BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock met with the media via Zoom today to discuss the future of the Virginia Tech football program, which will be ran under current head coach Justin Fuente. Fuente is under contract through 2024, but Tuesday his buyout price dropped from $12.5 million to $10 million, which lead to speculation among Hokie Nation about a potential firing.
“I believe in Justin. I’m not unaware of what we need to do. He’s our guy, he’s a Hokie, and I believe he gives us the best chance. I will take responsibility for that.” Babcock on Fuente staying. #Hokies— Brooke Leonard (@abrookeleonard) December 15, 2020
Babcock made clear on Tuesday that was not the case, “If you change and miss, it can get into a spiral that you don’t want. So we believe we have the right guy and that’s who we’re going to move forward with.”
“Football is important here, we must and will do better. Failure is simply not an option, that is crystal clear to me and Justin [Fuente] and everyone here. That is the standard and that’s what we signed up for. We have a plan and we have hope for the future and we did what we thought was best.”
Babcock covered a lot of things extensively in meeting with Fuente. Said his answers were honest and sincere. Said they get along just fine and yesterday was an example of that. #Hokies— Brooke Leonard (@abrookeleonard) December 15, 2020
The Hokies are coming off of their first losing regular season record since 1992, capping the 2020 regular season at 5-6. However, Fuente is 4-1 against rivals Virginia and North Carolina and has qualified for four straight bowls. His record in those games is 1-3. Babcock says that a decision on a bowl this season will be made in the next 24 hours.
Babcock on Fuente’s loyalty: “I’ve seen lots of calls being made that he didn’t even entertain.”— Brooke Leonard (@abrookeleonard) December 15, 2020
The Hokies AD explained that up to 75 percent of the Hokies players and 80 percent of the full time coaches contracted Covid-19 dating back to March. Fuente’s contract is for more than 4 million per year thru 2024. His salary is in the upper third of all the coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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