Since the departure of Billy Kennedy at Texas A&M, the rumors about Buzz Williams
leaving the Hokies for his home state Aggies have only grew more and more after months of being rumored as something A&M would pursue if they moved on from Kennedy. Now, days after the Hokies' NCAA Tournament run ended in the Sweet 16 against Duke, the Hokies have seen Williams depart for a return to his home state.
According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Buzz Williams has left Virginia Tech to take the head coaching job at Texas A&M. The move is a return to his home state for the first time since he was previously an assistant for the Aggies from 2004-2006. Williams will be announced at a press conference on Thursday in College Station after a Wednesday night meeting with Texas A&M's current roster.
During his five seasons in Blacksburg, Williams was 100-69 with 4 winning records in ACC play, 4 postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 1 NIT), and 1 Sweet 16 this past season. Williams became the first coach in Virginia Tech history to lead the Hokies to three-straight NCAA Tournaments while VT's 26 wins this past season were the most by any basketball team in program history.
Williams' success came after Virginia Tech had three-straight seasons finishing with at least a share of last place in the ACC before his arrival followed by a fourth-straight last place finish in the first year of the Williams era. The turnaround Williams put together taking the Hokies from a 2-16 ACC record in year 1 to the Sweet 16 in year 5 is one of the most impressive program-building jobs seen at the highest levels of college basketball in recent memory.
With Virginia Tech open, Marquette's Steve Wojciechowski
has emerged as a leading candidate while Cincinnati's Mick Cronin
has also been linked due to his connections to Whit Babcock. Wichita State's Gregg Marshall could also get a call as the Roanoke native could be appealed by the chance to return to Southwest Virginia though that's far from a certainty that he would be interested. Wofford's Mike Young, UNC Greensboro's Wes Miller, and East Tennessee State's Steve Forbes also could be names to keep an eye as all three have regional connections that make them potential fits in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech and Texas A&M made the news official that Buzz Williams has been named the head coach of the Aggies.
Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock had the following comments on the departure of Buzz Williams (per VT press release).
“Coach Williams made a very positive impact on the culture of our basketball program at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said. “We appreciate all that Buzz and his staff did for our students and our program. We wish Buzz, Corey and their family the very best as they return to their home state of Texas.
“Thanks to our talented student-athletes, Coach Williams and his staff, Virginia Tech is now one of the most attractive jobs in the nation’s top basketball conference, the ACC,” Babcock continued. “I’m extremely confident that we’ll be able to identify and hire a new head coach who can further build on the success our men’s basketball program has achieved in recent years. Until we have our new head coach in place, we will have no further comment on our search process.”
Buzz Williams also tweeted out a statement thanking many around Virginia Tech as he leaves for Texas A&M.
Photo Credit: Bobby Murray
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