Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 14 No. 4 | February 2022

Dear Hokie Nation, I hope you all are enjoying a happy and healthy start to 2022. We turn the page from 2021 with a great deal of optimism to make this year the most successful in Virginia Tech Athletics history. I could not be more excited to build on the momentum we gathered at the close of the year as a department to excel even more in the year 2022. All of Hokie Nation should be very encouraged about the staff head football coach Brent Pry is building in Blacksburg. The coaches he has brought in offer a fresh, enthusiastic perspective, which I believe is just what our program needs to get in the right direction. Even with the change at the head coach, we were able to hold on to a very talented top 25 recruiting class. I think that really speaks to the work Coach Pry is doing to get these young men to buy into his vision for the success of Virginia Tech Football. There’s a long road ahead, but I know this staff is off to a great start making an impression nationally. We are nearing the most intriguing time of the year for our winter sports. Coach Brooks and Coach Young are currently in the heat of navigating their teams through the ACC gauntlet. I couldn’t be more confident to have those two leading us in the toughest basketball conference in the country. Coach Robie and Hokies Wrestling are off to a strong start, and they have some studentathletes that really have a legitimate chance to win on the grandest stage in Detroit in March. It is truly admirable what those programs accomplished this season in the midst of hurdling the challenges of the pandemic. I also wanted to take the time to thank you for your continued flexibility and compliance with our university’s policies in combating the spread of COVID-19. The health of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and our fans has remained our top priority while devising a plan to have safe attendance at Cassell. We are nearing the stretch before the ACC and NCAA Tournaments, and I hope you can come out to Cassell to cheer them on for some crucial conference games and duals. It’s hard to believe we are on the cusp of kicking off the spring sports season as well. When the weather warms up, which I know it seems like it takes a while in Blacksburg to do, I’ll be excited to see you in the sunshine to cheer on our Hokies. Our spring sports programs have been working hard all offseason to make an impression in 2022. I’m confident that some great things will be achieved at Tech Softball Park, English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park, Thompson Field, Johnson/Miller Track Complex, and the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center by the end of May. I am proud to say we are nearing the completion of our “Drive for 25” campaign to reach 25,000 Hokie Club members. When we set this goal in 2016 when we only had around 9,500 members of the Hokie Club. Seeing us reach that threshold six years later will be a celebration of the hard work by our staff, but also a reminder that we can do even more to ensure the best possible studentathlete experience in Blacksburg. It’s also a testament to the dedication of our fans who helped us rise to the occasion on our quest to become a top-tier athletic department in the ACC. We still have our eyes set on our $400 million “Reach for Excellence” campaign, an effort that has raised almost $180 million only six months after the launch. We have momentum, but we still need all of Hokie Nation behind us to fuel this effort to bolster the Football Enhancement Fund, renovation project for Cassell Coliseum, scholarship endowments, and the success of all of our sports. If you’re planning on giving to the Hokie Scholarship Fund, please consider the upcoming March 31st deadline to be eligible for the benefits we can provide for you. The year 2022 has the potential to be one of our most successful years in the history of Virginia Tech Athletics. Thank you for your unwavering support of our student-athletes. Go Hokies! Whit Babcock Director of Athletics 2 A WORD FROM WHIT