At the conclusion of the 2004 season, the old press box was removed and the structure was filled in to match what was built up during the 2004 season.
A new press area on the west side, toward the south end zone with a dining area and improved overall facilities, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Additional luxury suites, a new President’s area, four private club seating areas, new concession stands, a ticket office, athletic fund offices, an athletics memorabilia area and a new student academic services area were also included in this project.
In addition, the fencing that surrounded the stadium was removed and the area on the west side exterior of the newly renovated stadium was landscaped with walkways and a weekday parking lot for ticket patrons as well as memorabilia-area and Hokie Club visitors. This includes a flagpole plaza near the southwest entrance. Dedicated to former football player and current Hokie Club supporter John Moody, it is a terrific meeting place with the U.S. flag flying alongside the commonwealth of Virginia flag and a Tech flag.
In the summer of 2003, $1.9 million was raised to fund the ongoing planning of the west side expansion, allowing for the ground breaking of the west side project.
In 2005, the inside of the stadium was also given a new look as Hokie Stone was added to the walls in each of the end zones, so there’s no question as to where the game is being played for fans watching on television.
New kicking nets were installed in both end zones and a new video board – one-third larger – replaced the old one on the existing scoreboard. New lights that doubled the candlepower and reduced shadows on the field were added as part of the renovation.
With all of these additions and improvements, Lane Stadium has kept up its reputation as one of the best places for college football.
The South End Zone
Prior to the 2002 season, Tech added 11,120 seats in the south end zone to enclose that end of the stadium. The double-deck structure is similar to the Cleveland Browns’ “Dawg Pound” section and has bleacher, bench-back and club seats. The structure is enclosed, but has gaps between the existing structure and the new one. This is because of new building codes and a desire to get fans closer to the field.
Below the south end zone stands are several features: A football visitor’s locker room which can be divided and used for other sports’ visiting teams in the winter and spring.
The June Oblinger Shott Media Center, which houses a press room, two press conference areas, three radio rooms, a dark room and several storage rooms.
The outside of the facility also received a new look, making the entrance more inviting. Walkways and landscaping give the south and west sides a more appealing entrance for fans and teams.
Another addition to the facility is the turf and drainage system that was replaced in the summer of 2001 as Tech became the first collegiate football team to have a new state-of-the-art GreenTech ITM natural Bermuda grass sports field system. It provides excellent drainage with irrigation lines and a vacuum system that can handle up to 16 inches of rain an hour. In the winter of 2003-04, a heating system was installed to keep the grass at an optimum temperature during the winter months.
This innovative system is in place in just a handful of other stadiums in the world and makes Worsham Field one of the finest playing fields around.
A Winning Tradition
On Sept. 22, 1994, Tech won its 100th game in Lane Stadium in memorable fashion before a national television audience on ESPN with a 34-6 win over rival West Virginia.
On Nov. 1, 2003, Tech upset No. 2 Miami 31-7 to pick up its 150th all-time win at Lane Stadium, marking the highest-ranked opponent the Hokies have ever defeated.
Tech’s overall record at Lane Stadium is 185 wins, 67 losses and six ties in 45 years of play. The Hokies are 112-30-1 at home during Coach Frank Beamer’s tenure at Virginia Tech and more impressively, are 94-16 in Blacksburg during the last 17 seasons.
Since joining the ACC prior to the 2004 season, Tech has accumulated a record of 35-5 at home, including a conference mark of 19-5. The Hokies went 32-9 at Lane Stadium/Worsham field while a member of the BIG EAST.
A large part of that impressive record is the home-field environment created by the fans as Lane Stadium has been sold out for 74 consecutive games entering the 2010 season, starting with the final home game of the 1998 season against Virginia.
Lane and Worsham
On Sept. 5, 1992, Worsham Field was officially dedicated in honor of Wes and Janet Worsham, longtime Hokie supporters from Kilmarnock, Va. The Worshams pledged $1 million to the university’s Second Century Campaign. The Campaign raised over $18.6 million, almost $1.7 million more than the original goal, thanks to the support of people like the Worshams.
The stadium is named for the late Edward H. Lane, a graduate of the university and a former member of the Board of Visitors. Lane headed an educational foundation project which raised more than $3 million for the original construction. Lane’s personal donation was the first received by the fund.
The original cost was $3.5 million, compared with $3.2 million spent for the addition on top of the east stands. The stadium’s original capacity was 40,000, but the addition, completed in 1980, raised that number to 52,500. The relocation of bleacher seats dropped the total capacity to under 50,000.
