BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– The Virginia Tech men will make their 12th appearance at the NCAA tournament. While the Tech women earned a spot on the big stage for the tenth time in school history. But this will be the first time ever that both basketball programs punched their tickets in the same season.
“I thought about it at some point. Did I read this morning that it’s the first time that Virginia Tech has had both the men’s and women’s team in the NCAA tournament?” said Virginia Tech head men’s basketball coach Mike Young.
Even head coach Mike Young didn’t know that it’s never happened before. Two joyous reactions — 25 hours apart — as Virginia Tech heard its name called for both men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments. “That’s awe– I mean, that’s great. That’s great for Virginia Tech and Southwest Virginia. I’m as happy for Kenny and his team as I am my team,” said Young. “It gives you a welcoming feeling. It really unites the programs to the point where it truly is Virginia Tech basketball. It’s not men’s basketball, it’s not women’s basketball, it’s Virginia Tech basketball,” said Virginia Tech head women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks.
The two head coaches are also close friends — and are now celebrating each other’s accomplishments. “He’s been great for me. A great resource. A man that I admire,” said Young. “Just having somebody in the same building who pretty much shares the same problems, the same joys that I have and being able to just bounce stuff off of each other, it’s kinda like therapy,” said Brooks.
Kenny Brooks first met Young when the former Emory and Henry assistant was recruiting brooks in high school. Now as leaders of their respective programs, they’ll be cheering each other on in the big dance. “I love his kids. He’s got great young people in his program that work really hard,” said Young. “I watch every one of their games and I watch it with passion and I hang on every pass, every turnover, just like a fan,” said Brooks.
Safe to say that Kenny Brooks will be watching the men as a fan when the Hokies kick off the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday afternoon in Indianapolis. The women set to play their opening round game just outside San Antonio on Sunday afternoon.