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      VT Athletic Director Addresses Johnson Firing

      Blacksburg - Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock said Tuesday firing basketball coach James Johnson after just two seasons was "gut-wrenching" and came down to "wins and losses." The Hokies won just six ACC games and lost 30 in Johnson's two seasons as head coach.

      Whit Babcock, VIRGINIA TECH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, said "To let a guy go that's a first-class gentleman, I feel a lot of pressure. But do I have confidence that we can do it and that we have an attractive-enough job to get somebody good and that I have good help behind the scenes, yes."
      Babcock said the search for Johnson's replacement will likely last beyond the Final Four. He says he'd love to find a coach who, as he says, "wins the press conference" but is also willing to look for an "up and comer" ready to move into one of the nation's top conferences.
      Babcock said "I met with the team yesterday and heard directly from them and wanted to assure them that we were going to get them the best coach and that there were a lot of people here that cared about them and that I did not want them to transfer, that we wanted to build around their nucleus."

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