Virginia Tech Hokies

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Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech Hokies logo.svg
University Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
NCAA Division I (FBS)
Athletic directorWhit Babcock
Location Blacksburg, Virginia
Varsity teams19
Football stadium Lane Stadium/Worsham Field
Basketball arena Cassell Coliseum
Baseball stadium English Field
Soccer stadium Thompson Field
Mascot HokieBird
Fight song Tech Triumph
ColorsChicago Maroon and Burnt Orange [1]
Atlantic Coast Conference logo in Virginia Tech's colors ACC logo in Virginia Tech colors.svg
Atlantic Coast Conference logo in Virginia Tech's colors

The Virginia Tech Hokies are the athletic teams officially representing the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in intercollegiate athletics. The Hokies participate in the NCAA's Division I Atlantic Coast Conference in 19 varsity sports. Virginia Tech's men's sports are football, basketball, baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and wrestling. Virginia Tech's women's sports are basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball.


Athletes representing the Hokies have won national titles in various track and field events and in wrestling. Virginia Tech, oddly enough, has won zero team NCAA national championships. Though not affiliated with the NCAA, Virginia Tech won the 2007 national championship of bass fishing. [2] The Hokie men's basketball team won the 1973 and 1995 NIT tournaments and went to the Sweet Sixteen of "March Madness" in 1967 and 2019. The Hokies football team lost to Florida State in the 2000 Sugar Bowl (BCS National Championship Game) and finished the season with a #2 ranking in the BCS Poll.

Name origins and history

Virginia Tech's sports teams are called the "Hokies". The word "Hokie" originated in the "Old Hokie" spirit yell created in 1896 by O. M. Stull for a contest which was held to select a new spirit yell when the college's name was changed from Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC) to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (VPI) and the original spirit yell, which referred to the old name, was no longer usable. Stull won, and received a $5 award.

Hoki, Hoki, Hoki, Hy.
Techs, Techs, VPI!
Sola-Rex, Sola-Rah.
Rae, Ri, V.P.I

Later, the phrase "Team! Team! Team!" was added at the end, and an "e" was added to "Hoki".

Stull later said that he made up the word as an attention-grabber. Though he may not have known it, "Hokie" (in its various forms) has been around at least since 1842. According to Johann Norstedt, now a retired Virginia Tech English professor, "[Hokie was] a word that people used to express feeling, approval, excitement, surprise. Hokie, then, is a word like 'hooray', or 'yeah', or 'rah'." Whatever its original meaning, the word in the popular cheer did, as Stull wanted, grab attention and has been a part of Virginia Tech tradition ever since. [3]

The official university school colors – Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange – also were introduced in 1896. The colors were chosen by a committee because they made a "unique combination" not worn elsewhere at the time. [4]

Fireworks over Lane Stadium Lane Stadium fireworks 2005.jpg
Fireworks over Lane Stadium

The team mascot is the HokieBird, a turkey-like creature. The teams were originally known as the "Fighting Gobblers," and the turkey motif was retained despite the name change.


The stylized VT (the abbreviation for Virginia Tech) is used primarily by the athletic department as a symbol for Virginia Tech athletic teams. The "athletic VT" symbol is trademarked by the university and appears frequently on licensed merchandise.

During the early years of the university, a rivalry developed between the Virginia Military Institute and Virginia Tech, then called VPI. This rivalry developed into the original "Military Classic of the South," which was an annual football game between VMI and VPI on Thanksgiving Day in Roanoke, Virginia. This rivalry continued until 1970 when Tech's football program became too large and too competitive for VMI. Today, Tech's major athletic rivalries include the Virginia Cavaliers (see Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry), the West Virginia Mountaineers, and the Miami Hurricanes.

Virginia Tech's fight song, Tech Triumph , was written in 1919 and remains in use today. Tech Triumph is played at sporting events by both the Virginia Tech band, The Marching Virginians, and the Corps of Cadets' band, the Highty Tighties. The Old Hokie spirit yell, in use since 1896, is familiar to all Tech fans.

Many of Tech's more modern traditions were adopted after the construction of Lane Stadium in 1964. Virginia Tech's football traditions and the school's fans are the subject of a 2007 full-length documentary called Hokie Nation [5] which features a mix of interviews with coaches, players and fans as well as a look at Hokie football history and the direction of the program.

Conference affiliation

Virginia Tech conference history
1895–1906Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1907–1921 South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1921–1965 Southern Conference
1978–1995 Metro Conference (except football)
1991–1998 Colonial Athletic Association (wrestling only)
1991–2000 Big East Conference (football only, joined for other sports in 2000)
1995–2000 Atlantic 10 Conference (except football and wrestling)
1998–2004 Eastern Wrestling League (wrestling only)
2000–2004 Big East Conference (except wrestling)
2004–present           Atlantic Coast Conference

Tech teams participate in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which the school joined in 2003 after a tumultuous trek through five different conferences in the previous decade, most recently leaving the Big East in the controversial ACC expansion.