Lane Stadium, featuring a modern lighting system and a seating capacity of 66,233 for this season, ranks as one of the nation’s finest collegiate football facilities.
Before moving to Lane Stadium, Tech played its home games in Miles Stadium, which had a seating capacity of 17,000. The late Stuart K. Cassell proposed the new stadium as a part of a general plan for a number of new facilities for the school.
History Of Lane Stadium
April, 1964 – Construction began on Lane Stadium, named after Edward H. Lane, a 1910 graduate of the school and a former member of the Board of Visitors who headed an educational foundation project which raised more than $3 million for the stadium’s construction.
Sept. 24, 1965 – Stadium used for first time, a freshman football game between Tech and Maryland
Oct. 2, 1965 – Tech’s varsity team plays in the stadium for the first time. The Hokies knocked off William & Mary 9-7.
Oct. 23, 1965 – Stadium was dedicated at Homecoming and first Governor’s Day game. Tech beat UVa 22-14.
Summer, 1968 – Construction completed on Lane Stadium at a cost of $3.5 million. The stadium seated 35,050 and featured a three-tiered press box for guests, writers and stats crews, and scouts and coaches.
1980 – Additional stands were constructed on the East side to raise the capacity to 52,500.
1982 – The Tech athletics department had a modern lighting system installed, which was first used in Tech’s 21-14 Thanksgiving Day win over UVa. WTBS broadcast the game, the first ever nationally televised game at Lane Stadium.
1991 – A new scoreboard bearing the Big East Conference logos replaces the old one at the South end of the stadium, with a new auxiliary scoreboard being placed at the North end.
1994 and 1998 – Various renovations were done to the stadium. These included replacing concrete risers, adding handicapped seating, waterproofing and coating the standings, and replacing certain wooden bleachers.
Summer, 1999 – Approximately 2,100 permanent seats were built in the North end zone. Also, the interior block walls and concourse tunnels were sealed and coated to match the exterior of Cassell Coliseum and the Merryman Center.
Summer, 2000 – Approximately 3,000 permanent bleacher seats were added to the North end zone. Also, a new scoreboard, “Hokievision,” was installed behind the North end zone bleachers.
Summer, 2001 – Roughly 600 new, permanents seats were built next to the field in the North end zone for both of Tech’s marching bands.
2002 – Construction is completed on the South end zone, which added more than 11,000 seats, 15 luxury suites, a new football visitor’s locker room that can be divided for other sports’ visiting teams in the offseason, a new press room, a press conference area, two radio rooms and several storage rooms. The entire project cost nearly $37 million.
2004-2005 – The old press box tower is torn down to make room for a new edifice which will run the entire length of the west side stands. A new press area and dining room, along with additional new luxury suites, a new President’s area, four private club seating areas, new concession stands, a new ticket office, new athletic fund offices, an Athletics Hall of Fame and a new student academic services area are also included in this project.
Through the Years
Original construction of Lane Stadium began in April, 1964 and was completed four years later. The Hokies did not wait for completion, playing their first game in the stadium on Oct. 2, 1965. Tech defeated William and Mary, 9-7, that day with only the west stands and the center section of the east bleachers completed. Official dedication ceremonies took place Oct. 23 before a 22-14 win over Virginia.
Through the years, the stadium has seen several changes and renovations. In 1982, the lighting system was added to the facility. The system was first used in Tech’s nationally televised 21-14 Thanksgiving Day victory over Virginia that season. The game was broadcast on WTBS and was the first-ever nationally televised game from Lane Stadium.
Prior to the 1989 season, Lane Stadium underwent further improvements. Tech received a donation of 16 flags with the “VT” logo for the stadium. Lane Stadium also received a new paint job which included the addition of maroon and orange stripes around the inner walls of the facility.
In 1991, a new scoreboard bearing BIG EAST Conference logos replaced the old scoreboard at the south end of the stadium, while a new auxiliary scoreboard was placed at the north end. In the spring of 1994, renovations were completed on seven lower sections of the east stands. Renovations included replacing concrete risers and the addition of wheelchair seating.
Before the 1994 season, plaques bearing retired jerseys of Tech heroes Bruce Smith, Carroll Dale, the late Frank Loria and Jim Pyne were added to the wall in the north end zone. With the addition of the north end zone seats, the four retired numbers now fly on flag poles above those stands.
