Cavalier Corner

February 2019

Cavalier Corner is the publication just for UVa sports fans!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 31

cavalier sports 10 CAVALIER CORNER Gary Markel: 50 Consecutive ACC Tournaments WAHOO NATION I f you can't find Gary Markel during the first half of the month of March, just search for the location of the ACC Basketball Tour- nament and you'll find him. For the last 49 years, Markel hasn't missed the ACC's annual hoops gala. "This year hopefully will be my 50th straight year going to the ACC Basketball Tournament, which is pretty neat," Markel said. "I happened to be in Landover, Maryland, when Virginia won its first ACC Basketball Tournament. They had to beat three top-10 teams in three days, so that was pretty exciting." He also saw Virginia take down Duke in the 2014 ACC Tourna- ment — claiming the Hoos first title since the "Miracle in Lando- ver" 38 years earlier — and last year's 71-63 win over North Caro- lina to claim UVA's third league championship. Also among his favorite Cavalier sports moments, Markel counts Virginia's first bowl game in Atlanta on New Year's Eve in the 1984 Peach Bowl. Led by Hall of Fame head coach George Welsh, Virginia beat the Purdue Boilermakers 27-24. Markel attended the University of Tennessee and got his connec- tion with Virginia through his father, Milton, who graduated from Virginia with a law degree in 1935 and his brother, Tony, who re- ceived his degree in economics as part of the class of 1964. "My father was a major, major supporter of the VAF," Markel noted. "I just enjoyed UVA sports. We used to go to all of the foot- ball games and basketball games when he was living, and Tony and I continued supporting VAF." Gary has been a VAF supporter since 1985 and Tony since 1971. Today, Markel lives in Florida where he is the president of Gary Markel Surplus Lines Brokerage, an indepen- dently owned excess and surplus lines wholesale broker in Clearwater, Fla. He said he rarely gets back up to Charlottesville, but "with the TV and Internet you get most of the games, so I follow UVA sports on TV quite a bit." "As donors, Tony and I are very ex- cited about the direction of the entire program of athletics," Markel said. "Craig Littlepage, a longtime friend, started the momentum with the hiring of Tony Bennett and, recently, Bronco Mendenhall. The new energy brought by Carla Williams will only positively add to the direction of the entire program. "Tony's done a heck of a job getting some great players and great student-athletes. It appears that Bronco is doing a great job in football and coach Brian O'Connor has built a very good baseball program." The brothers have both had the opportunity to interact with Wil- liams, the schools new director of athletics, and add "she is doing a wonderful job leading the department." They also are very com- plimentary of VAF executive director Dirk Katstra, calling his two- decade-plus tenure leading the VAF "remarkable." One thing is certain, Gary will be cel- ebrating his ACC Tournament Golden Anniversary at the Spectrum Center March 12 in Charlotte, N.C. — Greg Waters Gary Markel (right), seen here with his brother Tony, will be attending his 50th consecutive ACC Men's Basketball Tournament and cheering on the Hoos this March. PHOTO COURTESY GARY MARKEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cavalier Corner - February 2019