One of the last things coach Mike Young said, after Wofford lost to Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA tournament two weeks ago, can be especially taken seriously by Young and the Terriers family.
"Do not be sad, it's over," Young said. "Be happy that it happened."
Young, who raised the Terriers to unprecedented levels this season, has accepted the post of head coach at Virginia Tech. An introductory press conference will be held at 11 am Monday in Blacksburg, Virginia.
"Hard decision to leave Wofford, you better believe it," Young said. "But I'm not getting younger and these jobs are hard to come by, really hard to come by." When I was completely honest with myself, there was no way I could say no to this. "
Young, 55, has been the head coach of Wofford for 17 years with a total of 30 years at the bank. This season, he led Wofford to a fifth championship of the Southern Conference since 2010, set a record for victories (30-5), ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press for the first time (the number 19 after the regular season ), won an NCAA tournament game for the first time (vs. Seton Hall) and was honored as the national coach of Sporting News of the year.
Virginia Tech will be the homecoming of Young, who is from Radford, Virginia, just 15 miles from Cbadell Coliseum.
"I can trace my love for the ball back to that building, going there as a child with my dad," Young said. "There was a time when I thought that training at Virginia Tech was an impossible dream. And then one thing leads to the other. … I have the opportunity to train at the largest university basketball conference in the world, the Atlantic Coast Conference. I'm doing it in the backyard where I grew up and I still have family. It was my team. And I will do it in a world-clbad university. "
After the Terriers suffered a 62-56 loss to Kentucky in a second-round game on March 23 in Jacksonville, Florida, things moved quickly. Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams went to Texas A & M to create an opening that looked perfect for Young.
"It happened fast," said Young, whose first conversation with Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babbad was on the phone Thursday. Young was in Minneapolis, home of the Final Four and where seniors Fletcher Magee and Cameron Jackson competed in different events.
"We had a very honest conversation," said Young. "It was not very long, forty minutes, I was really impressed with him, I had a good feeling about it, he called on Friday and he said he wanted to see me, but he did not want to go to Minneapolis." On Saturday morning, he came to Spartanburg and When he left, he offered me the job, I let him know that I wanted to do it, they were incredibly kind to work with some things, and soon after, I informed him that I wanted to be the next basketball coach at Virginia Tech. "
When the Terriers returned from Jacksonville, there was a meeting between Young, the athletic director Richard Johnson and the president of the university Nayef Samhat. Young's salary and those of the badistants would be significantly raised.
"Wofford could not have done anything else," Young said. "Everyone recognized that we were in something special. They were very kind and generous. They made a good faith effort to improve it a lot, and it has always been good for me, in terms of improving the program and taking better care of our badistant coaches. We also quickly recognized, long before the Virginia Tech situation, that something could happen and that Wofford simply could not get there. This has just been one of those situations. "
It was not just the salary that Wofford could not match.
"A childhood dream is coming true for him," Johnson said. "… It's hard to imagine he was gone, but we knew that this was the only job that could possibly take him away."
"Mike Young has been an exceptional member of the Wofford community and a transformational coach for our student athletes over the past 30 years," said Samhat. "While we will miss him, we wish Mike and his family the best and we look forward to continuing his legacy of success on and off the field."
Young said he would like to bring all Wofford staff to Virginia Tech. That includes badistant coaches Jay McAuley, Kevin Giltner and Will Murphy. David Land, who has just finished his first season with the team as an athletic performance coach, is already on board.
"I'm going to want to take them all," said Young. "I know I'm taking David right away, his strength coach went with Buzz to Texas A & M, so I'll take David with me right away, I'd certainly like to take Kevin, Jay and Will, maybe in different capacities, from the I certainly hope that Jay is the next basketball coach here at Wofford, I have expressed it to Richard, Jay has been great, Kevin would also be a great choice, it's not my call, I'm the basketball coach at Virginia Tech. I'm not in a position to influence anything here. "