BIG 10 fans are beyond tired of hearing how bad they are. The problem is, they’re going to keep hearing it. They loathe the SEC and other power conferences. They’re appalled that they have to defend themselves at every turn. After all, they’re the BIG 10—home of The Ohio State, The Big House…and Rutgers?
Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver has announced that he is stepping down later this month after 16 years on the job.
Weaver has overseen the Hokies through two conference realignments and an array of facilities upgrades that include expansions to Lane Stadium, a $20 million basketball practice facility, and a new football facility that opened in 2010.
The 68-year old Weaver told the AP that he made the decision about four weeks ago and informed his senior staff on Monday.
Weaver’s contract ran through Dec. 31, 2015, but health issues forced his retirement.
In 2008, Weaver announced that he had Parkinson’s disease, and the physical effects of the disease has caused has numerous back and hip operations in recent years. He is scheduled to have both hips replaced in the near future.
“I’m not leaving at all in defeat,” Weaver said. “I feel like it’s the best thing for me and my family.”
Virginia Tech president Charles Steger said in a statement that Weaver expanded the program’s size, improved it on the field, and is leaving it on solid good shape financially.
“I regret to see him leave this role. However, this is a demanding job,” Steger said in the release. “Jim’s health precludes him from maintaining the same commitment and devotion he has shown since arriving here in 1997.”
Sharon McClockey, senior associate athletic director, will hold the position on an interim basis beginning Jan. 1.
Weaver told the AP that he will be part of the search committee for his replacement.
Photo: Virginia Tech Athletics
Oklahoma announces Bill Bedenbaugh hire
Oklahoma officially announced Bill Bedenbaugh as the Sooners’ offensive line coach. Bedenbaugh spent the past two seasons in the same capacity at West Virginia University.
“Bill is a passionate teacher and a demanding coach who I believe will make an immediate impact on our football team,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said. “His track record of developing physical and disciplined offensive linemen makes him an excellent fit for our program.
“Bill is also an accomplished recruiter who will join the rest of our staff in continuing to attract some of the nation’s most talented student-athletes to Oklahoma.”
Bedenbaugh, who coached under Mike Stoops at Arizona prior to his stint at West Virginia, considered Oklahoma one of his dream destinations.
“I have a great admiration for the championship tradition of Oklahoma football and can’t wait to get on the field with our student-athletes this spring,” said Bedenbaugh. “I’ve admired the Sooners for many years, and possess a great appreciation for the talent on this roster and coaching staff.”
Bedenbaugh coached seven seasons on Mike Leach’s staff at Texas Tech from 2000-06. He was a graduate assistant/offensive line coach from 2000-02, before joining the full-time staff as running backs coach in 2003-04 and offensive line in 2005-06.
He was named one of 247sports.com’s Top 50 Recruiters earlier this month.
Jamie Bryant hired at Youngstown State
Jamie Bryant has been named special teams coordinator and assistant linebackers coach on Eric Wolford’s staff at Youngstown State. Bryant spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Houston on the staffs of Tony Levine and Kevin Sumlin. In 2012, he served as the Cougars’ defensive coordinator. Before Houston, Bryant coached the secondary at Vanderbilt from 2002-10. He spent one year coordinating special teams and was the defensive coordinator during his final two seasons. Bryant was defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Saint Francis (Pa.) in 2000 before moving to North Carolina as a defensive GA in 2001.
James Madison announces Curt Newsome hiring
James Madison has officially announced the hiring of Curt Newsome as offensive line coach. Newsome was let go at Virginia Tech in January after seven seasons with the Hokies. The move has been speculated since December, but just became official. This will be Newsome’s second stint with JMU. He served as the Dukes’ assistant head coach and offensive line coach from 2003-2005, tight ends and tackles coach (2002) and defensive line coach (1999-01).