Noah Bowers from Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke finished second in the butterfly and seventh in the 200 freestyle in helping to lift North Carolina State to first place in the men’s division of the ACC swimming championships this past weekend in Greensboro, N.C.
Emma Muzzy from Cave Spring in Roanoke swims for the N.C. State women and finished second to one of her teammates in the 200 freestyle, and she was sixth in the 100 backstroke.
Hidden Valley High School graduate Keith Myburgh, a senior at Virginia Tech, was fourth in the men’s 400 individual medley. Forest Webb from Bassett also scored points for the Hokies.
Caroline Kulp, a three-time high-school All-American at Patrick Henry, is a senior at Virginia, which won the women’s ACC championship for the fourth year in a row.
Virginia Tech women were sixth. N.C. State’s men were first by more than 600 points, the Hokies’ men were second and the Virginia men were fourth.
VMI’s Rocco speaks in Salem
Danny Rocco, named head football coach at VMI on Dec. 3, was the guest speaker — and not for the first time — Monday at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club at the Salem Civic Center.
“This was really an important area for me in my career,” said Rocco, hired by then Virginia head coach Al Groh in 2001. “When I first got to Virginia in 2001, I was named the assistant head coach and the recruiting coordinator.
“And the first thing I did was, I assigned myself to Southwest Virginia and made that my primary recruiting area. I’ve spent a lot of time in this part of the state and I have great respect for the programs, the high schools, the education, the teachers, the coaches and the people.
“I had an opportunity to develop a lot of relationships.”
ACC not superior
The latest Sagarin rankings for men’s college basketball that appeared in Monday’s USA TODAY showed only one ACC team in the Associated Press top 25. That was No. 24 Virginia going into Wednesday night’s game at Boston College. Miami was 28th.
Not to be overlooked
At 22-7, Liberty men’s basketball coach Ritchie McKay has clinched a fifth straight season with 20 wins or more. In an earlier stint at Liberty, McKay was 39-28 before joining Tony Bennett’s staff at Virginia. He has over 300 wins as a Division I head coach.
McKay earlier was the head coach at Portland State, Colorado State, Oregon State and New Mexico. He played collegiately at Seattle Pacific, where he set a record with 10 steals in a game.
Back on field
Pulaski-bred Todd Grantham, a standout defensive lineman and later an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, has surfaced on the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints. Grantham previously was the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida.
Grantham was an “analyst” last year at Alabama. Ryan Nielsen, who was the D-line coach for New Orleans last year, is the new defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, creating a spot for Grantham.
Football recruiting rankings posted by 247 Sports earlier this month showed Virginia Tech with the No. 38 rating among FBS programs and Virginia was 59th. The only ACC programs with rankings below them were Georgia Tech at No. 62 and Syracuse at 83.
Miami was tops among ACC programs at No. 7 and Notre Dame was 11th, followed by Florida State at No. 19. In a separate ranking of transfer portal pick-ups, Virginia is 49th and Tech is 66th.
Jeff Charles, the radio voice of East Carolina athletics, suffered a heart attack and died unexpectedly last week as ECU was headed to Tulane for a men’s basketball game. In addition to Virginia Tech, where he called games in the 1980s, he had stints at Illinois and Furman.
It was Charles who hired former Tech player Mike Burnop as a color commentator, a role that Burnop has kept to this day.