Becoming the Head Coach of a Football program, any program at any level mind you, is not an easy feat. Replacing Frank Beamer’s considerable shoes was not going to be for the faint of heart. Justin Fuente accepted the challenge with humility, kindness, and above all, industry.
Many programs stumble and fall after a new regime takes over. New coaches have new people, new systems, new terminology, and new EVERYTHING. What Whit Babcock managed to do, was find the coach who would come in the door, minimize the flaws, and magnify the good while adding their new personality to the mix.
Maybe more organizations should pay attention to what just happened to Virginia Tech in 2016. Who knows? Maybe someone will write a paper on how to wade into a potential rats’ nest of resentment and recriminations, and turn it into a winner.
Spring was cold, damp, and a bit sullen on the fan side. Well, all of those fears and worries are past items on the list; scratched off with pride as a big non-worry. The man who did all that brought home a solid winning season, retained Bud Foster, won over players, kept critical recruits, found a winning quarterback, and presented a program that had potential future Hokies lined up four deep from the 50 yard line to the end zone on Saturday.
What was more important, though is that Justin Fuente did it all with class and grace. He was quiet, considerate, and understanding. He also knew how important the past was to Hokie Nation, and refused to turn his back on it. He’s added to it, and we hope he stays to continue adding to it for a long time to come.
There will be more downs, everyone knows that the program is still in transition and there are two tough games ahead of us. The ACC Championship Game that few of us ever dreamed about seeing with any rooting interest is going to be our toughest challenge. Dabo’s Sweeny’s Clemson Tigers are a top tier high powered football team on the cusp of a National Championship bid. And no one knows that more than the man being honored today.