It’s 2016 and one of the best ways to follow the ins and outs of Virginia Tech athletics is through Twitter. In case you haven’t heard, Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets.” Thank you Wikipedia for that. From athletic department administrators to coaches, players and the media, there’s a whole squadron of Virginia Tech-centric twitter users out there. Today, we’re going to rank them. Because it’s fun. Apologies to those that aren’t happy with their ranking. Tweet better.
Before we get into these rankings, I have to include this - FOLLOW THE VTZONE STAFF!!!
@JasonStammSaid - That’s the boss.
@_DougBowman - That’s me
@MaxEsterhuizen - That’s our Editor.
@DerrickHop1 - That’s Skip Hopkins. He’s on our podcast.
@KellyPorazzo - Kelly is a staff writer.
@DelaneyhHall - Delaney Hall is the newest addition to TheVTZone.com team.
You’re not going to get any news out of this twitter account, but @TeamCoachBuzz is going to give you a little inspirational quote each day which is almost worth the follow in itself. He also actively engages with Virginia Tech students, as he did below, which is good to see as he continues to connect with the VT Community.
@HokiesFB is the account used by the coaching staff and the recruiting staff in general. Thus, this is where you will see sweet graphics and a lot of program promotion. For example:
David Teel is the preeminent sports writer in the state of Virginia. He’s won the Virginia Sportswriter of the Year award nine times. If there’s a big story to cover, he’s going to be on top of it. For example, last week Virginia Tech announced new plans for Hokie Club donations:
Guerry, Cantor and John Iezzi are the Director of Recruiting Operations, the Director of Player Personnel, and Player Personnel Graduate Assistant John Iezzi, respectively. They form the backbone of the Virginia Tech recruiting operation. From the graphics to the nitty gritty details of a big recruiting weekend, they are on top of it. See below for a humorous tweet from Guerry after the spring game:
One of the things that has obviously improved since Whit Babcock took over is the sheer talent level of the HokieVision department. The quality of product they produce has increased ten-fold since Babcock’s arrival and this is the account to find all of it. For example, the “Sounds of the Game” videos they produce are terrific.
If you want an inside look at helmets, cleats, practice jerseys, and all that behind-the-scenes stuff, this is a good account to follow. They’ll also tweet the results of their manager vs. manager games they typically play in the fall against that week’s opponent the night before the game.
The two voices of the Hokies, Jon Laaser handles the football and men’s basketball tasks, while Andrew Allegretta pitches in on those sports and carries the rest of the non-revenue sports. Allegretta also manages a number of talented IMG Interns who you see broadcasting Virginia Tech athletics games on anything from Hokies All-Access on Hokiesports.com to ESPN3. Laaser is also the hosted of the VT Football Podcast, which as far as I can tell is the only Virginia Tech podcast other than THE VTZONE PODCAST.
A quartet of the state’s print media journalists, they all produce terrific content virtually throughout the year, cover Virginia Tech fairly, and tweet it out for all to read.
This one is obvious, as it is the official twitter of the entire athletic department. If you only had one follow and you just wanted the official news straight from the horse’s mouth, I think this would do the trick.
The Hokies’ athletic director is pretty active on Twitter, as he often tweets support for the various teams and engages fans who asks questions. He also tends to explain the news in his own words as well through this account. For example, when VT announced the Nike Brand Refresh of the Uniforms:
Pete Moris is the Virginia Tech Associate AD for Strategic Communications, which means he’s the top dog in the VT Communications office. He’s tweeted over 20,000 times, which is insane! I’ve been on Twitter since before it was cool (self hype) and I only have over 8,000.
If you are into uniform design, graphic design, poster design, etc, Clark Ruhland is the guy to follow. The Uniform Builder he built on his website, which incorporates just about every jersey combination you could imagination, is something you can easily lose an hour on.
KipTJam is a highly connected basketball recruiting guy. He’s not going to break official news and he’s not as active as he once was, but if there’s a trend developing in college basketball recruiting or a prospect that Virginia Tech is in on is getting close to deciding, he’s likely to point you in the right direction.
Jimmy Robertson is the Editor of Inside Hokie Sports, the in-house magazine for Virginia Tech athletics. Because of this, he gets access to a lot of athletes and administrators and writes a lot of great stories on people and sports you probably wouldn’t have normally had.
The only current Virginia Tech athlete to make this list, Big Tim made it solely because of this tweet:
24. @PaulVWags -- Paul VanWagoner hosts The Drive on ESPN Blacksburg during the week and brings on guests like Jason Stamm and Whit Babcock. He posts his show as a podcast after the fact, so this feed is a good way to hear some interesting interviews, as well as some of Mr. VanWagoner’s own opinion.
You probably don’t know much about the new strength coach, so it’s a good idea to follow him. He has the most NCAA-permitted access to the players in June and July, as well as December, January, February and March, so it’s wise to follow him in earnest.
26. @Evan Daniels
27. TIE @MClarkScout & @BrianDohnScout
Our last entries come from the new Scout.com team. Evan is THE guy to know in basketball recruiting circles and one of the most established names in the business. Michael Clark covers mid-Atlantic football recruiting, while Brian Dohn covers the northeast for Scout.com. Both are MUST follows for everything going on with VT targets on the east coast.