“We have a lot of faith in him," Green said. "He’s coached a couple times in practice and we liked what he did, the methods he did, and some of the styles he did. We just really felt confident.”
Green went on to say he believes Johnson will push all the right buttons.
“He’s a competitive person, and that’s going to bring the best out of all of us,” Green said. “He’s exciting; he’s got a swagger to him that he’s going to bring to the team. We’re going to be energetic, upbeat and ready to go.”
Last week, Weaver and Tom Gabbard (the associate director of athletics for internal affairs) met with the men’s basketball team to get a gauge on what it wanted from its new coach. Green, Eddie, and others spoke in favor of Johnson.
“Because we were comfortable with Coach Johnson, it solidified everyone wanting to stay and be a part of the program,” Eddie said. “If we can’t have Coach Greenberg, we’d like to have Coach Johnson to make it as smooth as possible.”
Johnson’s first year won’t be a cakewalk. The Hokies went 16-17 last season, and just 4-12 in the ACC. He also has the task of holding together the 2012 recruiting class of Montrezl Harrell (Tarboro, N.C.) and Marshall Wood (Rustburg, Va.).
“We feel like they're part of our basketball family now,” Johnson said. “We want guys that are excited to be at Virginia Tech."
Putting the Hokies on top will be a process.
“This is going to be a good ride throughout this process,” Johnson said. “As things developed with this situation, I thought about my years here at Virginia Tech, and I don’t think there was any better person for the job than myself.”
The Hokies, who haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since the 2006-07 season, have the pieces to make noise in the ACC next season.
“We’re competing to be the best,” Johnson said. “We’re not trying to play second fiddle to anybody. We have everything in place to take this program to the next level.”