Virginia Tech's new director of athletics
Tech's new outdoor track dedicated Sept. 27
by Jack Williams
James C. Weaver, whose innovative ideas and work as a reformer have made him one of college athletics' most popular administrators, is the new director of athletics at Virginia Tech.
Weaver, 52, replaces Dave Braine, who spent nine years at the Tech helm before accepting the athletic directorship at Georgia Tech in June. Weaver comes to Tech from Western Michigan University where he was director of athletics for two years. Previously, he was AD at University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV), where he rebuilt a troubled athletic department.
"We are convinced we have the right person for the job," says Tech President Paul Torgersen. "He has years of experience, some in tough, demanding roles."
Weaver says he is delighted to be associated with Virginia Tech. "I am pleased to be associated with a university known for quality academics and athletics," he says.
Weaver, a 1967 alumnus of Penn State, was a center and linebacker under the legendary coaches Rip Engle and Joe Paterno. "I learned a lot from Joe Paterno," Weaver says. "He always said, 'You either get better or you get worse. You never stay the same.'"
Weaver took two degrees from Penn State, a bachelor's in psychology and rehabilitation education and a master's in college counselor education. He began coaching as an assistant at Penn State and saw five bowl games in six seasons.
He later was the offensive coordinator at Kansas State and head coach for one season at Villanova in 1974. He also spent five years as an assistant professor at Clarion State and three years as director of franchise sales at Athletic Attic. He spent nine years at the University of Florida, where his last position was associate athletic director.
Weaver was hired at UNLV after a series of NCAA infractions were made public. He implemented a compliance and monitoring program, produced a departmental policy manual, initiated a life skills program, and also oversaw the construction of an $8.5-million athletic complex there. He drew raves at UNLV for his fund-raising expertise, generating nearly $15 million in his time there.
While at Western Michigan, Weaver announced creation of a $7-million football center and installed a CHAMPS Life Skills program.
He is married to Ernestine ("Ernie") Russell Weaver, a former Olympic gymnast and head coach of the 1980 USA Women's Olympic team.
by Jack Williams
Virginia Tech's new Johnson-Miller Outdoor Track Complex, one of 20 state-of-the-art complexes in the nation, was dedicated Sept. 27. The Johnson-Miller Track Complex was dedicated in honor of W. Stuart Johnson and Jack William Miller Jr., two former Hokie track stars from Richmond whose support made the facility possible.
Johnson, Tech's "Mr. Track" in 1952, was the first man elected to the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame solely on his records in track and field. Miller was co-captain of the 1953 track team. Johnson ran the 440, 220, and mile relays. Miller's specialty was the mile.
The new, outdoor, oval track with eight 42-inch lanes has a Mondo surface, identical to the one at the Atlanta stadium on which Olympic Games athletes participated in 1996. On the Tech track, alternating lanes are orange and maroon.
The complex includes a pole vault pit, long jump and triple jump areas, steeplechase lanes and areas for shot put, discus, hammer throw, javelin, and high jump events. For sprints, 10 lanes have been placed in one stretch on the south side of the track.
The outdoor track, coupled with a similar indoor track first used last winter, gives Tech what many believe is the finest track complex in America.
Jack Williams is director of sports information.