Six Names To Tech Hall Of Fame
Bimbo Coles, Mike Burnop, Ken Edwards, Ki Luczak, Bobby Smith, Lori McKee Taylor to be inducted.
July 31, 2000
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Basketball star Bimbo Coles, who played on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team and went on to become the all-time scoring leader in Virginia Tech and Metro Conference history, is one of six new members elected to the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

Joining Coles as 2000 inductees are:

  • Mike Burnop, a record-setting tight end of the early 1970s who still holds the Tech single-season record for pass receptions.

  • Ken Edwards, whose inspired play at fullback during the second half of the 1968 football season sparked the Hokies to a berth in the Liberty Bowl.

  • Ki Luczak, a dynamic linebacker who drew widespread attention with his defensive prowess on football teams from 1949 through 1952.

  • Bobby Smith, who contributed to some big football victories as both a fullback and a punter during the 1940s.

  • Lori McKee Taylor, an All-American runner who helped the women's cross country and track programs make a successful transition to varsity status at Tech.

The six new honorees will be inducted at a Hall of Fame dinner on the Tech campus on Friday, Oct. 13, the evening after Tech's Thursday night ESPN football game against West Virginia. Each of the inductees and their families will be introduced to fans at halftime of the football game.

The new inductees will bring the total number enshrined to 100. The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1982 and is currently located near the Bowman Room on the fourth floor of the Jamerson Athletic Center. Hall of Fame plaques engraved with portraits of all the members are displayed there. Under Tech Hall of Fame guidelines, persons are not eligible for induction until they have been out of school for a period of 10 years.

Coles' record-setting Tech career began modestly with him starting 18 games as a freshman in 1986-87 and averaging 10 points per game. He burst on the national scene the following year when he averaged 24.2 points as a sophomore and made the United States Olympic team. Coles played a leading role at point guard for the USA team, which won a bronze medal in Seoul, Korea. He averaged 7.1 points per game and led the team in steals.

Coles averaged a school-record 26.3 points per game in 1988-89 and 25.3 points per game in 1989-90. He capped his collegiate career as the leading scorer in both Virginia Tech and Metro Conference basketball history with a total of 2,484 points. He also finished as the Hokies' all-time leader in assists with 547.

Coles, who came to Tech from Lewisburg, W.Va., was the Co-Player of the Year in the Metro Conference in 1988, along with Pervis Ellison of Louisville. He was named to the All-Metro team three years in a row and was the first player in Metro history to lead the league in scoring three consecutive seasons.

For most Tech fans, Coles' most memorable outing was his 51-point, 11-assist performance in an unforgettable 141-133 double-overtime win over Southern Mississippi at Cassell Coliseum in February 1988. Overall, Coles scored 30 points or more 25 times during his Tech career and broke or equaled more than 40 school records.

Coles' jersey, No. 12, was officially retired just prior to his final home game against Memphis State on March 3, 1990. At the time, he was just the second men's basketball player and sixth Tech athlete overall to have a jersey retired.

Following his Tech career, Coles was a second-round NBA draft pick of the Sacramento Kings. He currently is a prominent player for the Atlanta Hawks.

Burnop became one of the Hokies' primary pass receivers during the early 1970s when quarterback Don Strock was rewriting the Tech record books. Burnop won the starting tight end job during 1970 spring practice after spending a season on the freshman team.

During the '70 season, Burnop saw more action than any other sophomore on the team except offensive guard John Schneider. He quickly established himself as one of the Hokies' most reliable performers, finishing fourth on the team in receptions with 10 catches for 124 yards.

In 1971, when Strock took over at quarterback, Burnop became an integral part of the offense. The Roanoke, Va., native led the team in pass receptions with 46, setting a school single-season record that still stands today. His 46 catches were good for 558 yards and two touchdowns.

As a senior in '72, Burnop was third on the team with 34 catches for 459 yards and three touchdowns. During a 34-34 tie with Houston, he hauled in eight passes for 117 yards, tying a school mark for catches in a game by a tight end and setting a mark for receiving yards in a game for the position. Burnop still stands sixth overall in career receptions at Tech with 90. His 90 catches and 1,141 career receiving yards are both records for the tight end position at Tech.

Following graduation, Burnop played in the World Football League, spending one year with the Jacksonville Sharks and one season with the Shreveport Steamer. This fall, he will begin his 18th season as the radio network analyst for Tech football broadcasts. Burnop lives in Blacksburg where he owns and operates New River Office Supply, a business he helped start in 1979.

