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June 17, 2009

Hall of Famer passes away

By: Jimmy Robertson

Howie Wright

Howard Irving Wright, better known among Hokie Nation as “Howie,” passed away on June 5 at the age of 77 in Houston.

Wright was a three-sport standout at Tech in the early 1950s. He served as the co-captain of the undefeated 1954 football team and won the prestigious Williams Award, the top honor of that day which went to the member of the team who demonstrated leadership qualities and exerted moral influence upon his teammates. In baseball, he guided the Hokies to the Southern Conference championship and to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance (1954), hitting .378, with five homers and 20 stolen bases that season. He also wrestled at Tech and ultimately lettered in all three sports.
He graduated in 1955 and then served two years in the Armed Forces, spending much of his time in Germany. He returned and went to work for Texaco, where he worked for 36 years before retiring in 1991.
Wright was inducted into the Tech Hall of Fame in 1986.
A service was held in Klein, Texas, on June 8. Wright was buried during a ceremony on June 11 in his hometown of Dover, Del.

Tech AD receives top honor

Tech AD Jim Weaver was named the winner of the 2009 John L. Toner Award, which is presented annually by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). The Toner Award goes each year to a director of athletics who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.
Weaver is completing his 12th year as Tech’s director of athletics. During those 12 years, he has been a tireless leader on behalf of Tech athletics, earning praise for his emphasis on projects benefiting student-athletes, his commitment to the continued improvement of Tech’s facilities and for presiding over Tech’s move into the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Weaver will accept his award along with other major award winners at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 8 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Greenberg gets transfer

Tech men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg added another player to the roster this spring when he announced that Allan Chaney was transferring from the University of Florida to Tech. The Baltimore native played in 23 games as a freshman at Florida and will have three years of eligibility remaining once he sits out the 2009-10 season to meet NCAA requirements.
“He’s a versatile forward with both perimeter and post-up skills,” Greenberg said. “Having come from the University of Florida, he truly understands what it takes to compete at the very highest level. We expect him to be an immediate contributor once he gains his eligibility.”
Chaney averaged three points, 2.1 rebounds and 9.8 minutes per game at Florida. He missed nine games with a sprained foot. He played high school basketball at New London High School in New London, Conn., where he averaged 26 points and 15 rebounds per game as a senior.

Weaver qualifies for U.S. Open

Drew Weaver, a golfer who recently graduated from Tech, qualified for the U.S. Open Golf Championship held June 18-21 at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. Weaver shot rounds of 69 and 70 at Woodmont Country Club, which served as the site for one of the 13 U.S. Open qualifying tournaments. He advanced out of a six-man playoff.
Following his senior season, Weaver made the PING All-America third team, as selected by the Golf Coaches Association of America. He has also been named to the 2009 PING All-East Region team. The High Point, N.C., native was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a senior.
This is the second consecutive season that a Hokie has been named third-team All-America by the GCAA. In 2008, Jurrian van der Vaart earned the honor.
(For more on Drew Weaver, please read the golf spotlight in this issue)