In 1921, Virginia Tech joined the Southern Intercollegiate Conference (now Southern Conference), which contained 19 schools by 1922, all current members of the ACC or Southeastern Conference (SEC). In 1932, thirteen schools left the then-gigantic Southern Conference to form the SEC and in 1953, seven more teams left to form the ACC. [6]

Frank Moseley, Virginia Tech's director of athletics and football coach, believed that the new Southern Conference was a lower tier of competition and sought membership in the ACC, but was turned down. In 1965, Tech left the Southern Conference to become independent. In 1977, Virginia Tech once again sought admission to the ACC and was once again rejected. [7]

In 1978, Virginia Tech joined the Metro Conference, winning the conference men's basketball championship in their first year.

In 1991, Virginia Tech was invited to join the Big East Conference for football only. Members of the Big East football conference included Boston College, Miami, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. [8] In 1994, Virginia Tech was turned down for full membership in the Big East. [9]

In January 1995, Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University were ousted from the Metro Conference and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the conference. [10] The lawsuit was settled when Metro agreed to pay the Hokies $1,135,000 and Virginia Tech joined the Atlantic 10 Conference, along with fellow newcomers Dayton and LaSalle in June 1995. [11]

In 1999, the Big East agreed to accept Virginia Tech as a full member in all sports. Virginia Tech ultimately paid $8.3 million to join the conference, $1.1 million of which was actually paid after the school left. [12]

In April 2003, Mike Tranghese, commissioner of the Big East, dropped a bombshell — that the ACC was secretly trying to lure away Big East members. [13] Over the next several months, the ACC held meetings and discussions. Ultimately, Virginia Tech was invited to join the conference, along with Miami. Boston College was added the following year. Virginia Tech finally had achieved what Frank Moseley had sought so long ago — membership in the ACC.

When Virginia Tech was invited to join the ACC, former Roanoke Times sports editor Bill Brill expressed his displeasure, saying "Virginia Tech will not win an ACC championship in my lifetime." [14] When Virginia Tech's football team proceeded to do precisely that in their very first season in the league, Brill's house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina received hundreds of mocking phone calls from angry Virginia Tech fans, curious to learn when the funeral arrangements would be held. [15]


Men's basketball

Women's basketball

On March 28, 2016, Kenny Brooks was named head coach of Women's basketball. [16]


Women's soccer at Virginia Tech began in 1980 with two club teams under the guidance of Everett Germain and his two daughters Betsy and Julie. Women's soccer has made great strides over the years and continues to be very successful. Recently, the Virginia Tech soccer team brought on a new head coach, Charles "Chugger" Adair, who was formerly the Associate Head Coach, where he acted as the recruiting coordinator and head scout for Virginia Tech, as well as assisted with player development and management. Virginia Tech woman's soccer currently has two assistant coaches, Pete Pososki and Eric Lycan.



Since starting its varsity program in 1996, the Virginia Tech softball team has played in six conference championship games, winning both the ACC regular season and tournament titles in 2007. [17] Under head coach Scot Thomas and behind the strength of one of the nation's best college pitchers, senior All-American Angela Tincher, [18] the Hokies made their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008. On May 25, 2008, they defeated the fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines to advance to their first College World Series, though the Hokies were held scoreless during that appearance and were quickly eliminated in two games. [19] On March 26, 2008, Tincher pitched a no-hitter in a 1–0 exhibition win over the United States Olympic softball team, ending their 185-game winning streak. [20]


The men's golf team has won 12 conference championships: [21]

In 2007, Virginia Tech golfer Drew Weaver became the first American to win the British Amateur golf tournament since 1979. Weaver edged out 2006 Australian Amateur champion Tim Stewart and earned an invitation to the 2007 Open Championship.

Former Hokies that have won at the professional level include: Johnson Wagner (three PGA Tour wins), Adam Hunter (one European Tour win), and Brendon de Jonge (one Nationwide Tour win).


The Virginia Tech Wrestling program was founded in 1920. The team holds its matches at Cassell Coliseum and practices in the training room on the third floor of the football locker room facility, renovated in 2010. [22]

In 2006, Kevin Dresser was named the head coach of the wrestling program. The team won the 2014 ACC Tournament, led by captain Devin Carter, who was named Tournament MVP. The Hokies finished 8th overall in team standings at the 2014 NCAA Championships. Devin Carter was the runner-up at 141 lbs and Virginia Tech's first ever NCAA Tournament finalist. [23]

During the 2014–15 season, a few select matches were held for the first time at the Moss Performing Arts Center on the Virginia Tech campus.

The Hokie Wrestling team won the 2015–16 regular season ACC dual meet title, after beating previously undefeated North Carolina State University in the last conference dual meet of the season. The team took second place at the 2016 ACC Tournament. The 2015–16 team also set program bests with six All-Americans and a fourth-place finish at the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, which is also the highest team finish for an ACC team ever. Kevin Dresser was named the 2016 NWCA Coach of the Year at the tournament. [23]

In 2017, Dresser left Virginia Tech to take over the Iowa State program. Assistant Tony Robie was promoted to head coach.