In 2002, three more flags – those bearing the names and numbers of Frank Beamer, Michael Vick and Cornell Brown – were added, retiring their jerseys, but not their numbers. Three years ago, a banner for center Jake Grove was added to that collection.
In 2008, banners were placed on both the east and west sides on beams honoring conference player of the year and national award honorees, including Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award winner Corey Moore and Outland Trophy honoree Bruce Smith.
Prior to the 1998 season, the oldest bleachers were replaced with new locust wood and the stands were waterproofed and top coated. On the east side, the roof on the former visitors’ locker room was replaced along with the wooden bleachers in the three sections above the dressing room. Also, additional handicapped seating was added.
In addition to the seats in the north end zone constructed before the 1999 season, the interior block walls and concourse tunnels were seal-coated to match the exterior of Cassell Coliseum and the Merryman Center.
Before the 2000 season, a new scoreboard, complete with “Hokievision” was installed behind the north end zone bleachers.
The south end zone construction project eliminated the old wooden bleachers in that area. But the north end zone bleachers were expanded down to the field, adding close to 600 new, permanent seats to make the north end zone look similar to the new south end zone. This is where The Marching Virginians – one of Tech’s two marching bands – sit. These moves cut the capacity to 53,662.
Prior to the 2000 season, approximately 3,000 permanent bleacher seats were added in the north end zone, and, prior to the 1999 season, 2,100 permanent seats were added in the same end zone. In 2003, permacaps were installed over all the wooden seats to enhance fan comfort.
The past six years, fans saw new conference logos around the stadium as the Hokies made the move to the ACC prior to the 2005 season. In that time, the Hokies have won three conference titles.
Hall of Fame Museum
Since the start of the 2008 football season, fans have had the opportunity to visit Virginia Tech’s new Hall of Fame museum located on the west side of the football stadium. Covering two stories, the museum features all Hokie sports, with galleries, display cases and interactive screens. Individual athletes honored include All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and Tech’s Hall of Fame members. Fans are able to review the history of Tech athletics through a photo timeline. The museum is open to the public Monday through Friday between 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. It is closed on weekends and on game days.
THE MERRYMAN CENTER
The Merryman Center, the centerpiece for Virginia Tech athletics, is a $10.6 million all-purpose building that ranks as one of the finest facilities of its kind in college athletics – and it’s only getting better.
Located just a good punt from Lane Stadium/Worsham Field, Merryman opened its doors to athletes in 1997 and officially was dedicated Sept. 26, 1998 in a university ceremony.
The facility is named for the F.W. (Sonny) Merryman family of Rustburg, Va., which presented the university with a major gift, kicking off a fund-raising campaign that saw Tech supporters dig deep into their pockets.
The result is a streamlined 40,000-square-foot facility that includes …
On the first floor: A spacious sports rehabilitation complex where athletes can go to help them get back on the playing field quicker; a strength and conditioning complex that is magnificent; a speed and agility gym; and a football coaches’ locker room.
And on the second floor: Michael Vick Hallway, which includesa 130-seat auditorium and nine position meeting rooms for use by the football team; the new Hall of Legends, which is a showcase of Virginia Tech football; spacious offices for Coach Frank Beamerand his top assistant, John Ballein; the video department, complete with brand new, state-of-the-art equipment; and the women’s basketball offices.
The Hall of Legends, the new entranceway to the athletics department, provides visitors with a brilliant display of Hokie football memorabilia.
The area highlights memorabilia from past Virginia Tech football squads with special emphasis on the Outland Trophy, won by Tech’s Bruce Smith as the best college football lineman in 1984, as well as the numerous awards won by Corey Moore following the 1999 season.
Other memorabilia highlights are items from Tech’s Sugar Bowl football victory over Texas in 1995 – as well as Tech’s other bowl appearances – and former Hokies in the NFL.
The area also has a conference room, as well as videos, game balls and other awards handed out.
“The room was designed to provide us with an ideal place for individual meetings with football prospects and their parents,” associate athletics director for football operations John Ballein said. “In our opinion, it is quite a showplace for recruiting.”
The exterior of the building is streamlined, too, and has a definite Hokie motif. Even the roof, the only maroon one on the Virginia Tech campus, adds a touch of school spirit. The outside walls of the Merryman Center are a combination of Hokie stone and a more simplified white stone that matches that on Cassell Coliseum, the building next door.
