Teel: As Semi-Retirement Approaches Tom Gabbard Still Inspiring His Hokies Colleagues | University sport
Weaver’s widow, Traci, lives in Florida and made sure to be there too, always grateful for Gabbard’s support during her husband’s battle with Parkinson’s disease and since his death in 2015. Craig Weaver, the Jim and Traci’s only child, was 14 when his father passed away and quickly adopted Gabbard as a surrogate father.
Gabbard welcomed the role and helped Craig, now a junior at Virginia Tech, chart a professional course for sports administration. Craig has followed Gabbard on basketball and football game days – he has kept the clock on the field in home football games for two seasons – and this year works as an assistant to the special teams coordinator and tight ends trainer James Shibest.
Equally important, Gabbard has been a connection to the past, regaling Craig with stories about his father, Florida, UNLV, and Virginia Tech.
“It’s just amazing to always have him around,” Craig said, “just his knowledge, his wisdom. He guided me in the right direction. He helped me with the resumes. Everything. and whatever, he’s been there.
Be there. It’s what we cherish in our friends and family, what we value in our co-workers, and it’s Gabbard’s specialty.
He was there for the football team’s run to the 1999 national title game. He was there, as tournament director, at the 2004 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship at The Homestead in Hot Springs.