Photo courtesy of VT Athletics
Former Virginia Tech quarterback and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and his wife, Christine – both of whom are Virginia Tech graduates – have made a substantial and impactful commitment to the Virginia Tech Football Enhancement Fund.
This gift represents another notable investment in the Reach for Excellence capital fundraising campaign that aims to raise $400 million to fund major initiatives within Virginia Tech Football and Virginia Tech Athletics.
“Virginia Tech football is a special brotherhood, and creates a bond for all Hokies,” Arians said. “I’m not able to get back to campus very often, but I have and will continue to wear the VT proudly supporting our program. Blacksburg is such a special town and an amazing place to develop as a college football player. It’s my hope that this gift provides the opportunity for our program to continue to strive for excellence, developing these student-athletes both on and off the field.”
To honor the Arians’ generous contribution to Virginia Tech Football, the quarterback meeting room will now be known as the Bruce Arians Room. The room, which is used daily by Tech student-athletes and coaches, is located in the Merryman Athletic Center within Michael Vick Hall.
Arians played quarterback for Tech from 1971-74 and started his coaching career in Blacksburg as a graduate assistant (1975-76) and running backs coach (1977) for the Hokies. As a player, Arians rushed for 11 touchdowns during the 1974 season, a Tech quarterback record that stood for over 40 years until Jerod Evans surpassed it with 12 rushing touchdowns in 2016.
“Over the years I’ve tried to stay as connected as possible both with the program and Coach Fuente,” he continued. “I’m encouraged by the trajectory of the program and trust that under his leadership we can get back to competing for championships. I also hope that many more of my fellow Hokie football alums find a way to reconnect and give back to the program that means so much to us.”
A two-time Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year with Indianapolis (2012) and Arizona (2014), Arians guided Tampa Bay to a 31-9 win over Kansas City in Super Bowl LV. A three-time World Champion, Arians also earned a Super Bowl XLIII ring as offensive coordinator for Pittsburgh and served as the Steelers wide receivers coach en route to their Super Bowl XL victory.
“As we continue with our Reach for Excellence comprehensive campaign, it is encouraging to see such a former Hokie student-athlete give back to ensure the best experience for our current and future football student-athletes,” said Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock.
“Virginia Tech made a tremendous impact on his life and career. He is a Hokie to his core. We are proud of him and incredibly grateful for his generosity,” Babcock said. “Coach Arians is such a renowned figure in the National Football League, the best of the best, and we are so happy to have him supporting our vision to continue the march forward from a challenger to a champion brand.”
Among the many notable stops in Arians’s coaching career, he served as running backs coach for Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama (1981-82) before serving as head coach at Temple (1983-88). He then accepted his first NFL assignment as running backs coach for Marty Schottenheimer and the Kansas City Chiefs (1989-92).
“It’s definitely appropriate that our quarterbacks will meet in the Bruce Arians Room going forward,” VT head coach Justin Fuente said. “First and foremost, thanks to Bruce and Chris for their continued support of Virginia Tech and Tech Football. They share a great passion for their alma mater, and it was wonderful to host their family at our Middle Tennessee State game earlier this year. Bruce’s accomplishments as a football coach are well documented, and I’ve enjoyed developing a relationship with him during my time in Blacksburg.”
Throughout his NFL coaching career, Arians has developed a well-deserved reputation for elevating the performance of his quarterbacks. That illustrious list includes Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, and Tom Brady.