Edwards was considered one of the best athletes on the team when he joined the Hokies in 1966 after an outstanding prep career at Radford (Va.) High School. As a junior in 1968, he used his athleticism to key a Tech turnaround that resulted in a trip to the Liberty Bowl.

After opening the '68 season at linebacker, Edwards was moved to fullback when Tech struggled to a 2-3 mark over the first half of the season. He responded by rushing for 74 yards and scoring a touchdown in a 27-12 win against West Virginia. Then, he sparked an eye-opening 40-22 upset of Florida State with 197 yards rushing and 45 yards on pass receptions. His 88-yard touchdown run in the second quarter broke the game open. He also scored on a 14-yard pass reception.

Edwards scored touchdowns in each of the Hokies' next two games and completed two passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in the regular-season finale against VMI. The Hokies won all three games to finish 7-3 and earn their third bowl bid. Edwards averaged 6.9 yards per carry during his five-game stint at fullback, rushing for 465 yards. He scored four touchdowns on the ground, one on a pass reception and another on a blocked punt.

During Tech's Liberty Bowl match-up with Mississippi, Edwards became the first Tech player to rush for 100 yards in a bowl game, gaining 119 yards on 12 carries. His 58-yard touchdown run on the second offensive play of the game helped stake the Hokies to an early lead, but Ole Miss roared back to win 34-17.

Edwards was considered for two-way duty as a sophomore in 1967 but was used strictly in the offensive backfield. He finished the season third on the team in rushing with 230 yards and two touchdowns on 69 carries. He also contributed five pass receptions for 50 yards and another TD.

As a senior in 1969, Edwards appeared poised for another big year when a preseason leg injury knocked him out of two games and slowed him for the majority of the season. He returned to form late in the season with 105 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a victory at Duke. He finished the season third on the team in rushing with 298 yards and was second in touchdowns with five.

Edwards, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills following his senior year at Tech, currently lives in Radford. He owns and operates both Edwards Transfer and Storage Inc., in Radford, and Lamp Post Mercantile in Pulaski County.

Luczak came to Blacksburg from East Vandergrift, Pa., in 1948 and became a standout on Tech varsity football teams from 1949 through 1951. The 6-0, 180-pound linebacker drew wide-spread attention for his defensive prowess during a period when the Hokies didn't enjoy much overall success as a team.

Although official defensive statistics weren't kept at the time, sportswriters credited Luczak with making or assisting on 60 to 75 percent of all Tech's tackles during his three seasons. Coach Tom Nugent of arch-rival VMI called Luczak "the greatest college linebacker in the United States." Following the 1951 season, the Roanoke Touchdown Club voted him the Outstanding Football Player in Virginia, marking the first time since the award originated that a Virginia Tech player had won.

Luczak also was selected first-team All Big-Six by The Associated Press in 51 and was named second-team on the United Press All-Southern Conference football team. He won Tech's Williams Award for demonstrating high qualities of leadership, character and the greatest amount of moral influence on his teammates. Luczak's was a leader off the football field, as well as on, serving as vice president of his class and actively participating in numerous campus organizations.

Following his senior year, Luczak was contacted by several professional teams. Due to his commitment to serve in the military, he remained on the Tech campus for one year as an assistant coach on the freshman football team, then entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant for two years.

Luczak currently lives in Roanoke, Va., where he owns and operates Luczak and Associates, an insurance company.

Smith became the Hokies' regular fullback and punter as a sophomore in 1941. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry from his fullback spot that season and also made some big contributions with his punting.

In an upset of North Carolina State in 41, Smith averaged 48.4 yards per punt. During a stunning 3-0 victory against powerhouse Georgetown that same season, Smith set up the Hokies' lone score with some extraordinary hustle. After launching a 34-yard punt against the Bulldogs, Smith raced downfield, jarred the ball loose from the return man and recovered the fumble. Tech moved the ball to the Georgetown 17-yard line where Roger McClure booted a 34-yard field goal for the only points of the game. The loss was only the second in a three-year period for Georgetown and marked the first time Georgetown had been shut out in 30 games. Smith averaged 44.5 yards per punt for the game.

Smith, who was named to the United Press International's All-State team in 1941, joined the Army following the season and was sent to the European theater. He was awarded two Purple Hearts during fighting in World War II.

In 1946, Smith returned to Tech and resumed his football career. He ranked among the national leaders in punting that season, averaging 42 yards per punt on 29 kicks. In addition, he contributed 334 yards rushing on 72 carries, an average of 4.6 yards per rush. He ran for a touchdown in a 21-21 tie with Virginia and set up a touchdown with an interception in a 13-7 win over Washington & Lee. In the 1946 regular-season finale against VMI, Smith ran for a touchdown and punted well before suffering a knee injury in the fourth quarter. The injury prevented him from playing in Tech's January 1, 1947 Sun Bowl game against Cincinnati.

