After reports emerged Saturday about Texas A&M extending a contract offer
to Buzz Williams, the rumors surrounding Williams to the Aggies have only grown while rumors and flight patterns point towards Marquette's Steve Wojciechowski as the lead candidate to replace Williams if he departs as expected.
The rumors with Williams have been circulating for weeks now since Billy Kennedy was let go by Texas A&M and reports
named Buzz Williams as the "top target." Those rumors have appeared to only grow with Williams not confirming or denying that he has interest in the A&M job. Meanwhile, some like Adam Zagoria
of Forbes and the New York Times called it "done" this past Saturday.
This morning, a thread on the popular Texas A&M message board TexAgs
emerged summarizing the appearance of well-known A&M insider Billy Liucci saying that everything continues to point towards Williams as their next head coach with an announcement likely to come during the middle of the week according to the summary. There has continued to be almost nothing to suggest that Williams isn't going to be the next head coach at Texas A&M though there is nothing to confirm for sure that Williams is headed to College Station though all signs point towards that as reality.
With that seeming likely and having been rumored for a while, Whit Babcock and Virginia Tech appear to have been busy doing some behind the scenes work with multiple names being thrown around including Marquette HC Steve Wojciehowski, a former Duke assistant for well-over a decade.
While rumors have hinted that Wojo is a top target, flight patterns also give some insight that point towards Wojciehowski as the leading candidate to replace Williams as we have shown in a Twitter thread on our profile (included below).
So to summarize, it all started on Saturday when there was a flight
from Waukesha County Airport, about 25 minutes from the campus of Marquette, to the Roanoke airport. This plane was a private jet the quality of which you would expect a high level coach to fly for a negotiation like this.
Given that this flight happened the day after VT's departure from the NCAA Tournament, it would be odd to have a flight like that go directly into Blacksburg, making it obvious that Buzz Williams was leaving and making it easy for the departure to be spoiled for sure before Buzz would have a chance to share the news with his team. Also, it seems unlikely someone from Milwaukee would vacation in Roanoke during the last weekend of May.
Secondly, a flight from a plane connected with Virginia Tech Board of Visitors member
Horacio Valeiras landed in Blacksburg Saturday afternoon. This was able to be determined as Mr. Valeiras is the one registered with 3 Foot Air LLC
, owner of this private jet.
came from the D.C. area after the plane arrived in Northern Virginia Friday afternoon, well in time to attend the Virginia Tech-Duke Sweet 16 game. Additionally, Valeiras, who resides in California, also appeared to fly to San Jose in time to see VT's Round of 32 game against Liberty, making it clear that he is likely a major VT basketball supporter.
After a Virginia Tech
Board of Visitors meeting took place this morning (h/t TechSideline's Will Stewart
), the plane of Mr. Valeiras left the Virginia Tech airport for a regional airport in Gary, Indiana right outside of Chicago.
Now it may seem odd for a flight to go to the Chicago area if VT is pursuing a Marquette coach, but part of that is likely due to the want to try to keep this quiet for as long as possible. With Buzz Williams and Texas A&M not being officially done yet (or at least not public yet), Virginia Tech likely doesn't want to take away from Williams and A&M as is respectful policy throughout much of collegiate sports. Virginia Tech did make an exception when a pair of SEC schools were slow to announce the hirings of Virginia Tech football assistants, but that was done after several days of rumors point towards that move.
Currently, that flight to Gary, IN via the Mr. Valeiras plane does not have a next destination on it, likely another way of trying to increase the secrecy though a flight likely hasn't been scheduled yet given the lack of need to do so.
Additionally, there is a private jet flying tomorrow from the Waukesha County Airport to Gary, IN
. If Wojciechowski is the guy, it would not be surprising if they may be Wojo's family given how coaches usually prefer to have their families with them for the first press conference. Additionally, it would make sense for Virginia Tech to want to be there first
Given the want to show respect to Williams and not reveal both moves before the first is announced, flying to a nearby airport like Gary, IN where a private jet flight could be cheap from Milwaukee makes sense, making it more difficult to connect the dots, rather than fly directly to Milwaukee which would be a much clearer indication.
On top of all of the rumors and flight information, Steve Wojciechowski's Twitter has been taken down, an odd move for a head coach of a power conference program that suggests something is up, whether that's a move to a new job or something else.
While there is nothing that can be confirmed at this time, the smoke continues to point towards Buzz Williams leaving Virginia Tech for Texas A&M while all of these flights seem unlikely to just be coincidental and point heavily towards Marquette's Steve Wojciechowski as the leading candidate to replace Williams if he does leave for Texas A&M as expected.
Stay with us at The Tech Lunch Pail for coverage of the latest on Buzz Williams/VT basketball head coach watch as the situation continues to develop.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Stay up with The Tech Lunch Pail for the latest on Virginia Tech. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe to our email updates.