Proper athletic facilities in the early days were non-existent. Students desiring to play baseball merely found the most level spot available and played there. The first rugby football was played in the fall of 1891 on a far-from-level area behind Barracks No. 1 (Lane Hall), a wheat field located about where Shanks Hall stands today. President John M. McBryde offered part of the horticulture farm, a small ungraded area, known as Sheib Field and located near the present Memorial Chapel, for both athletic and military drill use in 1894. The area was enlarged in 1902, a small wooden grandstand was erected, and the name was changed to Gibboney Field. In 1909 the area was graded and leveled, the grandstand enlarged, and the name changed to Miles Field. Miles Field was used for football, baseball, and track until Miles Stadium was completed in 1926. Miles Stadium was razed following the 1964 football season and was superceded by the present Lane Stadium.
The first gymnasium, known as the Pavilion, was converted to that use from a mess hall in 1894. It remained in use as a gymnasium until a wooden field house was built and turned over to the Athletic Association in January 1915. However, intercollegiate basketball was played in the building originally called the Chapel, which was used during one period as an auditorium, dance hall, and gymnasium, from 1909 to 1914 before moving into the field house in 1915. Fire totally destroyed the field house, the first building erected primarily for use as a gymnasium, on Nov. 4, 1923. The Pavilion was used once again as a gymnasium until the construction in 1926 of the War Memorial Gymnasium. That facility served as the home for varsity basketball until January 1962, when the first game was played in the present Cassell Coliseum. A new field house, named the Rector Field House and supplementing the War Memorial Gymnasium and Cassell Coliseum, was completed in late 1971 across Spring Road from Lane Stadium.
A listing of major athletic facilities follows. Facilities appearing in italics no longer exist:
Auditorium and Chapel-See Library (Old) under Buildings.
Baseball Field-Located between Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum. Completed 1954. Relocated in ?
Burrows/Burleson Tennis Center-Addition to Rector Tennis Pavilion. Constructed 1992; 24,960 sq. ft. Dedicated and opened 1992. Added three new indoor and six new outdoor courts. Locker room upgraded and remodeled, 2004. Digital video cameras added to each court, 2008. All men’s and women’s home tennis matches played here. Made possible by gifts from Dave and Betty Burrows of Roanoke; their son, Jack Burrows, and his wife, Lee, of Roanoke; and their daughter, Beverly, and her husband, Bobby Burleson, of Tallahassee, Fla. Jack Burrows and Bobby Burleson were former members of the university’s tennis team, and Burrows was inducted into Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Cassell Coliseum-Constructed September 1960- December 1964; 187,000 gross sq.ft.; cost approximately $2,775,000. Contains 10,052 permanent seats. Also houses locker rooms, two auxiliary gymnasiums, offices, and other athletic facilities. Roof supported by laminated wood arches. First used Jan. 3, 1962, for basketball game with Alabama—Virginia Tech won 91-67—before building had been completed. First used for commencement exercises June 9, 1963; first used for a presidential inauguration (T. Marshall Hahn’s) April 4, 1963; first used for concert purposes (Mantovani Orchestra) Nov. 19, 1963. Jamerson Center added 1984 (see Jamerson Athletic Center below); spring-loaded playing floor added 1988; new lighting system installed 1989. Restoration work, including roof reinforcement, renovation, and changes to the floor, completed 1997; cost $3.335.000. Addition and restoration work completed 1998; 2,680 sq. ft. Now contains 229,297 sq. ft., including 2,108 sq. ft. lobby Originally known as Student Activities and Physical Education Building. Renamed Cassell Coliseum Nov. 5, 1976, in memory of Stuart K. Cassell, chief business officer 1945-66 and vice president for administration1966-76. Dedicated Sept. 17, 1977.
Chapel-See Library (Old) under Buildings.
Cross-country Course-Opened for racing 1993; 3.1-mile course. One of few courses in the country located on a college campus. Used for training and competition. Begins beside Rector Field House and ends behind Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dye, Peter River Couse-See Peter Dye River Course.
