Va. Tech AD Weaver to retire

Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver plans to step down next month for health reasons after 16 years running the Hokies' athletic program.

"I have had the pleasure of serving a great university and working with outstanding staff and coaches. I am very proud of our many accomplishments. We compete and win," Weaver said in a statement. "We have some of the nation's best fans and, most importantly, our students graduate with a first class education. However, leadership of this important university role requires active engagement. I am not able to do that at this time. The department is in good shape, but I am not."

Weaver, 68, told The Roanoke Times he needs to have both hips replaced. He also has had multiple back operations and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2004. He will retire Dec. 31.

"It's just been too much, with the back (surgeries) I've had -- the repeat back surgery after the bowl last year," Weaver told the newspaper. "I just think the time is right now for me to retire and spend time with my son and wife."

Weaver is the second-longest tenured AD in the ACC, behind Ron Wellman at Wake Forest.

Under Weaver, Virginia Tech moved from the Big East to the ACC and became a Top 25 football program. He also has spearheaded extensive facilities upgrades across the athletic department. Just last month, he was nominated for the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, given annually to somebody who displays courage on or off the field.

Sharon McCloskey, senior associate athletic director, will serve as interim athletic director effective Jan. 1, 2014. Ray Smoot, former chief executive officer of the Virginia Tech Foundation, will chair a national search for the next athletic director. A replacement is expected to be selected in early 2014.