Broadcasting veteran assumes familiar role in Blacksburg
BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech Athletics and Learfield, the Hokies’ multimedia rights partner, announced Friday the return of Bill Roth as the play-by-play announcer for Virginia Tech Football, a role he previously held for 27 seasons.
The longtime Virginia Tech broadcaster makes his way back to Blacksburg to help usher in the next era of Tech football under the direction of head coach Brent Pry. In addition to returning to the booth in Lane Stadium, Roth will continue serving as a professor of practice in the School of Communication where he helped launch the rapidly growing Sports Media and Analytics program.
Also, Roth will remain a part of ESPN’s college football broadcasting team calling games during Tech open dates, along with mid-week and postseason games.
“What an exciting time to return to the Hokies,” Roth pointed out. “We’ve got so many stories to tell and memories to make for Tech fans of all generations. There’s so much positive momentum around Virginia Tech Athletics right now under the leadership of Whit Babcock and his staff. It’s just awesome to be a part of it again as we kick-off the Brent Pry era.”
A familiar voice to Tech fans, Roth served as the “Voice of the Hokies” from 1988-2015 working with both football and men’s basketball. Now, he will solely focus on football.
“Having Bill Roth return as the play-by-play voice of Virginia Tech Football should be a seamless fit for someone whose heart has really never left Blacksburg,” Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. “Bill has been responsible for some of the most iconic radio calls in Hokies history and we all look forward to hearing him describe more memorable moments along with his longtime partner, Mike Burnop. Both Coach Pry and I greatly appreciate Bill’s depth of knowledge on all things Hokies, as well as his colorful storytelling skills. Welcome back, Bill!”
“Bill Roth is a Hokie, and we’re excited to have him back to call football and to host a new podcast we know fans will love,” said Kyler Pilling, general manager for Virginia Tech Sports Properties, Learfield’s local team dedicated to serving the Hokies. “We appreciate Whit and the entire athletics administration collaborating with us on the process regarding Bill’s return, and we look forward to officially kicking off the season with next Saturday’s Spring Game.”
Roth brings a great appreciation for the history and tradition of Virginia Tech from his first stint in Blacksburg. He was the voice of the football program’s rise from independent, to the BIG EAST and then to the ACC, calling some of the Hokies’ top moments in program history along the way.
In 2016, the 11-time Virginia Sportscaster of the Year helped found the Sports Media and Analytics as a concentration within Virginia Tech’s School of Communication. In December 2019, the program was elevated to a major.
“This is a special place for me,” Roth acknowledged. “This stadium. This campus. This community. As a broadcaster and now as an instructor, I’ve seen how Virginia Tech impacts the lives of its students and student-athletes. It’s just a remarkable place with truly caring and genuine people, and I’m just delighted to return to the booth with my dear friend, Mike Burnop. Reunion tours can be fun, and I’m glad we’ve got the band back together again!”
“Bill and I have enjoyed many memorable Virginia Tech moments over the years,” Burnop added. “I’m happy to welcome him back to the broadcast booth in Blacksburg as a friend and colleague. From the National Championship Game in New Orleans to Michael Vick and the Miracle in Morgantown, we’ve shared countless games with Hokie Nation over the years. There was even that time Tyrod ‘did it’ against Nebraska! I’m looking forward to sharing more Virginia Tech Football victories and great plays with Bill starting again this fall.”
In addition to his play-by-play duties for Tech Football, Roth plans to host podcasts for Tech Athletics and will write a regular column for Inside Hokie Sports magazine.
Roth graduated from Syracuse’s prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1988. Upon graduation, Roth used his demo reel from the 1987 NCAA men’s basketball national championship game between Syracuse and Indiana to help land his initial appointment with Virginia Tech in 1988. He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Roth will be calling Saturday’s Spring Game on television for ACC Network with former Tech wide receiver Eddie Royal handling the color commentary, with Taylor Davis reporting from the sidelines.
Roth will officially return to the radio booth for the Hokies on Friday, Sept. 2 in Tech’s season opener at Old Dominion.
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