The Virginia Tech Hokies were right on the bubble of the ACC Tournament entering the final week of the season with Pat Mason being on one of the hottest seats in America looking to try and save his job. Virginia Tech entered as the 12th seed but a combination of being swept by Miami and Boston College sweeping Notre Dame led to the Hokies finishing tied for last in the ACC with a 23-32 overall record including a 9-21 conference record that kept them out of the ACC Tournament for the second-straight season.
The Hokies' loss yesterday sealed the deal on VT's season ending in Blacksburg and today, Whit Babcock has moved quickly to make a change in the leadership of the program.
Virginia Tech announced today that they have relieved Pat Mason of his duties as manager and will perform a national search for their next manager. Mason was 90-126-1 with a 37-82 ACC record during his four years in Blacksburg with only two ACC Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2015. Mason had one year remaining on his contract for $175,000 with it being unknown how much of that he will receive in his buyout.
Here is Whit Babcock's statement from the press release
on the decision to let Pat Mason go.
"I want to thank Coach Mason for his commitment and dedication to our baseball program during his tenure as both head coach and as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said. “We appreciate the work that Patrick and his staff have done to help our student-athletes both academically and athletically.
“We are always cognizant of the many individuals impacted by leadership changes in any of our programs, especially our student-athletes,” Babcock continued. “After careful consideration and an ongoing evaluation of the long-term direction of baseball at Virginia Tech, we have decided to make a change. While I know Coach Mason is disappointed, he has handled this situation like the consummate professional that he is. We wish him the best. We plan to make no further comments regarding our baseball program or coaching search until we announce our next head coach.”
The move is not a surprise given how the Hokies struggled in the final half of the season that included a 3-14 stretch after sweeping Boston College. With Virginia Tech also completing a major renovation of English Field next season, Whit Babcock and the Hokies are looking for the baseball program to take the next step and to build some excitement and momentum going into a renovated English Field.
Babcock and the Hokies will perform a national search with Babcock likely having already begun laying the groundwork and building a list of targets for the Hokies to interview and pursue. Expectations should be that this search will at least take a few weeks with many of their targets likely to busy leading their teams in the NCAA Baseball Tournament and a new manager likely to not be named until at least sometime around the College World Series.
We wish Pat Mason the best of luck in his future endeavors.
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