Wednesday, October 8, 1997

Coach Grimes Rushed Into Surgery, Now Doing Okay

Offensive line coach J.B. Grimes was scheduled to have open heart surgery on Wednesday, but he was rushed into it on Tuesday afternoon, instead. Apparently, Coach Grimes's condition worsened, and his doctors felt that a heart attack was "imminent," so they went ahead with the procedure.

The procedure took approximately three hours (I believe that's what the news report said) and was successful. As of Tuesday evening, Coach Grimes was doing fine ... as fine as you can be after open heart surgery, at least.

Tight ends coach Bryan Stinespring will take over the offensive line coaching duties until Coach Grimes is able to return to work.

"Coach" Weaver on Sportstalk With John Hale

I heard a 10-15 minute interview with new AD Jim Weaver Tuesday afternoon on Sportstalk With John Hale (5-7 p.m. weekdays, 710 AM). John called him "Coach," which I guess is fine, because that's how he got his start in collegiate athletics, by coaching at Penn State.

Nothing earthshaking came out of the interview, but I did get a little more insight into what he's thinking. First of all, Jim has only been on the job four days, so he's still trying to figure out how things work at Virginia Tech. For a guy who has only been on the job a few days, though, he has a good grasp on a couple of things.

Jim doesn't yet have concrete plans for getting into an all-sports conference - he will, but it's too early yet and he's too new to have any definite ideas. He thinks it's important at this point to maintain the momentum that Tech sports, in particular football, have built up over the last few years. For the second time, I heard him express a variation on a theme when he said, "If you ever reach the point where you think you've arrived, then you're dead." You'll probably hear him say that a lot, and he means simply that you have to keep pushing forward and making improvements, regardless of how well you think you're doing.

He spoke a little bit about the possibility of all-sports membership in the Big East, pointing out that Tech's student population comes from the same area covered by the Big East: Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, etc. When asked about other conferences, specifically the ACC and the SEC, Weaver didn't seem to be holding out much hope for getting into the ACC (smart man). He showed that he knows what it's all about when he said, "Any time you start talking about conference expansion, you have to start talking about TV markets, and what you can bring to a conference in the way of exposure. And in the case of the ACC, Virginia Tech doesn't deliver anything in the way of TV markets that the ACC doesn't already have. To the Big East and the SEC, yes, we do."

It appears that our new AD feels much the same way as I do - if Tech ever winds up in the ACC, it'll be a bigger surprise than Jim Weaver getting the AD job instead of Sharon McCloskey.

On the subject of facilities, he mentioned a few items with regards to Lane Stadium that are near and dear to our hearts, namely luxury boxes and 8,000-10,000 more seats in an enclosed end zone. Note that he isn't saying that he plans on doing these things soon, he just said that they are goals that we should have.

Of interest to note is that he didn't mention a Jumbotron scoreboard, and the end zone he mentioned closing in is the Cassell end zone, not the scoreboard end zone. I'm sure, though, that after Mr. Weaver has the opportunity to spend some time on the job and talk with Hokie fans, he'll start thinking Jumbotron, and he'll switch his horseshoe plans to the scoreboard end of the stadium (because to obstruct the view of Cassell Coliseum and that flashy new Merryman Center is a no-no).

Lastly, Mr. Weaver echoed a sentiment expressed often by Dave Braine and Frank Beamer. He said that you achieve success with the right people, not just the right buildings and facilities. At the risk of sounding corny, Virginia Tech has always been about people, and if Mr. Weaver understands that, as it seems he does, he'll fit in just fine.


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