“This is a facility that is really special in every way,” says Tech A.D. Jim Weaver. “There is no doubt in my mind that the Merryman Center ranks right at the very top among the great buildings in college athletics.”
Beamer, too, is ecstatic over the facility. “The building, to me, represents a commitment on behalf of the university,” the coach says. “The construction of Merryman clearly demonstrates the university’s determination to maintain a top athletic program year in and year out. All of us connected with football are extremely proud of that.”
Another area of interest is Tech’s first-rate video area, something Ballein is especially proud of.
“The complex has more coaching stations than any other facility of its kind in college football or in the National Football League,” he said.
Beamer’s office is special, too. The 22-by-30-foot room is enclosed by glass on two sides, providing a beautiful view of Lane Stadium/Worsham Field and other parts of the Merryman Center. Beamer also has a great view of the new practice fields installed prior to the 2001 season. The new fields are less than 100 feet from the football locker room.
Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Center
August 10, 2009 marked a huge day for the men’s and women’s basketball programs at Virginia Tech, as both moved into the new $21 million practice facility adjacent to the east side of Cassell Coliseum. The 49,000 square-foot facility, designed by Cannon Design out of Baltimore and built by Whiting Turner out of Charlotte, was started in April of 2008.
The center contains the best in everything both programs could ever want. The front entrance possesses huge graphics of some of the players and also a memorabilia area. The stairs lead up to the coaches’ offices. One walks through another memorabilia area, and then the wing on the left will house the women’s offices, while the wing on the right serves as the home for the men’s staff. There is a small kitchen area for both programs to share.
Each wing possesses five large offices for the assistants, a conference room and then a huge office for the head coach. Both head coaches have their own personal bathrooms and closets, and also a view of the two basketball courts and a view of the outside world. Each has a balcony that looks out over the two basketball courts as well.
The ground level includes spacious locker rooms for both the men and women. Each team got to design the lockers, and the women chose lockers with more vanities, while the men wanted to be able to sit within their lockers (as opposed to sitting on a stool). Adjacent to the locker rooms are film classrooms for each program and enormous lounges that feature computer stations and large flat-screen televisions. There are also locker rooms for the coaches nearby.
In addition to the locker rooms, the ground floor also includes a vast equipment room, with an office; a large training room with two examination rooms, two therapy tubs and six reclining tables (for taping, treatment, etc.); and an enormous strength and conditioning area, with two offices for the strength and conditioning staff who handled the basketball programs.
The weight room and training room conveniently lead out onto the practice courts. A “soft” wall can be lowered to separate the two courts if the teams want to practice at the same time. The walls feature huge graphics of former and current players, and the court itself closely resembles the Cassell Coliseum floor, so that both teams will be practicing on what they play on during games.
In showing that no detail was spared, the center includes a large patio area in the back that looks out over the football practice field and at Lane Stadium. The staffs plan on tailgating in this area before football games and bringing recruits to these to show them the family environment in which this school takes so much pride.
Completed in the fall of 2003, the Sandra D. Thompson Field is located in the heart of the athletic complex on the school’s beautiful campus in Blacksburg. The stadium serves as the home of the Tech lacrosse team in the spring and the men’s and women’s soccer teams in the fall.
In the fall of 2008, the facility, which previously had been called the Virginia Tech Lacrosse and Soccer Stadium, was renamed in honor of longtime Virginia Tech women’s athletics supporter Sandra D. Thompson. The facility has become one of the finest places to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The bluegrass playing surface measures approximately 75 by 120 yards. The field is equipped with an underground irrigation system and a drainage system that allows the field to drain water quickly and enable the field to be ready to play in rapid time. The wireless scoreboard allows fans to have a full score update, while a permanent Hubbell lighting system allows for night games.
One of the finest facilities in the conference for spectators, the stadium features approximately 2,028 bench-back seats, where each fan has an unobstructed view of the playing surface. Spacious area around the field allows for nearly 1,500 additional fans to watch the games.
During the summer of 2008, a new game operations center was erected atop the stadium. The approximately 900-square foot facility includes two dedicated broadcast booths, two covered areas available for cameras to film, and a large working area for media members covering the Hokies. The climate-controlled facility contains a state-of-the-art sound system and Ethernet capability. The facility allows Tech’s official athletic Web site, hokiesports.com, to originate live audio broadcasts and live stats of the Hokies’ matches from the press box.
Between each team’s bench area is the Sandra D. Thompson Press Box. Formerly the press operations center for the field, the press box is now used as a halftime room for game officials and as an auxiliary area for press and game operations.
