Virginia Tech looks for new direction in football program; Justin Fuente let go

Justin Fuente in 2018. By UserB – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org.jpg

11/16/2021

BLACKSBURG – Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced on Tuesday that Virginia Tech and head football coach Justin Fuente have mutually agreed to part ways. Babcock indicated that a national search is underway to fill the position. J.C. Price will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2021 season.

“We sincerely appreciate the contributions that Coach Fuente made to our football program and the positive impact he made on our student-athletes during his time at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said. “While it is never easy to make a change, I believe in order for our football program to attain the type of sustained success that is expected at Virginia Tech, the time was right for new leadership of our football program.

“Virginia Tech is one of the most attractive football jobs in America, competing in one of the nation’s premier conferences, the ACC,” Babcock continued. “I’m extremely confident that we’ll be able to identify and hire a new head coach who can build on our rich history and winning tradition.”

Babcock will address the media at Virginia Tech’s regularly scheduled football availability at 10:45 am today.

“I have full confidence in Whit’s leadership and appreciate his commitment to keep the best interest of the players and the program at the forefront,” Tech President Dr. Tim Sands stated. “Together, we stand in support of our student-athletes as they prepare to complete the season at this challenging time.”

Fuente compiled a 43-31 record in six seasons at Tech. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native owns a 69-54 career record during 10 seasons as an FBS head coach. Prior to joining the Hokies he guided Memphis to a 26-23 ledger in four seasons.

Message to Hokie Nation from Justin Fuente

On behalf of Jenny and our family, I would like to thank President Sands, Whit and the entire Virginia Tech community for extending me the opportunity to lead this football program for six seasons.

To the many incredible young men that I had the privilege to coach, so many of you have made a lasting impact on our family. I can’t thank you enough for your dedication and your commitment to doing your very best, whether that was on the field, in the classroom or in your personal lives.

To the fabulous assistant coaches and support staff at Virginia Tech, I can’t express how much I appreciated all of your work and all your sacrifices. It takes so many dedicated, hard-working and loyal people behind the scenes to make a football program run smoothly. Thank you.

To all the donors who have recently stepped up to make substantial contributions to Virginia Tech Football, please know the importance of your commitment. So many improvements have been made to point our facilities and overall student-athlete experience in the right direction. Thank you to the fans of Hokie Nation. I would encourage all of you to continue cheering on this football team – your support means so much to all of them.

Finally, to Jenny, Cecilia, Caroline, Charlotte and the rest of our family, thank you for your unwavering love and support. We have all been in this together and we will continue to be in this together on the next step of our journey.

We leave Blacksburg with many great memories, but above all else, our family cherishes the many relationships that have been established and that will always endure. To all of those players, coaches and staff who are still fighting on, know that the Fuente family is always cheering for you.

COURTESY VIRGINIA TECH ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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