The Virginia Tech Hokies and former head coach Justin Fuente mutually agreed to part ways late Monday night. Virginia Tech released a statement announcing the move and the appointment of J.C. Price as interim coach for the remainder of the 2021 season.
As you might expect, it was a tough day in Blacksburg. Regardless of what fans or media thought of the job Fuente did in his six seasons as head coach, he was popular with his players. As a result, several players took to Twitter and thanked Fuente for believing in them and giving them an opportunity.
Athletic director Whit Babcock was surprisingly candid when he met with the media at 10:45 on Tuesday morning. Babcock discussed that Virginia Tech and Fuente had agreed to a reduced number on the buyout, now $8.75 million — down from $10 million. Babcock also said he offered Fuente the opportunity to finish the season as head coach, and Fuente declined. He met with his team on Tuesday morning to deliver the news.
Now, let’s check out some of the top Twitter reactions from current and former players via Twitter:
We had two very winnable games left. But I’m glad everyone who don’t put on the pads are happy. Thank you @CoachFuente for all you’ve done for me and my family. We appreciate you.— James Mitchell (@j_mitch82) November 16, 2021
Forever thankful for you coming to get the kid from Greensboro, NC. Wish we could’ve finished this out together but business is business….Much love, Coach pic.twitter.com/fIbjGVk4MA— Tré Turner (@tre11turner) November 16, 2021
They can say all they want, you gave me an opportunity and I will forever be thankful. Love you Coach Fu pic.twitter.com/FYINViE5pY— Jordan Williams (@_blessed_23) November 16, 2021
Thank you for everything @CoachFuente . Despite what others think and say you was my dawg and gave me a chance to show Hokie Nation what I could do. Thank you coach— Jalen Holston (@fourscoob) November 16, 2021
Obviously a tough decision by Whit. Coach Fu is well respected by a lot of his players and I know this change will be emotional. Coach Price will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2021 season.— Luther Maddy (@luthermaddy_) November 16, 2021
Let’s finish for the seniors and get to a bowl game. #Hokies
Bittersweet…— BRM (@Billy_Shmurda) November 16, 2021
Absolutely nothing but love and appreciation for Coach Fuente, the staff, and their incredible families. The lessons and learned and qualities instilled made me the man that I am today. https://t.co/4ZuKlD27Xg
Ill always be grateful for what Coach Fu did for our program, especially in his first year in 2016. The sense of urgency he moved with provided a much needed spark to our team & restored what i had envisioned my time in Blacksburg would be like back when i committed to VT #hokies— Kenjamin (@Ekannibal) November 16, 2021
Thank you @CoachFuente for taking me in and blessing me with the opportunity that I’ve had the last 3 years, but more specifically, this year. It’s been a pleasure to be coached by you and your staff. I will forever be grateful pic.twitter.com/z5A5g0J8V3— John Parker Romo (@Romo_HKA) November 16, 2021
Much love to @CoachFuente and his family. Only coached me for a year in 2016 and that year I will remember forever. Our first Colorado workout I thought you were crazy but it paid off in the end lol. Thank you Coach Fue and I wish you the best ✊ pic.twitter.com/8xoPfyldnX— Jonathan McLaughlin (@jglock1993) November 16, 2021
I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll start by saying thank you. @CoachFuente Thank you coach for believing in me and thank you for pushing me to places I wouldn’t have been able to reach on my own. You changed my life for the better, I’ll always be grateful for you! #PatNGo pic.twitter.com/AKAYgItyAP— Jarrod Hewitt (@HewittJarrod) November 16, 2021