Virginia Tech play-by-play broadcaster Jon Laaser stepped away from his post abruptly in January, leaving a major opening for the Hokies. Laaser was not only the lead broadcaster for football and men’s basketball, but he also served as the school’s director of broadcasting.
The Hokies hadn’t replaced Laaser — until now. Per David Teel of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bill Roth will rejoin his old partner, Mike Burnop, on the call for Virginia Tech football games in 2022. Virginia Tech is expected to announce the move sometime soon, officially.
Roth is a legend in Blacksburg. The longtime play-by-play announcer for Virginia Tech departed Blacksburg for the same position at UCLA. However, Roth missed the East Coast and returned to Blacksburg. With Laaser as Virginia Tech’s top broadcaster, Roth became an instructor at Virginia Tech. Roth founded Tech’s sports media and analytics program, part of the Department of Communication’s multimedia journalism major.
Roth will continue in that role as he has a passion for recruiting and teaching the future broadcasters of tomorrow. Unlike his previous tenure as Tech football’s play-by-play voice, Roth will not call men’s basketball or serve as the school’s director of broadcasting. Virginia Tech is still searching for that person to fill the dual role.
Roth will also continue to freelance for ESPN and Westwood One, which he has done since returning to the New River Valley.
Roth, a Pennsylvania native Syracuse graduate, first arrived at Virginia Tech in 1988, joining Burnop. The pair have been on the call for many of the greatest moments in school history.
Consider the return of Roth more good news for the Hokies. No offense to Laaser, who did an outstanding job, but Bill Roth is — and will always be — the voice of the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Welcome back, Mr. Roth.