College Sports

Mike Young leaving Wofford for Va Tech. Here’s why it’s a great hire for Hokies

Mike Young made Wofford College his home for 30 years. Now, the Virginia native is returning to his original home.

Young was officially named the head coach at Virginia Tech on Sunday night. The Radford, Virginia, native is replacing Buzz Williams, who accepted the Texas A&M head coaching job on Wednesday.

Young built Wofford’s program from the ground up as he was an assistant when the Terriers went from Division II to Division I in 1995-96 and became head coach prior to the 2002-03 season.

Wofford had a 68-126 record in Division I prior to Young becoming the head coach. He slowly improved upon that mark until taking the Terriers to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2010.

Wofford has made regular appearances in the NCAA Tournament since then, going to the Big Dance five times in the past 10 seasons. Young had his best team this year as the Terriers defeated Seton Hall in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Kentucky in the round of 32.

Young is a strong Xs and Os coach who always seems to get the most out of his teams. He recorded wins over Power 5 schools North Carolina, South Carolina, Purdue, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and others during his time with the Terriers.

At Wofford he was able to find under-the-radar recruits and develop them into solid contributors.

Fletcher Magee did not have any scholarship offers from Power 5 schools coming out of high school but went to Wofford and led the Terriers to a perfect 21-0 record against Southern Conference teams this year, while setting the NCAA Division I record for career 3-pointers made in the process.

Senior Cameron Jackson was a lightly-recruited prospect before going to Wofford and becoming an All-SoCon performer. He had 18 points, nine rebounds and six blocks during a win at North Carolina in the 2017-18 season.

Despite Wofford being one of the smallest Division I schools in the country, Young was able to build plenty of connections. This year’s roster featured players from South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Young built Wofford into one of the top mid-major programs in the country during his time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, despite having limited resources and taking over a program that had no prior Division I success.

He now goes to an ACC program that is coming off of a Sweet 16 appearance and that reached the NCAA Tournament each of the previous three years.

Young will be able to attract better recruits and should win big at Virginia Tech. Yes, there will be challenges as far as playing in the ACC, having more pressure and recruiting against Power 5 programs. But he has shown that his method works and the success should continue as he returns home.

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