English Field-Built in phases, with first phase completed 1987; total cost $1.2 million. Dedicated 1989. Includes concrete stands, spacious dugouts, bullpens on each side, and a computerized scoreboard. First game versus George Mason University, March 22, 1989; Hokies won 7-2. Baseball Coach Chuck Hartman won 1,000th career victory here with Hokie defeat of Liberty University April 27, 1992, making him the 9th baseball coach in Div. I history to win 1,000 games. New press box constructed 1997; 2,453 sq. ft.; $488,000. Named for E. R. English, a 1934 alumnus, an athletic supporter, and a founder of the Student Aid Association, and his wife, Ruth W. English. Dugout dedicated 1991 to Greene F. Laird, retired coach known as “Mr. Baseball.”
Football Practice Field-Installed behind Jamerson Hall. Completed spring 2001; cost $1,871,000. Earlier practice field, added in 1972, was located between the greenhouses and Spring Road. See Moseley Practice Field.
Gibboney Field-See introduction, above.
Golf Course-First nine holes opened May 1958. Second nine holes added 1974. Clubhouse constructed 1910 as private residence. Course was brainchild of Stuart K. Cassell, then business manager and later vice president for administration, but Cassell was unable to gain state funding. According to President Emeritus T. Marshall Hahn Jr., Cassell “sent a couple of tractors to the southwest corner of the campus to push dirt around.” Later, Cassell had nine turfgrass research plots established, connected them with fairways, and created a golf course. Cassell used the same procedure to get the next nine holes. Hahn said that Gov. Tom Stanley called Cassell to object to the use of state funds for such a project. Cassell reportedly said, “Governor, show me in our books where VPI spent any money on a golf course.” Was used by golf team for practice and open to the public. First nine holes obliterated in 2000 when construction began on The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center and Holtzman Alumni Center at the site. Removal of remaining nine holes began in 2010. In 2003, university acquired a golf course in Fairlawn, Va. See Peter Dye River Course.
Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Center-Constructed 2008-09; 49,000 sq. ft.; cost $21 million. First used Aug. 10, 2009. Includes memorabilia areas, coaches’ and staff offices, small kitchen, conference room, two basketball courts, locker rooms, film classrooms, lounges, equipment room, examining rooms, strength and conditioning area, training room, weight room. Named for President Emeritus T. Marshall Hahn Jr., Anne Hahn Hurst, and Marshall Hurst in 2010.
Jamerson Athletic Center-Constructed 1982 adjacent to and adjoining Cassell Coliseum (see Cassell Coliseum above); 39,617 sq. ft.; cost $1.83 million. Dedicated Sept. 9, 1983. Football locker rooms expanded, training facilities expanded, non-revenue sports coaches offices expanded, office for team orthopedist added, 1996. Houses administrative and coaches’ offices, athletic department accounting and business offices, team and coaches’ meeting rooms, the Jim “Bulldog” Haren weight room, and the Gordon D. Bowman Memorial Club Room, which is open to Hokie Club members. Named in honor of J. E. Jamerson and his son, alumnus William E. Jamerson, owners of the firm that constructed the building and strong supporters of athletics at the university.
Johnson-Miller Outdoor Track Complex-Completed 1997 and dedicated Sept. 27, 1998; cost $1.89 million. Includes an eight-lane Mondo track, 10 dash lanes, and multiple jumping and throwing areas. Named for W. Stuart Johnson, Tech’s “Mr. Track” in 1952 and first man elected to Virginia Tech Hall of Fame solely on his records in track and field, and Jack William Miller Jr., co-captain of 1953 team. Their support made the complex possible. Other tracks have been located on Miles and Gibboney Fields, at Miles Stadium, and between Rector Field House and Southgate Drive (a “Grasstex” track completed in 1965; cost $78,000; now Tech Softball Park). Soccer part of complex until construction of Virginia Tech Lacrosse and Soccer Stadium in 2003 (see Virginia Tech Lacrosse and Soccer Stadium).
