Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente Wins ACC Coach of the Year

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Justin FuenteJustin Fuente has accomplished many things in his first season at Virginia Tech, and now he can add ACC Coach of the Year to that list.

The ACC announced on Tuesday that Fuente won the award, which was voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

The voting wasn’t all that close either. Fuente received 27 votes, 16 more than Clemson’s Dabo Swinney who finished second. Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson finished third with four votes.

Fuente is the first coach to win ACC Coach of the Year in his first season since Paul Johnson, who won in 2008.

It’s rather easy to see why Fuente won. He took over a 7-6 team, succeeded a legendary coach in the most professional manner possible and led Virginia tech to a 9-3 regular season record and a Coastal Division title, the program’s first since 2011.

Taking over for Frank Beamer may have been the toughest part of the job. Fuente, along with Director of Athletics Whit Babcock, negotiated the Beamer-Fuente transition about as smoothly as possible. Fuente retained Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster, Defensive Line Coach Charley Wiles and Running Backs Coach Zohn Burden, all of whom coached under Beamer.

Fuente also got the senior leadership on the team to buy in, making it easier to establish his culture in Blacksburg.

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18 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Congratulations Justin, and wishing you many more in the future here at VT. This excellent award could not have happened to a better man, thank you Justin.

  2. I thought the ACSMA’s only function was to host sprints to the front of the buffet line. Guess I was wrong because they sure got this one right.

  3. Very Well Deserved and if they had a AD of the Year Whit Babcock should get that and if they had a Retired Head Coach who put the University Students, Staff and All the rest of us before himself that should go to Frank Beamer. Those 3 did an absolutely unbelievable job of making sure this transition worked and that the team supported Coach Fu and his new staff. All of it makes me very proud to be a HOKIE!

    1. They do have AD of the Year Award – by Under Armour. Last year it was shared by 4 ADs – Iowa, Northwestern, Miss State, San Diego State. Maybe Whit will get some love this year for the award. Winners are announced in February — hopefully he’s been nominated. Should be a lock in my ‘unbiased’ opinion.

  4. Well deserved coach and with all the other positive things happening Whit Babcock should be the AD of the Year!!!! I think both are perfect fits for VT. Go Hokies!!!!!

  5. What a deserving award for Coach JF!! Sure hope VT can hold on to him for at least 3-5 years. I enjoy and respect all aspects of how Coach Fuente handles himself, both in winning and losing situations. Our AD did a masterful job in both the hiring and transition between Coach JF and Coach FB. Can you even imagine how Jim Weaver would have handled this?

    1. Who says we can’t keep him. Our program, alumni, facilities, and fans are at the top in the country. I don’t give any ground to any other Power school, we can keep Justin as long as he wishes to be here.

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