BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) It's the end of an era. Virginia Tech is replacing a longtime tradition right before the 4th quarter of Hokie games at Lane Stadium.
In its place, the university sports department is implementing a new tradition under a new head football coach.
This is giving them a fresh start to get fans pumped before the fourth quarter. Still some Hokies are hoping the university will turn itself around.
"It's one of the things that makes us who we are," said Dan Crowder. He played the tuba at Virginia Tech and helped lead the fans in Lane Stadium to a chorus of the Hokie Pokey when he was a student.
"I couldn't understand why the university would let go of such a unique and time honored tradition," Crowder said.
Previously the tuba section played and danced the fun song on the field during home games before the fourth quarter.
Starting this year Virginia Tech sports is introducing a new tradition. An honorary guest will lead the fans in a chant of Let's Go! Hokies! It's unclear who those honorary guests will be.
The change isn't setting well with some former students and fans. A petition to bring the tradition back has circulated online. It was created by Adam Cregger, who was also part of the tuba section.
"I'm not entirely sure that it's going to make a difference or anybody in the athletic department is even going to see it. But I thought nothing ventured nothing gained, may as well get our voice out there and make it known, hey, we're not on board with this," Cregger said.
The Marching Virginians plan to use the Hokie Pokey in some of their half time shows throughout the season.
"The Hokie Pokey has a special place in many of our hearts," said Sam Hall, a senior in The Marching Virginians.
Band members are embracing the change.
"We're excited to be part of a brand new tradition at Virginia Tech. The Marching Virginians have only been around for about 43 years and so every change is a good change for us," Hall said.
Virginia Tech sports looks at how they can improve the in-stadium experience for Hokies every year and they're encouraging fans to give this a try.
The band director says he still wants fans to know the Hokie Pokey is truly what it's all about.