Virginia Tech's Jim Weaver to step down - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Virginia Tech's Jim Weaver to step down

Posted: Updated:

3:10 p.m.


HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer

    
Jim Weaver, who has shepherded Virginia Tech through two conference realignments and overseen vast facilities improvements in 16 years as the school's athletic director, is stepping down.
    
"Once in a while, we're not able to live out our goals and objectives, and this is one of them," Weaver, 68, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday.
    
He said he made the decision about four weeks ago and informed senior staff Monday.
    
Weaver, who revealed in 2008 that he is battling Parkinson's disease, has had four back surgeries in recent years, along with a hip replacement, and is due to have both hips replaced in the near future. The surgeries are largely a result of the toll of Parkinson's on his body, he said.
    
"I'm not leaving at all in defeat," he said. "I feel like it's the best thing for me and my family."
    
Weaver arrived in September 1997, when the Hokies played football in the Big East and all other sports in the Atlantic 10. By 1999, the Big East invited the Hokies to become an all-sports member. Five years later, they moved again, joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004.
    
Under Weaver's watch, the Hokies have expanded Lane Stadium to its current capacity of 65,632, added luxury suites, and built a new football complex that was completed in 2010. The three-story building has a locker room on the bottom floor, a lounge for the football team on the second and wrestling facility on the third floor. The space vacated by the football program was then renovated to improve the facilities of the school's Olympic sports programs.
    
Virginia Tech also built a $20 million basketball practice facility that opened in 2009, complete with coaches offices and practice gyms for both the men's and women's teams, weight rooms and locker rooms, and this year added a new video board at Lane Stadium that is among the largest in the United States.
    
Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said in a statement posted on the university website that Weaver "has significantly expanded the program's size and quality winning in competition and in the classroom."
    
Steger said the school is in good shape financially and added: "I regret to see him leave this role. However, this is a demanding job. Jim's health precludes him from maintaining the same commitment and devotion he has shown since arriving here in 1997."
    
Weaver, whose contract went through Dec. 31, 2015, said he intends to serve on the search committee. The school announced that Sharon McClockey, senior associate athletic director, will hold the position on an interim basis beginning Jan. 1, just as she did before Weaver was hired 16 years ago.

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2:50 p.m.

Virginia Tech news release

Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver will step down as department head of the university's intercollegiate athletics unit, announced President Charles Steger.

"We have been fortunate to have Jim's strong leadership for more than 16 years at the athletics helm," said Steger. "He has significantly expanded the program's size and quality winning in competition and in the classroom. Financially, we are in very good condition. Jim is highly respected in the profession. I regret to see him leave this role. However, this is a demanding job. Jim's health precludes him from maintaining the same commitment and devotion he has shown since arriving here in 1997."

"I have had the pleasure of serving a great university and working with outstanding staff and coaches. I am very proud of our many accomplishments. We compete and win, said Weaver. "We have some of the nation's best fans and, most importantly, our students graduate with a first class education. However, leadership of this important university role requires active engagement. I am not able to do that at this time. The department is in good shape, but I am not. So, Dr. Steger and I agree that now is the right time to seek my replacement," said Weaver.

During Weaver's tenure the university significantly expanded and improved athletic facilities. The Merryman Center sports medicine and conditioning complex was completed in 1998. The Lane Stadium South End Zone expansion added almost 12,000 seats in 2003 and in 2006 the West Side expansion brought club seats, luxury boxes, and office and academic spaces for the athletic program.

A state of the art basketball practice complex, the Hahn Hurst Practice Facility was completed in 2009.  Improvements were made to softball, English Field, the soccer and lacrosse fields among many others.

Of course, the university achieved a half-century long goal by joining the Atlantic Coast Conference 2003 beginning play in 2004.

"I am exceedingly pleased to see Jim's emphasis on all-around excellence seeking competitive teams in non-revenue sports, in addition to our outstanding play in revenue sports," said Steger. "He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to academic accomplishments. Indeed, just last month the NCAA release data showing the Virginia Tech has the highest graduation rates among public schools in the ACC."

Ray Smoot, former chief executive officer of the Virginia Tech Foundation, will chair a national search for the next athletic director. Smoot also chaired the director's search in 1997.

The university expects to name a replacement early in 2014. Sharon McCloskey, senior associate athletic director, will serve as interim athletic director effective Jan. 1, 2014.

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2:11 p.m.

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver tells The Associated Press he'll step down at month's end.

Weaver has been suffering from Parkinson's disease, which he revealed in 2006.

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