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field-Stadium construction commenced 1964; most major construction completed 1969; cost $2,113,047. Initially designed to seat 35,000. First used Sept. 24, 1965, for a freshman football game between Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, which ended in 8-8 tie. First varsity game, Virginia Tech versus College of William and Mary, played Oct. 2, 1965, with Tech winning 9-7. Dedicated Oct. 23, 1965, at combined Homecoming and first Governor’s Day football game with University of Virginia, which Tech won 22-14. In 1971 an area underneath the cantilevered press box was glassed in to seat members of the Golden Hokie Club. Additional 26,768-sq-ft. restroom area and concourse on east side completed 1977. Additional 12,500 seats (new tier on one side) installed 1981; cost $3.17 million. Modern lighting system added 1982; replaced 2005. First night game Nov. 25, 1982. New scoreboard containing Big East Conference logo installed 1991; replaced with Jumbotron 2005. Auxiliary scoreboard on north end added 1994. Re-sodding of field and addition of seats in sections 2-8; new loud speaker added in 1996; cost $220,000. Restoration and repair of concrete completed 1998; cost $1.9 million. Permanent bleachers added 1999. Ticket booths added to south entrance 1997. Expansion of south end zone, adding 11,120 seats and enclosing south end zone, 2002; cost $37 million. Old press box removed 2004. West end stands addition completed in 2006, providing another 11,000 seats, including 1,160 bleacher seats with backs, 1,200 club seats, and 15 luxury suites, improved visitors’ locker room, addition of more convenient high-tech media center, and new press area added; cost $52.5 million. Permanent seating capacity: 66,233. In 2001 Worsham Field received top-of-the-line natural grass turf, drainage, an air vacuum and blower system, and remote monitoring and control of field conditions and maintenance procedures; cost $1,366,500. Stadium and playing field financed completely through private funds and gifts. Named for Edward Hudson Lane 1910, chairman of the board of Lane Co. and former member of board of directors of VPI Educational Foundation, former president of Student Aid Association, and former member of Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. Playing area named Worsham Field in 1991 in honor of longtime Hokie supporter Wes Worsham, who pledged $1 million to the university’s Second Century Campaign.
Merryman Center-All-purpose athletic building. Completed 1998; 37,500 sq. ft.; cost $11.1 million. Dedicated Sept. 26, 1998. Includes a sports medicine complex complete with training rooms and doctors’ offices, strength and conditioning complex, speed and agility gym, football coaches’ locker room, student life center and study hall, 130-seat auditorium, nine positioning meeting rooms, coaches’ offices, athletic memorabilia area, and video department. Joins Cassess Coliseum with Jamerson Athletic Center. Named for F. W. “Sonny” Merryman family of Rustburg, Va., which donated a major gift that kicked off a fund-raising campaign for the building.
Miles Stadium-Built in sections using class donations. Cost $101,344; seated 3,760 in permanent seats. First game played Sept. 25, 1926; resulted in victory over Roanoke College. Dedication game played Oct. 23, 1926, with Virginia Tech beating the University of Virginia 6-0. Seating capacity increased to 16,000 by using temporary bleachers. Last game played Nov. 7, 1964. Razed 1964-65. Of 95 games played in the stadium, Tech won 66, lost 25, and tied 4. Located at site now surrounded by O’Shaughnessy, Lee, Pritchard, and Payne halls. Named for Clarence P. “Sally” Miles ‘01, former director of athletics, graduate athletic manager, professor, and dean; old Miles Field and Miles Dormitory also named for C. P. Miles.
Moseley Practice Field-Completed 1998 as part of McComas Hall project; cost $300,000. Named for late football coach and athletic director Frank Moseley. Practice moved in 2001 to new Football Practice Fields (see above).
Pavilion-See Pavilion under Buildings.
