Virginia Tech tabs Marquette’s Megan Duffy as women’s basketball coach: How good a hire is it?

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Virginia Tech is hiring Megan Duffy as its next women’s basketball coach, the school announced Wednesday.

Duffy hails from Marquette, where she spent the past five years at the helm, taking the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Tournament three times. She accumulated a 110-46 record there, including a 64-30 mark in the Big East, and was the fastest coach in program history to 100 wins. Duffy also garnered the most road wins and most home wins in a single season in program history.

Duffy will be trusted to guide Virginia Tech through a rebuild after the program lost its trusty coach Kenny Brooks to Kentucky this offseason. With Brooks’ departure, Hokies star guard Georgia Amoore entered the transfer portal with a “do not contact” denotation, implying that she knows where she wants to go. Star Hokies freshman Clara Strack — who other Virginia Tech stars in Liz Kitley and Amoore called the future of Virginia Tech on The Athletic Women’s Basketball Show — entered the portal with the “do not contact” denotion, according to multiple reports. The program also moves forward without Kitley, who returned for her fifth year of eligibility before tearing her ACL ahead of the NCAA Tournament.

“An accomplished player and coach, Megan has a relentless work ethic and a demonstrated ability to develop talent and build successful programs,” Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement.

“She is a proven winner and committed to continuing our women’s basketball program’s momentum. I am confident Hokie Nation will embrace and support Megan as we enter the next chapter of Virginia Tech women’s basketball.”

Virginia Tech has taken hit after hit this offseason after losing the entirety of the core which brought it the Final Four in 2023, and Duffy will need to minimize further damage and hit the portal to replace the star power she never got the proper chance to retain.

“The work with the team begins today as we look toward building the next great Hokie team,” Duffy said in a statement.

Duffy played at Notre Dame from 2002 to 2006 under Muffet McGraw, helping the Irish to four straight NCAA appearances and two Sweet 16 berths. She totaled more than 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals as one of four players in school history to do so. Duffy played professionally, mostly overseas, for three years before starting her coaching career. She got her start in coaching in 2009 when current Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico hired her as an assistant at St. Johns. When Barnes Arico made the jump to the Wolverines in 2012, Duffy went to George Washington as an associate head coach, but rejoined Barnes Arico in Ann Arbor in 2014. After three season, Miami of Ohio hired her as the head coach, and in 2019, she made the jump to the Big East and Marquette.

How good of a hire is this?

Pretty impressive. There are plenty of folks in the industry who are waiting to see how much of Virginia Tech’s success is going to be sustainable moving forward, because so much of it was built by this recent grouping of Kitley, Cayla King and Amoore. However, what that group and a Final Four run built as a potential foundation in Blacksburg is undeniable. Because of what they did, there’s now a very engaged fanbase that is eager to support the Hokies.

Virginia Tech averaged 6,642 fans per game this season (up from 1,739 a season ago) and the Hokies had multiple sell outs, including the two NCAA Tournament games they hosted. Duffy is known as a really good developmental coach, so if she can continue to foster that game-day environment, it’ll help on the recruiting front. — Chantel Jennings, senior women’s basketball writer

Where will Virginia Tech fall in the ACC next season?

It’s likely going to be a pretty significant rebuilding year. Amoore entered the portal after the season as did Strack, who impressed after Kitley went down. King and Olivia Summiel are also out of eligibility so four of the top five minutes getters for the Hokies are gone. Since Matilda Ekh and Rose Micheaux transferred in a season ago, they are unlikely to enter the portal (unless they have already graduated from Virginia Tech). Duffy will likely hit the portal herself and she should be able to draw some good talent to Blacksburg because the opportunity to play immediately is there. — Jennings

Required reading

(Photo: M. Anthony Nesmith / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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