In his two years at Virginia Tech, Buzz Williams already has ushered in an exciting new era of basketball. The head coach of the men’s squad is beginning his third season here in Blacksburg, and he has the Hokies poised to continue their growth as a program in the toughest conference in college basketball. He and his staff take a simplistic, yet very effective approach – “Get Better.”
Phone: (540) 231-6725
|Seasons at VT||Third Season|
|Overall Record||38-38 (.500) Games: 76|
|ACC Record||12-24 (.333) Games: 36|
|vs. Non-Conference||26-14 (.650) Games: 40|
|vs. Ranked Teams||2-15 (.118) Games: 17|
|Record Home||27-14 (.659) Games: 41|
|Record Away||5-18 (.217) Games: 23|
|Record Neutral||6-6 (.500) Games: 12|
Last season, the Hokies were one of the most improved teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA. Predicted, once again, to reside near the bottom of the league standings, the Hokies finished with a 20-15 overall record under Williams, including a 10-8 mark in the ACC. Tech advanced to the second round of the 2016 NIT, defeating Princeton at home in overtime before falling at BYU two days later.
In his inaugural season at Virginia Tech, Williams led the Hokies to an 11-22 overall record. He began building the culture that would allow the Hokies to enjoy future successes. The team went a long ways toward establishing an identity – one predicated on hard work, accountability both on and off the court and playing with a tough, competitive nature. Williams compiled a 31-37 record in his first two seasons in Blacksburg.
Recruiting is the lifeblood of any intercollegiate athletics program, and Williams has led the Hokies to new highs in this area. And while he has been able to attract elite recruits, he is less focused on national perception and more on finding what he likes to call, “OKGs”, or “our kind of guys.”
Williams came to Virginia Tech following six seasons as the head coach of the Marquette Golden Eagles. At Marquette, he had a record of 139-69 and led the team to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the regional finals in the 2012-13 season – the same season that the team won the Big East Conference regular-season title. Williams led the Golden Eagles to a 69-39 Big East Conference record during his time in Milwaukee. Six Marquette players made it to the NBA during Williams’ tenure. In his nine seasons as a collegiate head coach, Williams has an overall record of 184-123.
“The growth of the Hokies’ basketball program and the renewed energy under Buzz Williams in his first two seasons has been remarkable,” Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. “We’ve seen improvement in all facets. He’s an educator first and foremost. He loves his players. They play hard for him. Everyone within the program and around the department has embraced Buzz’s work ethic, passion, and attention to detail. We certainly have positive momentum and want to do all we can to keep it going. We believe in Coach Williams and his staff. Exciting times in Blacksburg.”
Williams was an assistant at Marquette during the 2007-08 season. MU concluded the year 25-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.
His coaching career has included stints as an assistant, associate head and head coach. He has been at the NCAA Division I level for 20 seasons, and 2016-17 was will mark his 10th campaign as a head coach. Williams has recruited and coached more than 20 players who have earned all-conference accolades, including two league Players of the Year, two conference Freshmen of the Year and four Associated Press All-Americans.
Williams arrived in Milwaukee after serving for one season as the head coach at the University of New Orleans. He guided the Privateers to a 14-win campaign in 2006-07, and his roster featured Bo McCalebb, the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. UNO claimed fourth place in the Sun Belt’s Western Division and advanced to the league tournament quarterfinals. The squad claimed as many victories on the road that season as it had in the previous three seasons combined. His recruiting class for the 2007-08 season was ranked in the top 50 nationally by HoopScoopOnline.com.
Prior to UNO, Williams served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M for two seasons (2004-05 and 2005-06) under head coach Billy Gillispie. Both of his recruiting classes with the Aggies were ranked among the best in the nation and featured some of the top-ranked talent at the prep level. The squad made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 25 years in 2005-06 and the previous team posted the top turnaround in the nation, improving its win total in 2004-05 by 14 games compared to 2003-04.
Williams spent four seasons (2000-01 through 2003-04) at Colorado State, serving as an assistant the first three seasons before being promoted to associate head coach in 2003-04. Two of his recruiting classes were ranked among the 40 best in the nation, including the 2003 group, which was tabbed No. 1 in the Mountain West Conference. Colorado State made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years during his tenure, and HoopScoopOnline.com named him one of the top assistants in the country.
The Van Alstyne, Texas, native was previously an assistant at Northwestern State (1999-2000), Texas A&M-Kingsville (1998-99) and Texas-Arlington (1994-98). He earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Oklahoma City University in 1994 before completing his master’s work in the same field at Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1999.
Williams is married to the former Corey Norman and the couple has two daughters, Zera and Addyson, and two sons, Calvin and Mason.