James C. Weaver, whose innovative ideas and work as a reformer have made him one of college athletics’ most popular administrators, is the director of athletics at Virginia Tech.
Weaver, 67, was appointed on Sept. 24, 1997, and has been a tireless leader on behalf of Tech athletics. His efforts were recognized in 2009 when he accepted the prestigious John L. Toner Award, which is presented annually by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. The award is given to a director of athletics who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.
In his 15 years on the job at Tech, Weaver has taken steps to place increased emphasis on projects benefiting student-athletes. Under his leadership, the athletics department entered into a comprehensive agreement with NIKE beginning in 2007-08 that provides uniforms, clothing and equipment for all Virginia Tech varsity teams over an eight-year period. He created a comprehensive awards program for letterwinners and has initiated and funded an annual awards banquet. The Monogram Club was revitalized in 1998 and provides several benefits to former Hokie athletes, trainers and managers.
A top personal priority for Weaver is the continuing improvement of Tech’s facilities. Progress is evident in a number of new facilities now in use or currently under construction.
A new football locker room and lounge has been constructed adjacent to Jamerson Athletic Center. The three-story building was completed in 2010 and features a spacious locker room for players and coaches, as well as a lounge on the second floor and a wrestling facility on the third floor. The vacated space in Jamerson has been renovated to provide expanded weight training, sports medicine and locker room facilities for Olympic sport teams.
Plans for a new indoor football practice facility have been approved. This project calls for a regulation-sized AstroTurf surface in a field house conveniently located to the outdoor football practice field. This will allow the indoor track to stay up year-round in Rector Field House.
The remodeling of Lane Stadium’s west side was completed in time for Tech’s 2006 home opener. It involved the construction of additional new luxury suites, a new President’s area, four private club seating areas, a ticket office, athletic fund offices, a memorabilia area and a new student academic services area.
Tech’s basketball staffs and teams moved into their new practice facility in 2009. The $20 million building boasts two practice gyms, a 3,000 square-foot basketball weight room, coaches’ offices, film rooms and locker rooms.
Weaver presided over Tech’s move into the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004-05, when Virginia Tech and Miami were officially introduced as the 10th and 11th members of the ACC, effective July 1, 2004.
Weaver renegotiated Tech’s multimedia rights contract with IMG College, creating an agreement which went into effect in 2008-09 and extends for 10 years to provide enhanced revenue for the athletics department. In the Fall of 2000, Weaver arranged a joint venture with IMG to commit $2 million to purchase new scoreboards, upgrade sound systems, install an L.E.D. video display screen at Lane Stadium (which was enlarged for the 2005 season) and place two wall-mount L.E.D. video screens in Cassell Coliseum.
Weaver came to Tech from Western Michigan University where he was director of athletics from January 1996 until he came to Blacksburg. Prior to that, he was AD for three and a half years at UNLV, where he reconstructed a troubled athletic department.
Weaver says that various schools’ interest in him as a reformer through the years can be traced to Penn State.
It was with the Nittany Lions’ football team that Weaver first made a name for himself in athletics. He was a center and linebacker on Penn State teams coached by the legendary Rip Engle and Joe Paterno. A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Weaver was recruited to Penn State by Engle.
Weaver graduated from Penn State in 1967 with a bachelor’s in psychology and rehabilitation education. He received a master’s in college counselor education, also from Penn State, in 1968.
Weaver started a coaching career as an assistant at Penn State for six seasons. During that time, the Lions played in five bowl games – the Cotton, Gator, Sugar and Orange (twice).
He later was the offensive coordinator at Iowa State and head coach for one season at Villanova in 1974. He also spent five years as an assistant professor at Clarion State and three years as director of franchise sales at Athletic Attic.
Prior to landing the athletic director’s job at UNLV, Weaver spent nine years at the University of Florida. He was a strong force at Florida in the field of compliance and concluded his time there as associate athletics director.
Weaver drew rave reviews at UNLV for his fund-raising expertise. He generated nearly $15 million in his time there and built a new athletic complex.
While at Western Michigan, Weaver announced creation of a $7 million football center, stabilized fluctuating revenues and installed a CHAMPS Life Skills program.
Weaver and his wife Traci have four sons – Josh, Paul, Cole and Craig.