A year and a half after he led Virginia Tech to the Men's College Cup, Oliver Weiss has unexpectedly quit as the Hokies' head coach. Their 2007 campaign was not without controversy as Weiss imported a number of foreign exchange students who spent one season in Blacksburg. It was followed by a 2008 season that saw Tech go winless in the ACC.
In 2007, Virginia Tech featured four players who were imported from Europe -- three Germans aged 25, 23 and 23 and an Englishman, 6-foot-6 Robert Edmans -- and played only one season. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Bob Lipper called them "ringers," whose participation "toys with the spirit of college athletics."
Weiss thought otherwise. "They are bona fide students," he told Lipper. "They are serious students. They are exceptional. They reflect the academic experience more than most kids. They're eligible by NCAA rules, and they're amateurs."
The Hokies' star was Ghanaian Patrick Nyarko, who was attracted to Virginia Tech because of its strong academic programs and spent three seasons with the Hokies before turning pro and signing with MLS's Chicago Fire.
In 2008, the Hokies lost all eight of their games in the ACC and finished with a 5-13-1 record overall.
Weiss had himself come to the United States as an exchange student in high school and stayed to star at the University of Richmond. He was at assistant coach at William & Mary before taking over at Virginia Tech, which made four NCAA tournament appearances in seven years.
"I have enjoyed my tenure here," Weiss said in a statement. "I have had the pleasure of working with some wonderful young men over the last eight years, and the program has accomplished great things. I want to thank my players, fellow coaches, Virginia Tech, the fans, alumni and the families of the players for all of their support. While I move on to other opportunities, I am proud of what we have accomplished, and I wish the team the best of luck in the fall season."
Asked about Weiss' departure, Tech athletic director Jim Weaver told the Daily Press, "It's a personnel issue. I can't talk about it. [Weiss] has some other irons in the fire."
Weiss' successor is expected to be Michael Brizendine, a Tech assistant the past five years.