Scenic English Field continues to provide Virginia Tech with a first-class campus setting for college baseball, day or night. The field, which was officially dedicated during a special ceremony on April 8, 1989, is named for the late E.R. ‘Red’ English and his wife, Ruth, who provided financial support for construction of the field.
Located at the intersection of Rt. 314 and Duckpond Drive, English Field features 1,033 permanent chair-back seats in its concrete stands. The seats were made possible through a contribution by an anonymous donor. The stands also include easy-access handicapped sections, which are located at the top of the stands on each side of the center section.
In the summer of 2008, the terracing of the hill along the third base/left field line was completed to provide fans with a new, unique and comfortable way to take in the action. When added to the permanent seats in the grandstand, the new terracing allows for well over 3,000 fans to be accommodated at any given time. The terracing includes a sloping, paved walkway to allow for wheelchair access and easy navigation.
The terracing had other effects as well, as it required the fencing down the left field foul line to be realigned and the bullpens to be re-done. The right field line was done as well to keep things symmetrical, and as a result, all of English Field’s fencing, including the outfield wall and the backstop wall, is padded in a forest green color much like one would see at many major league parks.
A completely new drainage system was installed during fall 2005, along with a new eight-foot wooden outfield fence and a new net backstop behind the plate. The previous spring, a new scoreboard and message center were added along with additional landscaping and a concrete patio behind the stands.
Prior to the 2004 season, a new lighting system was installed. The Hokies played their first baseball game under the lights in Blacksburg on April 28 of that year, defeating VMI, 8-0.
A permanent press box was completed in January 1997. The two-story building located at the top of the stands behind home plate provides a working area for game operations workers and media, as well as two broadcast booths. It also houses a concession stand and restrooms, and a brand-new sound system that was installed in 2008.
The field, which was constructed by the S. Lewis Lionberger Company, has dimensions of 330 feet down the lines, 375 feet in the power alleys and 400 feet to center field. The natural grass surface is composed of a mixture of rye and bluegrass.
Other features include spacious dugouts faced with Hokie Stone, bullpens that are located near each dugout and a practice hitting cage along the right field line. Security fencing was added in January 2003. The landscaping also allows for further expansion of the facilities as needed, as evidenced by the renovations that got underway in 2008 and that continue with the new indoor hitting facility.
E.R. English, a native of Altavista, Va., played as an offensive and defensive guard on Virginia Tech football teams from 1930-33 and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1934. English contributed to Tech athletics for over 50 years and was one of the founders of The Student Aid Association in 1949. He served as president of that organization two of its first three years. English received the most outstanding alumni award at Tech in 1984.
Through a generous gift from alumnus George Sampson, the home team dugout was named for long-time Tech baseball coach G.F. ‘Red’ Laird during a ceremony on April 12, 1991. Laird recruited and coached Sampson at Tech.
The Hokies opened play at their new home with a 7-2 victory against George Mason University on March 22, 1989, and went on to post a 17-7 home record during their first season in the facility. Heading into the 2009 season, Tech’s 20-year mark at English Field is 325 wins, 167 losses and three ties.
Prior to the opening of English Field, Tech played its home baseball games at Tech Park, where it compiled a 431-122-1 record over 34 seasons.
Rector Field House
As with the Johnson-Miller Track Complex, Virginia Tech’s indoor also ranks among the nation’s elite. The two tracks together give Tech what some believe is the finest track complex in America. There are few like it in the U.S. today.
The 200-meter, banked indoor track, one of only a very few of its kind in the U.S., was installed in the Rector Field House and used for the first time during the 1996-97 season. The indoor track served as the host to several of the East Coast’s top invitationals, attracting many of the nation’s best teams.
Tech also has brought in some of the nation’s finest athletes. Many Olympians have competed in Rector Field House during recent years, including 2000 Olympic silver medalist pole vaulter Lawrence Johnson, Olympian distance runner Julie Henner, two-time NCAA champion weight thrower Spyridon Jullien and high school mile record holder Alan Webb.
In addition to being the primary indoor facility for the track & field program, Rector Field House is also used as a practice facility for numerous other Tech sports, primarily football.
Johnson-Miller Track Complex
The Johnson- Miller Outdoor Track Complex, adjacent to Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House (which houses the indoor track), is another piece in Virginia Tech’s commitment to a top-tier track and field program.
