The Virginia Tech wrestling team competes in one of the finest facilities in the country, while also training in its own workout area that rates as a first-class facility in and of itself.
The team holds its matches at Cassell Coliseum, which also serves as the home for Tech’s basketball programs and volleyball program. Construction for the main portion of Cassell Coliseum began in 1961. It was completed in December of 1964 at a cost of $2.7 million. Built by T.C. Brittain and Company of Decatur, Ga., it houses an arena, locker rooms, an auxiliary gymnasium, a strength and conditioning center, offices and other athletics facilities.
The coliseum has undergone extensive renovations to its exterior and interior, as well as the structural systems, over the years. Prior to the 1988-89 season, a new spring-loaded playing floor was installed. During 1996-97, workers replaced the roof of the facility and installed structural access to the heating and lighting systems. They also restored and resealed the exterior concrete walls and buttresses.
Since that time, the seats have been stripped of their paint and refinished to retain their natural wood look, the concourse and concession areas have been remodeled and new video boards have been installed to enhance the game day experience and make Cassell a top-notch venue. And fans coming to Tech's home wrestling matches will notice the competition mat, with a 42-foot circle (the largest space allowed per NCAA rules) and new design and logos.
The venue has been the site of some tremendous wrestling and crowds over the years. On Feb. 5, 2011, Tech set an attendance record, drawing 3,378 fans for its match with the University of Virginia – a match the Hokies won by a count of 20-12. The crowd shattered the previous attendance record of 1,763 fans set on Feb. 8, 2009, against Maryland. Also, on Jan. 22, 2012, the Hokies drew a crowd of 2,422 fans, who witnessed No. 23 Tech defeat North Carolina 29-12.
In 2009, the coliseum served as the venue for the ACC Championships and has been the location for many big wrestling events. The Virginia State Championships and the Eastern Wrestling League were held at the coliseum in 2001. And on Dec. 8, 2001, a crowd of more than 1,600 filled into Cassell Coliseum to witness the Hokies take on No. 1 and defending national champion Minnesota. In 2004, 1,310 fans poured into Cassell Coliseum to witness the Hokies shut out the University of Virginia, 38-0.
The wrestling team practices in its own training room on the third floor of the football locker room facility adjacent to Cassell Coliseum – a facility that was constructed in 2010. This floor contains more than 6,000 square feet of mat space. The floor also houses the wrestling team’s locker room and coaches’ offices.
The team also works out in the Jim “Bulldog” Haren Weight Room. Located in Jamerson Athletic Center, the 5,000-square foot weight room was officially dedicated in September 1985 to Haren, a former Hokie football player and long-time supporter of the Virginia Tech athletics department.