It's December 28th, and that means there is serious change in the air for the Virginia Tech Hokie football program. The Justin Fuente Era starts today. Yes, officially it will begin on January 4, 2016 with the official NCAA sanctioned turnover of the program to Coach Fuente; but we all know the reality of any big job change. There are official and unofficial sorts of things happening. Although there has been precious little said, there will be offices being cleared out, and new painting and cleaning done. I am sure that some lucky real estate agent or agents will be employed looking for housing at the appropriate level for each of the new coaches. Families will be uprooted, and moved (not unusual for folks in the coaching world) or preparations made to do so after school years wrap.
January is going to look interesting around the office spaces and facilities in the Merriman Center. There will be the museum updates with the new trophy and someone will be blocking out the "Beamer Era" display for more poignant highlights and completeness. Who knows what details of new everyday life at Virginia Tech football will entail? With the hiring of a new operations staff, even they will be learning new before doing newer things.
However, with all of the support and business side of the Virginia Tech football world in flux and being re-established, there will be one major task to accomplish starting today, not January 4. That one task is to drop, on the real desk, the first cut of the plan to rebuild the Virginia Tech Hokie Football program, and begin the process of revealing what sort of team we will be cheering for when the season opens in early September 2016.
There will be several reveals to cover over the next nine months; the fresh recruiting targets after the bowl blackout period, National Signing Day, and the Spring Game (practices and scrimmages leading up to it). All of that will be important a very new for us this season. The Spring Game is almost exclusively for returning upperclassmen. There will be a few important additions, though, this year. We will get to see the new Quarterback and Wide receiver additions that have been signed early. Gobbler Country is already covering these changes in a series of articles: The first two covering the changes at Quarterback and Wide Receiver, with more to come on each of the units.
There will be a full Spring roster review, and coverage of Spring scrimmages and practices that are made available to the public, along with a full live view of the Spring Maroon and White game. There will be much to report on, and even more to learn. Even with the retention of Coaches Foster, Wiles, Gray, and Burden, there are changes in the offing everywhere.
So, we start with a clean slate, today. It's Day 1 of the Fuente Era of Virginia Tech Hokie Football. It's going to be exciting.