Virginia Tech Adds Ace Custis to Men's Basketball Staff

By: David Cunningham | @therealdcunna | Sep 18, 2019
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

Mike Young and Virginia Tech announced today that former Hokie star Ace Custis has been added to the men's basketball coaching staff.

Custis will join Young's staff as the coordinator of basketball relations. Previously an assistant coach at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Custis brings six years of assistant coaching experience - five at UMES, one at Virginia State.

His experience as a player is most memorable for Hokie fans.

Custis, who played at Virginia Tech from 1993 to 1997, is one of four former men's basketball players with their numbers hanging in the rafters in Cassell Coliseum. Before his final home game in 1997, Virginia Tech retired his No. 20 jersey, the third Hokie to have his number retired.

After sitting out his first year in Blacksburg due to a knee surgery, Custis earned all-freshman honors for the Metro Conference in the 1993-1994 season after averaging 10.9 points and 9.1 rebounds.

In the 1994-1995 season, Custis helped lead the Hokies to an NIT Championship, averaging 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds.

Tech transitioned to the Atlantic 10 Conference the following season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament with for the first time in ten years, finishing with a 23-6 record. The ninth-seeded Hokies defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay 61-48 in the opening round but fell to Kentucky, the No. 1 seed in the region and eventual National Champions, in the second round.

Though Tech finished 15-16 in his final year, Custis was named to the first-team All-Atlantic 10 for the second consecutive season. He finished his career with 1706 points, which ranks 11th all-time at Virginia Tech, and 1177 rebounds, which ranks fourth all-time. He is one of four Hokies all-time with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Custis played professional basketball for 15 seasons after graduation. He was signed to a free-agent deal by the Dallas Mavericks in 1997 before signing with the Grand Rapid Hoops of the Central Basketball Association in 1999.

The 6'8 forward then took his talents overseas, playing with OSG Phoenix of the Japanese Basketball League for three seasons. He joined the Panasonic Trains of the JBL in 2006, whom he played for until 2012 when he announced his retirement.

The hire of Custis also gives a promotion to Chester Frazier, who is now the associate head coach after working as Mike Young's top assistant. Frazier has impressed many on the recruiting trail since his arrival and has emerged as one of the top young assistant coaches in the country.