Cincinnati Bearcats Athletic Director Whit Babcock appears to have taken the vacant AD job at Virginia Tech University. News broke Friday afternoon that Babcock had applied for the VT job and would accept if he was offered the position. According to multiple reports out of Blacksburg, VA Babcock has taken the job.
Whit Babcock has served as the AD at The University of Cincinnati since 2011 when he was hired by then university President Gregory Williams, who has also since left his position, to replace departing AD Mike Thomas who scampered to Illinois. Babcock came to Cincinnati from Missouri where he served as Executive Associate Director. During his time at Cincinnati Babcock has overseen massive growth within the athletic department.
Since taking over for Thomas Whit Babcock has overseen numerous coaching changes, stadium expansion, season ticket sales and contract extensions. Babcock is responsible for hiring football Head Coach Tommy Tuberville after then head Coach Butch Jones jumped to Tennessee. He has also hired coaches in volleyball, baseball, lacrosse, women’s soccer and track and field. Babcock is also responsible for extending basketball coach Mick Cronin’s contract through 2018.
His biggest achievement though has to be the $86M expansion to Nippert Stadium. All boxes appear to be sold out, the project was paid for by private donors. His commitment to improving facilities was second to none, look at the Jeffersonville Athletic Complex, the bubble dome, and the Nippert Expansion.
Babcock’s greatest downfall was his inability to recognize Cincinnati basketball and its importance to the university and community. Fifth Third Arena is outdated, yet Babcock and the athletic department continued to ignore basketball for football. To the point Coach Cronin had to privately raise $1M to pay for a new locker room.
Babcock leaves Cincinnati and their $50M athletic budget in a dwindling American Athletic Conference for Virginia Tech and their $66M budget in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The grass may be greener on the other side, time will tell.
What this means for students and fans of The University of Cincinnati is we get to go through the search process once again. In 5 years UC has had 3 football coaches, 2 university presidents, and 2 AD’s soon to be 3. Name another upper university that has had this. You can’t, and honestly this process is getting old, Cincinnati is always being told how great of a place it is when everyone is hired, then 2-3 years down the road those who once praised the university are the first to bolt.
Whit Babcock infamously now said “Now is the time, this is the place” after announcing the hiring of Tommy Tuberville. Well Whit, now is the time, for us, the students, the fans and the people that truly care about The University of Cincinnati. Remember to use that line next week when you are introduced.
Remember fans and students, this has happened before but over the last 8 years UC has only gotten stronger, don’t get down, support those who are committed like Coach Cronin and support President Ono. UC is going to be just fine.