Peter Dye River Course of Virginia Tech-Golf course. Five sets of tees along 2.5 miles of New River in Pulaski County. Acquired 2002. Renovation 2003-06, with funding provided by Bill (alumnus) and Alice Goodwin of Richmond, Va. Dedicated 2006. Designed by golf-course architect Peter Dye. Dedicated June 2006. Harry S. and Patsy B. Williams Clubhouse construction started 2008; anticipated completion 2009; $5.5 million. Open to public (a daily fee public facility); used by university golf team. Named “Best New Remodel” golf course for 2006 by Golf Digest.
Rector, Carol B. Tennis Pavilion-Indoor tennis courts. Completed 1975; 21,787-sq-ft.; cost $800,000. Dedicated Oct. 2, 1976. Named for Carol B. Rector, a friend, benefactor, and former employee of the university. Addition 1992 (see Burrows-Burleson) added three new indoor and six new outdoor courts.
Rector Field House- Major construction completed 1971; 71,189-sq-ft.; cost $636,345. Dedicated Sept. 8, 1973. Built primarily of stone and structural steel. Includes full-length AstroTurf football field (artificial turf added 1973) surrounded by 310-yard tartan track. Mondo all-weather surface added to track 1997 and new artificial turf for football field; cost $500,000. Initial plans called for addition of a dining hall. Named in 1972 for 1958 alumnus Charles W. Rector, president and chief administrator of Rector Construction Company.
Sheib Field-See introduction, above.
South Recreational Fields- Four softball and six football fields. Lower fields constructed in 1972. Used for intramural sports activities, softball sport club practices and games, and a practice field for the Marching Virginians. Lights added 1988; cost $200,000. Upper fields completed summer 2002; cost $1.529 million. Used by outdoor sport clubs in cricket, field hockey, lacrosse, rugby, and soccer. Field building added 2003; 2,117 sq. ft.; cost $464,235.
Student Activities and Physical Education Building-See Cassell Coliseum.
Tennis Courts-Eleven outdoor tennis courts installed on Washington Street beside Cassell Coliseum in 1965, with 11 more constructed sometime between 1971 and 1975. Resurfaced 1996 and given facelift for 1997 Atlantic 10 Conference tennis championships. In 2007-08, the number was reduced to 12 courts to accommodate construction on a basketball practice facility. Plans call for six courts to be constructed on the lower South Recreational Field. Used by sport club tennis teams and for instructional programs.
Thompson Field-Completed 2003. First game played Sept. 2, 2003, when women’s team defeated American University 3-2 in double-overtime. Seats 1,000 fans. Includes Sandy Thompson Press Box and camera deck for media. Named in 2008 for Sandra D. Thompson, longtime supporter of women's athletics at Virginia Tech.
Varsity Football Practice Field-Added in 1972 between the Greenhouses and Spring Road.
Virginia Tech Park- Was home of baseball teams 1955-89 and later served as soccer field. Located between Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum. More than 500 fans could watch games on the regulation-size soccer field. Replaced with Virginia tech Lacrosse and Soccer Stadium—see above.
Virginia Tech Softball Park-Completed 1997; cost $520,000. Press box added 2000; 144 sq. ft. Initially seated 336. Added 746 permanent seats and made other improvements, 2007-08; cost $1.2 million. Now seats 1,082.
War Memorial Gymnasium-An alumni campaign for building a gymnasium to memorialize Techmen who had lost their lives in World War I began in 1919; resulting building completed in 1926 and dedicated Oct. 23, 1926. Pool added 1933. Total cost $436,710; 91,594-sq-ft. Used in the past for varsity basketball (1926-1961) and auditorium, dance, and exhibition hall; radio and television offices; and Alumni Association offices. Initially called World War I Memorial Gymnasium. Closed 1972-75 for significant renovation and expansion; 171,167 sq. ft.; cost $5.996 million. Total area 200,961 sq. ft. Reopened May 1975. A 1992 flash flood caused damage that necessitated remodeling. Satellite police department office opened in the building 2006.
Women’s Softball Field-Completed 1997; cost $520,000.
Worsham Field-See Lane Stadium.