Virginia Tech coach Mike Young on what he expects in ACC
Ken Ruinard, The Greenville News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mike Young was named head basketball coach at Virginia Tech on April 7 after spending the previous 17 seasons as head coach at Wofford, where he won 299 games and guided the Terriers to five NCAA Tournaments.
His 2018 team finished with a 30-5 record, a Southern Conference championship and a first-round NCAA Tournament victory against Seton Hall.
Young, a Radford, Virginia, native, replaces Buzz Williams, who left to take the helm at Texas A&M after guiding the Hokies to a 26-9 record last season and a fifth-place ACC finish. Virginia Tech advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, but lost several top players off that team due to graduation, transfer and the NBA.
Here are six questions posed to Young during this week’s ACC Operation Basketball Media Day in Charlotte:
Are you more prepared for an ACC job now?
“Yeah. I think about it. Had this happened 10 years ago, I don’t know. They say the longest distance in coaching is that six inches from the assistant’s chair to the head coach’s chair.
“Well, there’s a parallel in there in terms of preparedness as a head coach as well. I do feel, after 17 years, you’ve seen a lot of plays, you’ve coached against a lot of really good people.”
What’s jumped out at you most about this preseason ACC media gathering?
“How many damn people are here. The throng of people everywhere. I think (at the Southern Conference media day) there were three people there and we got a pack of crackers and a bottle of water and they sent you on your way.”
How would you describe your courtside demeanor?
“I’m not jumping around, I’m not berating officials. I’m going to be the best version of me I can be. I’m going to treat people fairly, I’m going to coach my team. I’m going to worry about my team, not that other stuff and jumping up and down. I’m sure the old Cassell (Coliseum) is still as hot as ever in December, January, February, but not a lot of antics for me. I coach the team.”
How many technical fouls have you gotten?
“Four technicals in 17 years. I am very respectful of the job they (officials) have to do. Now to question, to ask for an interpretation, is one thing, but that’s how I’ve gone about it.”
Differences between Virginia Tech and Wofford?
“I told (former Virginia Tech coach) Seth Greenberg I don’t have to spell Virginia Tech. I used to have to spell my school’s name (Wofford) quite a bit. And I have a lot more people that return my calls now.”
How do you feel about your first game being at Clemson on Nov. 5?
“That is a very odd twist. I’ll be back to the Upstate for my first game as Virginia Tech head coach.”