BLACKSBURG – Since being named the Virginia Tech Director of Athletics seven months ago, Whit Babcock has set forth to reform the department’s focus by placing more emphasis on the fan experience. He reinforced that philosophy on Monday when he announced the appointment of Carly Northup as the department’s first Assistant Athletics Director of External Engagement.
Northup, a native of Springfield, Virginia, comes to Tech from the University of Missouri, where she worked for six years, the last in a similar role with the Tigers. She directed and oversaw a newly-formed division – as she will here in Blacksburg – that was responsible for creating new initiatives to expand customer service, improve and develop premium seating areas/services, increase the game day experience and fan appreciation at all athletic events.
She also had oversight of the Tiger Scholarship Fund donor stewardship and cultivation and handled special events, booster groups and premium seating service.
“We’re excited about having Carly return to her home state of Virginia and be a part of our staff here at Virginia Tech,” Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities and Operations Tom Gabbard said. “She comes highly recommended and impresses me as a person with great enthusiasm and a strong work ethic.”
Northup’s path to Blacksburg first started at Liberty University where she earned bachelor degrees in both English and psychology. She then taught high school at Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg for four years and served as the head coach of the girl’s soccer team and assisted the girl’s basketball team.
While pursuing a Master’s degree in sports management and administration at West Virginia University, she worked as a graduate student in the Mountaineer Club before being named the Assistant Director of Development for Athletics.
Two years later, she moved to Columbia, Missouri to be the Tigers’ Director of Development and earned a pair of promotions during her time there.
“I believe that within the changing landscape of college athletics, Whit has identified a need to increase Virginia Tech's focus of its donors, alumni and fans, and analyze how we can continually improve their experiences every time they interact with Tech Athletics,” Northup said. “I am honored and humbled to join a storied program like Virginia Tech, and I look forward to being a part of the Hokie team as we seek to serve our student-athletes, coaches, community, donors and fans.
“I am thankful for the opportunities that the University of Missouri, Athletic Director Mike Alden, and Deputy Athletic Director Doug Gillin afforded me, and I want to express my deep gratitude to Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities and Operations Tom Gabbard for this appointment. I look forward to working with him and his team as we seek to enhance the collective efforts of Virginia Tech Athletics.”
At Tech, Northup will work under Gabbard and be responsible for providing the strategic direction, leadership and oversight of three primary areas – the Monogram Club, the premium seating and suites operations of Lane Stadium and the new external engagement department.
For the Monogram Club, Northup will be tasked with enhancing former letter winner involvement, membership and fund-raising and improving the social media aspects of the club.
As the overseer of the suites and club area of Lane Stadium, she will help to improve the overall atmosphere of the game day experience and look to identify potential opportunities for new premium seat locations.
Lastly, as lead of the external engagement team, Northup will be charged with placing a strong emphasis on creating memorable fan experiences and dynamic customer service initiatives.
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