Virginia Tech coach Fuente will be back in ’21

NCAAF

Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente will return for his sixth season with the Hokies, athletic director Whit Babcock said Tuesday.

The Hokies went 5-6 this season, and there was some question about whether Fuente would be given more time to get the program turned around. Babcock said he spent four hours meeting with Fuente on Monday going over various facets of the program, including recruiting, the depth chart, coaches and community outreach. He said he “saw and heard what I wanted to see, and it energized me.”

He also said the decision was not financially related — Virginia Tech recently announced major budget cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fuente has gone 43-32 in five seasons as Virginia Tech coach, and Babcock noted the transition from legendary head coach Frank Beamer was more difficult than perhaps they anticipated. He also pointed out Fuente has 4-1 records against main rivals Virginia and North Carolina — noting the way the team performed well in a 33-15 win over the Cavaliers last weekend.

“We felt like this is the most likely successful path,” Babcock said. “I feel good about it. I’m paid to do what is best, not what it is easiest or meant to pacify others.”

Babcock also mentioned they have a plan in place to bring the Virginia Tech football budget into the top third of the ACC, which they believe will help Fuente and the program compete for championships.

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