Former Wofford boss introduced as Virginia Tech’s new coach
By Marty Gordon
Mike Young grew up in Radford, playing basketball on the neighborhood playground. His father, Bob, who was the principal at Dalton Intermediate School, would take him to basketball camps and games at Virginia Tech.
“I have great memories of being at the Cassell, watching Tech games and feeling the building shake,” he said.
He also played high school basketball at Radford High School. He would leave to play at Emory and Henry College and spend a year as an assistant at Radford University before heading to Wofford College.
Now Young has come full circle and was introduced Monday as the new men’s basketball coach at Virginia Tech. He called the opportunity “a dream come true.”
“I’m thrilled to be back home,” Young told onlookers at a press conference, that of course included his father and lots of Radford family and friends.
His father still lives in Radford and would try to attend as many Wofford games as possible, but you’re talking about 222 miles, three and half hours one way – that all changes with the new job.
The elder Young spent 30 years as a principal and is well-known in the community. In addition, Young’s wife, Margaret, also has family in the New River Valley.
“I am so glad to be home. I remember coming to the Cassell, and it’s a pleasure to be back,” he said.
Young’s only head-coaching job has been his long tenure at Wofford, spending 17 years at the South Carolina school.
Monday, he addressed that experience.
“I felt a sense of loyalty for Wofford. I had other opportunities, but it was this one that made a lot of sense and I would love to spend another 15-16 years here [in Blacksburg],” he told reporters.
Young compiled a 299-244 (.551) overall record at Wofford and earned Southern Conference Coach of the Year honors four times (2010, 2014, 2015 and 2019).
Young himself played collegiately at Emory and Henry College and spent time as assistant at his alma mater.
Current Radford High basketball coach Rick Cormany calls Young a friend. Monday, he was one of Radford supporters sitting in the stands at the presser.
“He is one of the best. He understands the game, and he gets it,” Cormany said.
Frank Martin, head coach at the University of South Carolina, weighed in.
“Mike Young is an elite human being who is also an elite basketball coach. He gets teams to play mistake-free team basketball. He will continue building on the winning traditions that Virginia Tech has been creating.”
John Beilein, head coach at the University of Michigan, expressed appreciation too.
“I am so happy for Mike Young! He is going to have a very positive and lasting impact on the Virginia Tech basketball program. Buzz [Williams] did an amazing job in his years at Virginia Tech and I expect Mike to have similar success.”
The new Hokie boss also praised the former VT coach, Buzz Williams, for what he accomplished in Blacksburg.
“He has accomplished a lot here, and the culture is in place for us to continue what he started,” Young said.
Young will now turn his attention to building a coaching staff and filling the roster. The official spring recruiting season starts April 15.
He said his phone has been busy with assistant coaches wanting to come here to be on his staff and there has been some speculation that that staff could include another Radford High School graduate. Darris Nichols is currently an assistant on the University of Florida basketball staff.
While Young said he is not ready to announce any staff, he hopes to have them in place in the near future.
“We will and need to hit the ground running. My staff will be up for the challenge. We have a staff that will represent this program,” he said.