The outdoor oval track has eight 42-inch lanes and is identical to the track used in Atlanta’s Olympic stadium during the 1996 Olympic games. Tech’s school colors, burnt orange and Chicago maroon, are featured on alternating lanes.
“Our facilities enable us to attract and develop the highest level of talent available,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Dave Cianelli said. “This will enable our program to reach the elite rankings at the conference and national level.”
The complex also includes a pole vault pit, long and triple jump areas, steeplechase lanes and areas for shot put, discus, hammer throw, javelin and high jump. For sprints, 10 lanes have been placed in one stretch at the south side of the track. In addition, Tech uses the state-of-the-art Finish Lynx timing system for quick and accurate results. A nine-foot berm on the south side of the track ultimately will be terraced to provide seating.
The Johnson-Miller Outdoor Track Complex was dedicated in honor of Stuart Johnson and Jack William Miller, Jr., two former Hokie track stars from Richmond, Va., whose loyalty and support made the construction of the new track possible.
“Our program is indebted to these two individuals,” Cianelli said. “Their generosity has allowed us to have world-class facilities right on our campus.”
Johnson, Tech’s “Mr. Track” in 1952, was the first man elected to the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame solely on his records in track and field. Miller was co-captain of the 1953 track team. Johnson ran the 440-meter, 220-meter and mile relay. Miller competed in a number of events, but his specialty was the mile.
“Based on my years of coaching and traveling, I believe our facilities rank with any in the country,” Cianelli said.
Tech Softball Park
The Virginia Tech softball team has the luxury of playing and practicing in some of the finest facilities on the east coast. Using the Tech Softball Park, Rector Field House and the Jim “Bulldog” Haren weight room, the Hokies train with the best in preparing to win championships.
The Tech Softball Park is a great complex that just keeps getting better. In 2008, the park was given an overhaul that fans instantly noticed and appreciated. In May of 2007, six poles featuring permanent lights were installed, but that was just the beginning. Starting in January of 2008, an additional 746 permanent seats were installed, bringing the capacity up from 336 to 1,082. The bleachers match the ones that were already in place and now extend down to the end of both dugouts.
The roofs of the dugouts were removed and lowered approximately two feet so the bleachers could be built over top of them. The cost of the project was approximately $900,000. Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas & Co. from Wytheville handled the project with Tech graduate Keith Storms serving as the project manager for the architecture firm.
In the summer of 2008, a concrete patio was poured behind the bleachers to give fans a safe walkway to areas around Tech Softball Park.
The additional seats allow Tech to be eligible to host NCAA Regional events, something it hasn’t been able to in the past. Tech will host the ACC Championship this May for the first time in program history. Between the stadium expansion and the $200,000 light project, nearly $1.2 million in renovations have been done on Tech Softball Park over the past seasons.
Other improvements to the stadium over the years include: a new backstop and padding have been installed to give fans more protection when enjoying a game; the old field was torn up and replaced, complete with a modern drainage system and grass apron around the entire field; thanks to a generous donation, a new batting cage was installed and was moved down by the bullpen and another was built under the stands, giving the Hokies more great tools in helping them achieve their goals.
In 1999, the first set of permanent bench-back seats were added. With the new bleachers added offseason, the complex can easily hold up to 1,100 fans and a record 1,977 fans crammed in and around the park for a doubleheader against North Carolina State in 2005. Big crowds are the norm at Tech Softball Park as attendance has gone over the 1,000 mark seven times in program history.
Tech fans have taken a love to their Hokie softball team, with attendance skyrocketing through the roof over the past four years. In 2005, Tech ranked 15th nationally in average attendance and was 17th in 2006, averaging 551 fans per home contest. In 2007, the Hokies averaged 547 fans per home event, 21st-best in the country. In 2008, that number rose to 699, placing Tech 13th nationally and in the top 25 for the fourth-straight year. Virginia Tech was also 21st in the country in overall home attendance with 8,395 people attending the 12 dates. That figure was the highest in the country for that few amount of home dates.
The field, which was completed in the fall of 1997, has dimensions of 200 feet down the lines and 220 feet to center field.
Since the Hokies started playing at Tech Softball Park, they have compiled a record of 158-59 (.728), including a 17-0 campaign in 1999, a 20-3 record in 2000, 18-4 in 2001, 16-3 in 2002, 15-6 in 2004, 12-4 in 2007, 15-5 in 2008 and 8-7 last year.
