Not that he was on the move,but now it sure looks like Tony Bennett will be sticking around Charlottesville for a while.The University of Virginiamen's basketball coach has signeda five-year contract extension which will keep him with the school through 2019, according to reports.Bennett, who joined the program in 2009 after coaching Washington State, guided the Cavaliers to a 22-10 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance this past season.The Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported the news.
In his first game with the Virginia Tech Hokies, Jerod Evans will be leading the team as the starting quarterback, head coach Justin Fuente announced on Thursday. The quarterback competition started as a two-man race between Evans and fifth-year senior Brenden Motley before a late surge by true freshman Josh Jackson turned it into a three-way battle. In the end, however, the decision was no surprise.
Evans, a junior transfer, began his college career at Air Force in 2013. He transferred to Trinity Valley Community College where he developed into a dynamic talent. In 2015, Evans threw for 395.5 yards per game and 38 touchdowns in just eight games before a wrist injury ended his season.
Rated as the No. 1 dual-threat JUCO quarterback in the country, Evans was recruited by Fuente while he was still at Memphis and chose to follow the head coach to Blacksburg.
New coaches are rarely afforded the opportunity of starting their own recruit in their first season at a new school. Given that and the high potential of Evans as a playmaker, it was ultimately no surprise to hear Fuente peg him as the starter.
The announcement came with one caveat, however. Evans was named the starter specifically for the opener against Liberty, but not beyond that. Granted, Evans would have to play pretty poorly to force Fuente into switching starters the week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee, but an opener against an FCS team should allow for Fuente to play multiple quarterbacks. If Motley outplays Evans, perhaps it could reignite the quarterback battle.
Even so, Thursday's announcement shows the starting job is now Evans to lose.
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When Virginia opens the season on Sept. 3 against Richmond, they will have a new quarterback starting under center. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall named junior transfer Kurt Benkert the starting quarterback on Wednesday morning over seniors Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, according to multiple reports.
Benkert was expected to start for ECU just last season, but a knee injury in preseason forced him to miss the entire year. He is considered the most mobile of the three, which given Mendenhall's history with dual-threat quarterbacks, likely was a major factor in the head coach's decision.
As a junior, Benkert was the only candidate with two years of eligibility remaining, a prospect hat reportedly "intrigued" Mendenhall. If Benkert is able to hold on to the position and start next season as well, it would represent a measure of stability Virginia has not known for quite some time.
Overall, UVA has had same Wk 1 starter in back-to-back years just once since 2005… Benkert is 10th diff Wk 1 starter during that stretch.— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) August 24, 2016
What likely helped Benkert was the fact that his head coach at ECU, Ruffin McNeill, is now an assistant as UVa. By coming into a school with an offensive system Benkert was familiar with, it eliminated the learning curve most transfers go through with their new teams.
Benkert will replace Johns who was the team's starter last season and co-starter the season before. The fact that the competition was a three-man race at this point in the summer despite Johns' experience was a clear indication that his ability to win back the starting job was in clear jeopardy.
In addition, Mendenhall also announced Johns and Brewer were still competing for the backup role.
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A big-time game deserves a big-time uniform.
Virginia Tech delivered on that claim aturday as they revealed their look for the upcoming Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee.
The Sept. 20 non-conference game between the border rivals will be played in the infield of Bristol International Speedway in is what expected to be the largest crowd in college football history.
The official reveal was made via a video posted on YouTube:
Other views of the uniforms were also posted on Twitter:
The famous Hokie Stone was the inspiration for the look. The Hokies Stone is a type of rock found in Western Virginia almost exclusively in a nearby quarry owned by the school. It has become an iconic symbol of the school as several building on campus were built from the stone. Players will tap a Hokie Stone that hangs over the tunnel as they enter Lane Stadium during the football season.
The uniform's primary color scheme of black and grey pays homage to the team's history as those were the official colors of Virginia Tech before the school adopted the classic burnt orange and Chicago maroon we recognize today. The color grey was also chosen because it is a prominent color of the Corps of Cadets, according to a statement on the school's athletics website.
And boy do they look sharp. What do you think? Be sure to let us know!
The Battle at Bristol against Tennessee will take place on Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway.