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February 13, 2013

News & Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

Custis, Houseright named ACC Legends

Former Tech men’s basketball player Ace Custis and women’s basketball standout Michelle Houseright were named part of the 2013 ACC Legends class, as announced by ACC commissioner John Swofford. Each school is represented with a former male and female player or coach.

Custis guided the Hokies to the 1995 NIT championship and led the program to the 1996 NCAA Tournament. A three-time all-conference player, he led Tech in rebounding for four consecutive seasons and his total of 1,177 career boards ranks third in Tech history. The 6-foot-7 performer still ranks 10th on the Tech career list for points scored (1,706), sixth in field goals made (660), fifth in career rebound average (9.5) and seventh in career steals (199). He is one of only three players in Tech history to surpass the 1,500 mark in both points and rebounds.

The men’s Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., during the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel.

Houseright, whose maiden name is Hollister, was part of three teams that played in the NCAA Tournament (1995, 1998 and 1999), including one that made the Sweet 16 (1999). She finished her career at Tech with 1,112 points to rank 15th all-time in the Hokies’ record book. She holds the sophomore record for scoring average at 17.3 and the sophomore rebound average record at 9.1. She ranks fourth in both career categories at Tech. In addition, she ranks 10th all-time in career field-goal percentage at 46.7. She also holds the mark for the third-most points scored in a single game when she knocked down 33 against Fordham.

The women’s Legends will be honored at the ACC Women’s Basketball Legends’ Brunch on Saturday, March 9, at 10 a.m., and then will be introduced to the Greensboro Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament that same day.

Exum out indefinitely with a torn ACL

The news out of the Virginia Tech athletics department had been positive for nearly all of January, with quarterback Logan Thomas, defensive end James Gayle and cornerback Antone Exum coming back to school and then the hiring of three qualified assistant coaches on the offensive side of the football.

But the football program suffered a blow when Exum, a rising redshirt senior from Glen Allen, Va., tore the ACL and meniscus in his right knee while playing in a pickup basketball game. Exum underwent surgery, and he figures to be out 6-9 months. He will definitely miss spring practice and possibly some of next season’s games.

Exum, a second-team All-ACC selection and the MVP of the Russell Athletic Bowl, recorded 48 tackles (35 solo) and a team-leading five interceptions. He led the ACC with 16 pass breakups. His interception in the bowl game turned the momentum for Tech.

Longtime Tech athletics department employee passes away

Buford Meredith, the longest-tenured employee in the Tech athletics department, passed away on Jan. 23 at the age of 78.

Meredith, a grounds foreman, started working at Tech in 1962 and in the athletics department in April of 1966. He helped with the construction of Cassell Coliseum, and he helped build the Jamerson Athletics Center, which serves as the primary nerve center of the department. Meredith also helped maintain all of the athletics department’s facilities over the years, including the mowing of the fields and the cross country course.

Meredith is best known, though, for painting the lines and end zones on Worsham Field before home football games. He performed this task until 2005 when he started concentrating on other duties for home football games.

“He was so helpful and down to earth,” said Casey Underwood, the director of outside facilities in the athletics department and Meredith’s supervisor for the past 14 years. “He taught us a lot about athletics work and field painting. I picked up a lot of good habits from him. You just couldn’t ask for a better person to work with.

“I know a lot of people would ask me when Buford is going to retire, and I told them I didn’t know. I know he liked working, and as long as he wanted to, I was more than willing to have him around. He’s going to be missed.”

Meredith left behind his wife of 54 years, Shirley Stafford Meredith. The funeral was held Jan. 27 in Pembroke, Va.