Arians, Chancellor among seven members to be inducted into Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame

Bruce Arians on the sidelines during pregame of the Middle Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech game in 2021 (WSLS)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame announced its 2022 class of inductees to be inducted on Friday, November 4. The seven members include Bruce Arians, Kam Chancellor, Mike Gentry, Dorotea Habazin, Vince Hall, Marcel Lomnicky and Sara Smith.

Having spent 1971-1974 as quarterback of the Hokies football team, Bruce Arians held the record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season, 11, by a VT quarterback. It’s a record that stood for more than 40 years until Jerod Evans tallied 12 in 2016. Arians’ long journey as a coach recently ended in 2021 but not before winning Super Bowl LV as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the win Arians also became the first Virginia Tech alumnus to win the Super Bowl as head coach. He also served as an assistant for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they captured Super Bowl XLIII. The two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year created The Arians Family Foundation with his wife Christine in 2013 to support CASA (Children Appointed Special Advocates). It insures children involved in the court system due to abuse or neglect receive the necessary love and help.

Known for brining the boom, Kam Chancellor burst on the scene in Blacksburg in 2006 as a quarterback. It didn’t take long before he found his footing in the Hokies secondary, earning second-team All-ACC honors in 2009. Chancellor was also part of two VT teams that won the ACC championship game and the 2009 Orange Bowl. Drafted in the 5th round in 2010, Chancellor was part of the infamous ‘Legion of Boom’ with the Seattle Seahawks. He was a 2012 Pro Bowl selection before earning his first All-Pro recognition in 2013. He was also part of the the Super Bowl XLVIII team that defeated Peyton Manning and the Broncos 43-8.

Virginia Tech's Kam Chancellor knocks down a pass against North Carolina's Richard Quinn during the North Carolina- Virginia Tech football game at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Don Petersen) (AP2007)

Another force to be reckoned with on the Hokies defense from 2003-2007 was Vince Hall. The three-time All-ACC honoree recorded over 100 tackles in three seasons with his most dominant being in 2006. Reliability was a huge attribute of Hall, having started 44 consecutive games at one point in his career. The 2006 Dudley Award Winner went on to spend time with the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills practice squads.

Dorotea Habazin became the second woman in school history to claim a national championship when she earned the hammer throw title in 2011. The three-time All-American and four-time ACC champion held the ACC record for the hammer throw (68.36) from 2011-2021.

Marcel Lomnicky stands as one of the most accomplished Hokies in school history. As the schools only three-time Olympian, Lomnicky began hoisting trophies and medals early in his career in Blacksburg. In 2009, Lomnický won his first national championship in the hammer throw, the same year that he earned his first All-America nod in the weight throw. By the time his career was complete, Lomnický had six All-America recognitions to his name. Accompanying his accomplishments on the national stage, Lomnický had five ACC titles. In 2009 and 2012, he claimed the weight throw crown, while earning three-consecutive hammer throw championships between 2009 and 2011. His 2011 hammer throw record of 74.84m still stands as a school record. Lomnický's dominance spreads much further than the collegiate realm, however. The Slovakian has appeared in three Olympics, five World Championships and five European Championships. With his appearance in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he became the first Hokie to appear in three Olympic games.

Virginia Tech's Marcel Lomnicky throws in the finals to win the Weight Throw during the NCAA indoor track and field championships on Saturday, March 10, 2012 in Nampa, Idaho. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley) (Matt Cilley/AP Photo)

Longtime strength and conditioning coach Mike Gentry played a pivotal role in Virginia Tech athletics during his tenure from 1987-2015. During his tenure at Tech, Gentry oversaw the strength and conditioning of all varsity sports programs, while supervising the sports nutrition and sports psychology units, as well. Highly-revered both in Blacksburg and across the country, Gentry was inducted into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010, while American Football Monthly also named him its Samson Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in 2005.

Sara Smith became an All-American as a sophomore in 2007 in the 100 freestyle before earning six more honorable mention All-America nods throughout her career. Along with her success in the national spotlight, Smith claimed six ACC titles — five as an individual and one in a relay. In four seasons, Smith earned All-ACC recognition three times in her career. In 2008, she was named the 2008 ACC Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year. As a biology major with a minor in chemistry, Smith was named to the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III team. Smith wrapped up her career as a staple in the Virginia Tech record books. At the time of her graduation, she was regarded as the fastest female swimmer in both Tech and ACC history for her preliminary round times as a senior. Smith finished her career as the school record holder in the 50 and 100 freestyle and still holds the school records over a decade later, along with the Tech record in the 200 freestyle relay.

About the Authors:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.