At the top of the bleachers are three prefabricated, 8-by-18 foot press boxes. Complete with power and phone lines, they accommodate all the needs of the media. The press boxes also have air conditioning and heat, as well as Ethernet cable and wireless connections, which allow for live stats and broadcasts of every home game on Tech’s official Web site, hokiesports.com.
On top of the main press box is a camera platform, allowing for video by either team, as well as media covering the event. Two additional press boxes were added at the top of the bleachers during the last phase of renovation, tripling the current capacity.
The main box houses the game operation workers and both SIDs while the other two press boxes are used for working press, radio and television announcers. There are several photo decks and wells, complete with power and unobstructed views of the field.
When weather doesn’t allow for outdoor practice, the team moves into Rector Field House. Located adjacent to the playing field, the field house has an artificial surface, batting cages and ample room for drills. It is also equipped with a training room.
New banners were placed on the outfield wall recently, celebrating Tech’s two ACC title, its regular-season ACC title in 2007, the four NCAA Regional appearances, its Super Regional and the Women’s College World Series berth from 2008. A special banner was hung in right field on Sept. 13, 2008 for 2008 USA Softball National Player of the Year Angela Tincher, who had her number retired in a special ceremony before a football game.
Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center
The Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center is an outstanding facility for tennis and ranks among the best venues for tennis in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The facility includes the tennis center, which is located near Lane Stadium. The athletics department added six new outdoor courts to the facility in a project that was completed in the spring of 2009. These six new courts will be used by recreational sports on campus, while also being used by the athletics department for tournament competition.
Overall, the facility offers 12 outdoor courts with bleacher seating, and six indoor courts with a mezzanine viewing area and chair back bleachers. These were added in 2008.
The facility also includes locker rooms, coaches’ offices, a team room and a social area. The Hokies’ locker room in the facility underwent upgrades and renovations in the spring of 2004.
The tennis center is one of the few in the nation featuring digital video cameras on each indoor court. The system, created by XOS Technologies, records competition and team practices simultaneously on all six courts. The cameras are mounted at the back of each court in the
center and are connected to a DVD recorder located in the tennis coach’s office. The Virginia Tech system is one of the first all-digital systems in the nation. Members of the tennis center and other local patrons also use the system for stroke analysis.
In 2007, two large scoreboards were added indoors to allow spectators to follow the action on all six courts. The scoreboards are a product of Santech, Inc., the supplier of scoreboards at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, in Orlando, Fla. The $40,000 addition was paid in part by a generous donation from Kent James and family.
The tennis center, which opened in 1992, was made possible by gifts from Dave and Betty Burrows of Roanoke; their son, Jack Burrows, and his wife, Lee, of Roanoke; and their daughter, Beverly, and her husband, Bobby Burleson, of Tallahassee, Fla. Jack Burrows and Bobby Burleson were teammates on Tech’s tennis team in the late 1960s. Burrows participated in the NCAA Championships and earned induction into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame for his tennis exploits.
War Memorial Pool
War Memorial Pool, located just off the campus Drill Field at War Memorial Gym, is currently Virginia Tech’s swimming and diving facility. The complex includes a 25-yard pool, with eight lanes and a diving well. The movable bulkhead, which separates the pool from the diving well, can be adjusted to lengthen the pool to 25 meters. The diving well is made up of two 1-meter boards, a 3-meter board and a 5-meter platform.
Complete with underwater windows and a sound system, the facility is also equipped with the Colorado Electronic Timing System and scoreboard. Two years ago, a 12-line read-out scoreboard was installed for swimming, as well as a three-line scoreboard for diving.
The pool has served as the site for two Virginia State Championship meets and one Metro Conference Championship.
War Memorial Gym itself houses numerous other facilities, including saunas, weight rooms, racquetball courts and six basketball courts. The Hokies also have the use of other equipment such as power-racks for strength swimming, and VASA trainers, VASA climbers and bicycles for dry-land training.
(H2OKIES’ HOME IN PROGRESS)
The program, though, will be moving in the fall of 2009, as the H2Okies gear up for a new home in the $14.5 million Christiansburg Aquatic Center in nearby Christiansburg, Va.
The 62,000 square-foot facility is a 50-meter competition pool designed to promote and support competitive swimming at all age levels within the region. From a Tech perspective, it features a 50-meter Olympic-sized competition pool (1,012,000 gallons); 5-, 7- and 10-meter diving platforms; 1- and 3-meter springboards; locker rooms for both Tech teams; and a seating capacity of 1,100, which allows the building to serve as the locations for competitive swimming and diving events.
