Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced Wednesday that men’s basketball head coach Buzz Williams has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in Blacksburg through the 2022-23 season. In just his second year with the Hokies, Williams guided the squad to 20 victories and a berth in the NIT. The Hokies enter the 2016-17 campaign as a consensus preseason Top 25 squad, marking the first time Tech will begin a season ranked since 2010-11.
“Coach Williams has made a positive impact on the culture of our basketball program at Virginia Tech in a very short time,” Babcock said. “Just as importantly, he’s a teacher, an educator, and he’s served as an ambassador for Virginia Tech, not only on our campus and in Virginia, but also all across the country. We appreciate all that Coach Williams and his staff have already done for our students and our program. We appreciate their commitment to continuing the work they have so successfully begun at Virginia Tech. Our future is bright.”
After inheriting a program that went 9-22 overall and 2-16 in ACC play before his arrival in 2013-14, Williams led Tech to a 20-15 mark and a 10-8 ACC record this past campaign. A six-game ACC winning streak included a decisive 77-62 victory against No. 7 Miami on Virginia Tech Carilion Court. The Hokies also posted a 70-68 victory over No. 4 Virginia earlier in the season at Cassell Coliseum. That six-game conference victory string was Tech’s longest since winning eight consecutive Southern Conference contests in 1964-65. Williams joined Don DeVoe, who coached the Hokies from 1971-76, as the only Tech men’s basketball head coach to register a 20-win season within two years of his arrival in Blacksburg.
“Our family is incredibly appreciative of the faith that Whit, Dr. Sands and everyone have placed in me and our talented staff,” Williams said. “I keep telling everyone across the country that there’s something special about Virginia Tech. We have great momentum as a university and athletic department. The people make it special.”
“Our students and fans really helped energize Cassell Coliseum this season,” Williams continued. “When Cassell is packed and really rocking, there’s no better homecourt advantage in America. Our staff and our players are going to continue working hard to get better every day and to ensure that the Hokie Nation is proud of the way we’re representing them and our university.”
Virginia Tech’s turnaround, from 2-16 to 10-8, is the greatest in ACC history among programs that won fewer than three conference games the year prior. The Hokies are only the third team in ACC history to win eight or more league games than the previous season. Only two other Power Five programs (Cal and Oregon State) that went through a coaching transition in 2014 have posted better conference marks over the past two campaigns, but neither of those squads finished last in the Pac-12 in 2013-14.
Respected for his prowess as an educator, mentor, motivator and recruiter, Williams’ enthusiastic and selfless approach off the court has been just as impactful as his well-documented work with the basketball program. His staff and student-athletes have passionately embraced Tech’s spirit of Ut Prosim, lending their time and support to many campus events and community causes. That zeal for Virginia Tech has also inspired Buzz and Corey Williams to “pay it forward” and fund two endowed scholarships for deserving students.
The Buzz’s Bunch Scholarship Endowment will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech in any field of study who is registered with Services for Students with Disabilities. Buzz’s Bunch is a non-profit organization that the Williams family created eight years
ago at Marquette and have continued at Virginia Tech as a way to bring children with disabilities and special needs together and allow them to fall in love with the game of basketball. This endowed scholarship further strengthens the longstanding pledge the Williams family has made to help those with disabilities and special needs reach their full potential.
The Buzz and Corey Williams Family Student-Athlete Scholarship – In Memory of T. Marshall Hahn will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student-athlete participating on any women’s intercollegiate teams at Virginia Tech. First preference shall be given to students who are the first generation of their family to pursue a post-secondary (college) education. Preference shall also be given to students who are members of an underrepresented population at Virginia Tech. This scholarship recognizes Coach Williams’ deep appreciation for his friendship with the late Dr. Hahn and the many initiatives he championed during his tenure at Tech to develop a culture of diversity and inclusion for all Hokies.
“Dr. Hahn was an amazing man and leader,” Williams said. “I valued my friendship with him immensely. I miss him. He was a mentor to me, my staff and our players. I will always remember his kindness and hospitality. In particular, the visits to see him at his farm in Ellett Valley were truly special and memorable.”
“Both of these scholarships possess special significance for our family,” Williams added. “It’s a privilege to be part of the fabric and give back to the Virginia Tech community. Hopefully these scholarships not only reflect our appreciation for those who helped nurture an environment of learning, but also help open doors to our campus to individuals who may not have otherwise had a chance to attend.”
Prior to his arrival in Blacksburg, Williams produced a 139-69 record in six seasons at Marquette. His squads earned five NCAA appearances, including a trip to the regional finals in 2012-13 season, the same season the team won the Big East Conference regular season title. Williams led the Golden Eagles to a 69-39 Big East Conference record during his time in Milwaukee.
The Van Alstyne, Texas, native will enter his 23rd season as an NCAA Division I coach in 2016-17, a stint that has included tenures as an assistant, associate head coach and head coaching responsibilities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Oklahoma City University in 1994 before completing his master’s work in the same field at Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1999.
Williams is married to the former Corey Norman. The couple has two daughters, Zera and Addyson, and two sons, Calvin and Mason.