Smith, who Tech head coach Jimmy Kitts called the "best kicker in the South", was named one of the team's co-captains before the 1947 season. He again challenged for national punting honors before being slowed by a series of injuries. In a game against William & Mary, Smith set up two touchdowns with his running and averaged 46.8 yards on punts before suffering a broken hand. After missing two games, he returned to action and helped the Hokies win three of their last four games.

Originally from Charlottesville, Va., Smith is a retired district manager for Rexnord-Enzirex and now lives in Prosperity, S.C.

Lori McKee Taylor was one of the top performers on the women's cross country and track teams when they made their transition from club sports to varsity sports programs in the early 1980s.

As a freshman in 1981-82, McKee earned AIAW Division II All-America honors in both cross country and track. She helped the women's cross country team to both the state and region AIAW Division II championships and a fifth-place finish at the AIAW Division II National Championship. McKee finished fourth at the regional and 17th at the nationals to earn All-America honors. Later that school year, she added All-America honors in the 3,000 meters.

McKee helped make the move to varsity status a successful one in 1982-83. She finished eighth in the state cross country meet as the team won the second of its four state cross country titles during McKee's career. She also placed third in the 3,000-meters and fourth in the 5,000 meters as the women took third place at the state outdoor championship.

During McKee's junior year, Tech won both the state cross country and indoor track titles. In 1984-85, McKee won all-state honors for the third time as the Hokies won their fourth straight cross country title. Also that year, McKee turned in a fifth-place finish in the 3,000 meters at the prestigious Penn Relays.

At one point in her career, McKee held three individual school records and was a member of five record-holding relay teams. In 1983, she helped Tech's 4x1,500-meter relay team set a school mark that still stands today.

The newest honor for Lori McKee Taylor turns the Tech Hall of Fame into a family affair. Her husband, Steve Taylor, was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame last fall. He, too, was a cross country and track All-American for the Hokies. The Taylors will be the second husband and wife to both be inducted into the Tech Hall of Fame. Former track stars Mac Banks and Lucy Hawkes Banks were brought into the Tech Hall of Fame in 1991 and 1993, respectively.

Originally from Annandale, Va., Lori McKee Taylor is beginning her 10th year as the head coach of the women's cross country team at Tech. The Taylors reside in Newport, Va.

Enshrined earlier in the Tech Hall of Fame were: Carroll Dale, Chris Smith, George Preas, Bob Schweickert, Johnny Oates, Allan Bristow, Leo Burke, Tim Collins, Madison Nutter, Don Strock, John Wetzel, Harry Bushkar, Howie Wright, Dickie Beard, Glen Combs, Tom Beasley, Brandon Glover, Mike Widger, George Foussekis, Stuart Johnson, Leland Melear, Bill Buchanan, Jerry Gaines, Ken Whitley, Bill Grossman, Jack Burrows, Wendy Weisend, Mac Banks, Lewis Mills, Franklin Stubbs, Keith Neff, Howard Pardue, Lucy Hawk Banks, Roy Beskin, Bill Matthews, Jack Prater, Dale Solomon, Ginny Lessmann Stonick, Neff McClary, Mike Johnson, Linda King Steel, Tony Paige, Bruce Smith, Louis Ripley, Dell Curry, Connie Sellers, Dick Arnold, Frank Beamer, Renee Dennis, Cyrus Lawrence, Rick Razzano, Jim Stewart, Sterling Wingo, Robert Brown, Berkeley Cundiff, Don Divers, Loyd King, Kenny Lewis, Ken Barefoot, Bob Phillips, Steve Taylor, Ted Ware and the following persons who are deceased: C.P. (Sally) Miles, Frank Moseley, Frank Loria, Hunter Carpenter, Frank Peake, Herbert McEver, Greene (Red) Laird, Paul Dear, Monk Younger, Henry (Puss) Redd, Mel Henry, George Parrish, Hank Crisp, Ed Motley, Sonny Utz, Wilson Bell, Herb Thomas, Bob Ayersman, Dick Esleeck, Al Casey, Joe Moran, William Grinus, Jr., Earl (Bus) Hall, H.V. (Byrd) Hooper, James Franklin Powell, Bucky Keller, Milton Andes, Richard Bullock, Waddey Harvey, Frank Teske, George Smith and Eddie Ferrell.