The facility also includes components that the average person would not think of, things like a sparger system at the bottom of the pool that releases air bubbles to soften the landing at the water’s surface for divers, and a UV disinfection system, which will clean the water and eliminate the smell of chlorine.
Thanks to a unique sharing agreement between Christiansburg and Virginia Tech, the arena provides a separate family/leisure pool with a two-story water slide and a separate therapy pool to be used for physical therapy. Town residents get to use the big pool during designated times. According to the partnership between Tech and the town, the Tech teams get to practice between 5-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. Also, Tech gets 10 weekends a year to hold meets – dual meets, invitationals, the ACC championships, etc.
The facility is scheduled to be open at some point later this fall.
DISTINCTIVELY DYE – DISTINCTIVELY VIRGINIA TECH
The challenges of a Pete Dye design, a spectacular new clubhouse, and the pristine beauty of a riverfront setting combine to offer a unique experience at “The River,” whether it’s on the golf course or in the clubhouse. It’s no surprise to alumni and friends of the Virginia Tech community that when the university undertakes a project that the results are a world class facility and “The River” is no exception to this rule.
The golf course as it plays today opened in August 2005 after a re-design by Pete Dye, notably one of the most renowned course architects in the world. His signature style pot-bunkers, small greens and collection points will test your strategy and skills, however with five sets of tees from which to choose, golfers of all skill levels find the course fun and exciting to play. The course fronts on 2.5 miles of the historic New River and across the river you will frequently hear and see a distant train. The mountains, the river, the view and the golf course combine to create an adventure you will remember long after you leave. The clubhouse adds a new dimension to the golf experience with an upscale lounge and grill and a pro-shop offering quality golf apparel and equipment.
The new clubhouse was also designed to offer flexible event space to serve the university and the community. Room rentals are available for special events including weddings, receptions, dinner meetings, special occasions and seminars. The meeting areas can accommodate up to 200 guests depending on the function, the season and type of service desired. The event rooms open to the 4,000 square foot elevated patio that virtually seems to hang out over the river and offers amazing views.
Bull and Bones at The River – a spin off from “Blacksburg’s Best New Restaurant” – Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill, Inc. operates the restaurant in the “Hackin’ Hokies” grill and is also one of several pre-approved caterers available to cater events at “The River.” The grill features high definition big screen televisions, a two-way fireplace with the “Hokie Bird” in brick relief and Hokie stone, vaulted ceilings, a granite bar and patio dining. The restaurant is open seven days a week for casual dining in an upscale setting and offers a broad range of menu selections.
Located between Blacksburg and Radford off Rt. 114 in S.W. Virginia, “The River” is close to I-81 and I-77 and only 12 miles from the university’s main campus in Blacksburg. Contact our pro-shop for tee times at 540.633.6732 or call 540.633.1807 for event information.
Cross Country Course
During the past 15 years, Virginia Tech’s cross country course has provided many benefits to the program and has paid dividends for the Tech cross country team. The course has attracted several of the nation’s top programs and been the site of some of the state’s largest high school meets.
“In conjunction with our indoor and outdoor track facilities, the cross country course makes Virginia Tech unsurpassed in the quality of facilities,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Dave Cianelli said. “The training aspect of the course is also great.”
Tech has the luxury of competing and training on a course designed solely for cross country competition, affording the team an opportunity to have exclusive rights to the use of the facility.
Over the years, the all-grass course has provided an ideal surface for racing and training. Located on the southwest end of campus near the corner of Southgate Drive and Route 460, the terrain gently rolls through the cornfields and wooded locations typical of the Tech surroundings.
Opened for racing in 1993, the course now starts and finishes behind the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. It covers a total of 3.1 miles, passes historical Smithfield Plantation and crosses Stroubles Creek. There is also a five-mile version of the course for the men.
“I think it’s one of the nicest settings for a cross country course I have ever seen,” Cianelli said. “The fact that it is on campus makes it ideal for our teams to train and compete.”
Another key trait of the course is its proximity to campus facilities. Rector Field House allows athletes to warm up in perfect conditions.
The Hokies take advantage of their course, too, with three races planned for this upcoming fall, starting with the Virginia Tech Cross Country Relay on Sept. 5.
“There are very few schools with a cross country course and two tracks so close together,” cross country coach Ben Thomas said. “The competition facilities here are unbeatable.”