24 Inside Hokie Sports “Ace is one of those guys, you never hear a bad thing about him,” Young said. “A guy that has done it at a high level and deservedly has his number retired. That’s powerful.” Now, Custis serves as a mentor for those in the same shoes he once walked in. Custis shares his previous experiences with the guys and tries to help guide them. Sometimes he likes to make a joke out of it, but the team knows when he’s serious. Custis played as long as he could until he knew it was time to hang it up. “They always told me to play until your wheels fall off,” Custis said. “[With] my knee injuries over the years, I knew it was time for me to walk away.” But Custis knew he didn’t want to step away from the game completely. Custis always wanted to be a coach. Even in high school, he used to pay attention to the little details and took something from every coach he was around. He landed an assistant job at Virginia State before moving on to Maryland-Eastern Shore for five years. Although the two weren’t close, Custis and Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young faced off during his time at Wofford and knew each other through basketball circles. “Talking to folks here, I knew coming back to Virginia Tech was important for him,” Young said. “It was something he desired to do. He loves Virginia Tech.” The more the two talked, the more Young knew that Custis would be a perfect fit on his staff and asked him to be the coordinator of basketball relations, a gig he only served for one season before being promoted to special assistant to the head coach. Continued from page 23 LEGEND’S A Custis, who was an assistant coach for Maryland Eastern Shore, shakes hands with former teammate David Jackson prior to a nonconference game between Tech and UMES on Dec. 10, 2017. The two are now reunited on the same staff at Tech.