BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech football program will pay tribute to the 75 victims of the 1970 Marshall plane crash, including Virginia Tech graduates Frank Loria and Rick Tolley who were coaches for the Thundering Herd, by wearing a special sticker on the back of the players’ helmets Saturday when the Hokies visit Huntington for the first time since 1940. The round stickers will have the initials RT and FL for the two former Tech players involved, as well as a 75 for the number of victims of the crash.
Upon arrival to the stadium, Tech head coach Frank Beamer will go to the Marshall University Memorial at Spring Hill Cemetery to place a 3x5 inch piece of HokieStone inscribed with the words that appear above the tunnel leading to Tech’s Worsham Field: “For those who have passed, For those to come ... REACH FOR EXCELLENCE” along with Loria and Tolley’s name, the numbers they wore at Virginia Tech and both teams’ logos.
Loria played for the Hokies from 1965-1967, helping Tech to a berth in the 1966 Liberty Bowl and was Tech’s first consensus All-American. He joined the Marshall University coaching staff in 1969 as the defensive backs coach. Loria played safety in the same defensive backfield with Beamer.
Tolley played football as a center and linebacker at Tech from 1958-61 and was the head coach of the Marshall football team during the 1969 and 1970 seasons.
Frank Loria, Jr., will handle the coin toss for Saturday’s game.
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