CHARLOTTE — It wasn’t the slightest bit awkward Wednesday when new Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Mike Young crossed paths with one of his predecessors, Seth Greenberg.
Greenberg, now an ESPN analyst, was the head coach at Tech for nine seasons and compiled a 170-123 record between 2003-12.
Former Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver, now deceased, announced that Greenberg had been fired after the Hokies went 16-17 in the 2011-12 season.
“I’ve had no interaction with Virginia Tech for seven years, but I’m a Mike Young fan,” Greenberg said Tuesday at the ACC’s Operation Basketball.
“I had one bad week and nine great years at Virginia Tech, but I’m really happy for Mike. I called him when he got the job and told him, if there’s anything I could do, I’d be glad to help him. I have that much respect for him.”
“I’m all about coaches that are in it for the kids and love of the game,” Greenberg said, “and [Young is] in it for the kids and love of the game.”
Young, previously the head coach at Wofford for 17 years, said he had an interesting conversation with Greenberg about the recruiting advantages of coaching at an ACC school compared to a Southern Conference program, like Wofford.
“I told Seth Greenberg, ‘I don’t have to spell Virginia Tech,’ ” Young said. “I used to have to spell my school’s name quite a bit. I have a lot more people that return my call now, unlike in years past.”
Greenberg said, “The most important part of recruiting for a place like Wofford is evaluating.”
At a point when Greenberg had his brother, Brad, on the staff at Virginia Tech, they invited Young, who was a few seasons into his tenure at Wofford, to speak at a coaches’ clinic.
“They were really, really nice to me,” said Young, who said he was fly-fishing on the Colorado River when Tech’s coaching search was being wrapped up. “I did talk to coach [Greenberg] a week or two after I took the job and we talked for a long time.
“We talked from A to Z. He was very helpful, and I’ll always be appreciative of that. He was very sincere and very genuine.”
Two of Greenberg’s daughters are Tech graduates.
“Mike Young is the perfect fit for Virginia Tech,” Greenberg said. “He understands the community. He understands the institution. He’s not a good coach. He’s a terrific coach. He takes no short cuts.
“I give [Tech athletic director] Whit [Babcock] credit for not getting seduced by trying to find someone who’s quote-unquote ‘hot’ to win a press conference, and I have a lot of respect for that.”