Belk Bowl takes on special meaning for Foster, Hokies defense

Virginia Tech has dedicated the Belk Bowl to celebrate the long-time defensive line coach and will present him with the lunch pail afterwards.

ROANOKE, Va. – As the Virginia Tech Hokies prepare for their upcoming Belk Bowl matchup with Kentucky, they’re doing so without long-time defensive line coach Charley Wiles. It was announced earlier this month that the Hokies and Wiles had departed ways and he wouldn’t be returning to the coaching staff next season. That coupled with the news that he wouldn’t be at the bowl game came as a surprise to many.

This is why outgoing defensive coordinator Bud Foster and the Hokies defense have decided to dedicate this game to Wiles -- who spent 23 years coaching the defensive line in Blacksburg. They will even take it a step further and present Wiles with the famous lunch pail. Foster credits Wiles for helping Blacksburg become “sacksburg”, since the program has piled up nearly 900 sacks since the duo started coaching together in the mid-1990s.

“I know he was extremely disappointed and hurt. I was hoping he would stay and coach this game because he deserves to go out the right way just like I did,” Foster said. “He’s been as big a part of this growth and development as I have been.”

“He’s always there for everybody. He’s so funny and brings life to the room everywhere he goes. We just want to send him out the right way because he’s given so much to this program and so much to us as individuals,” said Rayshard Ashby, sophomore linebacker for the Hokies.

Kickoff for the Belk Bowl will be at noon on Dec. 31 at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.

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