Buzz Williams Leaves Marquette For Virginia Tech (UPDATED) | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / July 14.
  • Buzz Williams Leaves Marquette For Virginia Tech (UPDATED)

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    Buzz Williams has left Marquette to take the same position at Virginia Tech, becoming the sixth former Big East coach to helm an ACC school next year.

    Williams, who will reportedly sign a 7-year deal in Blacksburg to take over for James Johnson after two seasons, had a highly-successful six seasons with the Golden Eagles, compiling a 139-65 record.

    In those six seasons, Marquette went to the NCAA Tournament five times, including the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite Eight last season where the Golden Eagles fell in the East Regional final to Big East-rival Syracuse.

    Williams will join former Big East coaches Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Jamie Dixon (Pitt), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State) and Rick Pitino (Louisville) in the ACC next season.

    “It’s never easy to leave a great school like Marquette, where I spent seven wonderful years, six as the head coach,” Williams said in a statement released by Virginia Tech. “But this is a special situation to work at a place like Virginia Tech. I’ve heard tremendous things about this terrific institution and this is an outstanding opportunity to build a program. My family and I look forward to becoming a part of this great university and community, and taking on the challenges associated in succeeding in the ACC.”

    Said Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock: “Buzz is a proven winner who has earned his way up through the ranks with a strong track record of success. I am confident he will energize our fan base and help make Virginia Tech basketball competitive in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I know he will recruit at the highest level.”

    Sources confirmed to that former UCLA and Pittsburgh head coach Ben Howland wants the Golden Eagles job. That was first reported by ESPN’s Andy Katz.

    Before Howland took the Bruins to the 2006 national championship and the Final Four in each of the next two seasons, he won 89 games over four seasons in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with Pitt.

    Marquette has five commitments from the Class of 2014, including Blair Academy small forward Marial Shayok. 

    A call from to Williams’ cell phone yielded a voice message with his voice stating he was no longer in possession of the cell phone. He then provided the number to Virginia Tech’s basketball office.

    That Elite Eight season of 2012-13 marked the only time Williams won a Big East regular-season title. The Golden Eagles were tri-champions with Georgetown and eventual national champion Louisville at 14-4 in conference-play.

    Marquette went 17-15 this season, failing to get selected for either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.

    With the Virginia Tech job filled, Wake Forest, Marquette, Boston College, Washington St. and USF are the high-major coaching vacancies at the moment.

    “We sincerely appreciate the contributions Buzz has made to Marquette, both on and off the court,” said Marquette interim vice president Bill Cords. “During his six-year tenure, he helped elevate the program to one of the most successful in the Big East Conference. We wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future. We have already begun a search for our next head coach. The dedicated commitment in support of, and investment in, its men’s basketball program gives us a great foundation to be consistently successful, and we look forward to finding the right person who will make us stronger in the future.”

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