In 2019, redshirt freshman Mekhi Lewis became the first Hokie wrestler to win a national championship for Virginia Tech. Before his 7-1 victory over two-time defending national champion Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State in the 165-pound finals, Lewis dispatched the number one seed Alex Marinelli of Iowa in the quarterfinals and the number four seed Evan Wick of Wisconsin in the semi-finals. For his remarkable three-day performance, Lewis was named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

Non-varsity sports

The Hokie Hockey Bird HokieHockeyBird.jpg
The Hokie Hockey Bird

Ice hockey

Virginia Tech Ice Hockey was formed in 1984. They joined the newly formed ACCHL in 1995 and have competed there ever since. The team won the regular season champion title during the 1996–97 season with a record of 13–1. The Hokies play out of the Berglund Center in Roanoke and drew the biggest crowd in team history of 5,200+ to the VT vs. UVA game on January 19, 2007. They became the first non-Carolina team to win the Canes Cup on January 14, 2007 by defeating the Duke University Blue Devils, NC State University Wolfpack and the East Carolina University Pirates. During the 2010–2011 season, the Hokies turned towards a more competitive conference, the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA), where they play in the same division against Liberty, East Carolina, Maryland, and UMBC. In the 2011–2012 season, the Hokies earned a berth in the ACHA Division II National Tournament for the first time in program history, finishing 12th in the nation. The Hokies captured their first MACH championship in 2013 by defeating (3) Liberty, (2) UMBC, and (1) Penn State in succession.


The Virginia Tech rugby team was founded in 1968, although the first recorded college rugby match in Blacksburg dates back to 1891. [24] Virginia Tech rugby plays in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League against its traditional ACC rivals. Tech rugby plays an annual rivalry match against University of Virginia for the Commonwealth Shield. [25] The Hokies are supported by the Tech Rugby Alumni Association, which has established an endowment managed by the Virginia Tech Foundation that provides for limited scholarships for rugby players. [26] The Hokies are led by head coach Andy Richards.

The Hokies have been successful in rugby sevens. The Hokies finished third in their conference in spring 2012. [27] The Hokies won the college division of the July 2012 Cape Fear 7s tournament. [28] The Hokies also defeated other ACC teams to win the 2012 Virginia Tech 7s, beating NC State 22-5 in the final. [29] In 2012, the Hokies defeated Virginia 33-31 to win the Atlantic Coast Rugby League 7s, automatically qualifying for the 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships. Winning the 2012 ARRL 7s also qualified the Hokies for the 2013 Collegiate Rugby Championship, the highest profile competition in college rugby, broadcast live on NBC from PPL Park in Philadelphia.

Bass fishing

The Virginia Tech College Bass team was founded in the 2006–2007 school year, and won their first national title that same year. [30]

Field Hockey

The Virginia Tech Club Field Hockey team was founded as a replacement of the D1 team in the 1990s. The team competes in the club-level National Field Hockey League, and won the league's championship in fall 2017. [31]

National Championships

Individual Championships

Non-Varsity Championships

Radio network affiliates

Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network Station List

CityCall SignFrenquency
Abingdon, Virginia WFHG-FM 92.7 FM
Blacksburg, Virginia WBRW-FM105.3 FM
Blackstone, Virginia WBBC-FM 93.5 FM
Bluefield, West Virginia WKEZ-AM1240 AM
Bluefield, West Virginia WKOY-FM 100.9 FM
Bristol, Virginia WWTB 980 AM
Charlottesville, Virginia WKAV-AM1400 AM
Clintwood, Virginia WDIC-AM1430 AM
Clintwood, Virginia WDIC-FM 92.1 FM
Danville, Virginia WMNA-FM 106.3 FM
Galax, Virginia WCGX 1360 AM
Gate City, Virginia WGAT-AM1050 AM
Harrisonburg, Virginia WSIG-FM96.9 FM
Iron Gate, Virginia WJVR-FM101.9 FM
Jacksonville, North Carolina WAVQ-AM1400 AM
Lebanon, Virginia WLRV-AM1380 AM
Luray, Virginia WMXH-FM 105.7 FM
Lynchburg, Virginia WLNI-FM105.9 FM
Marion, Virginia WOLD-FM 102.5 FM
Martinsville, Virginia WMVA-AM1450 AM
Morningside, Maryland WJFK 1580 AM
New Bern, North Carolina WWNB-AM1490 AM
Norfolk, Virginia WNIS-AM790 AM
Onley, Virginia WESR-AM1330 AM
Onley, Virginia WESR-FM 103.3 FM
Richmond, Virginia WRNL-AM910 AM
Richmond, Virginia WRVA-AM1140 AM
Roanoke, Virginia WJJS-FM93.5 FM
Staunton, Virginia WTON-AM1240 AM
Tazewell, Virginia WKQY-FM100.1 FM
Warsaw, Virginia WNNT-FM 107.5 FM
Washington, D.C. WJFK-FM 106.7 FM
White Stone, Virginia WIGO-FM 104.9 FM
Winchester, Virginia WINC-AM1400 AM
Wytheville, Virginia WXBX-FM95.3 FM

See also

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