Virginia Tech Announces New Contract for Justin Fuente; Galen Scott Named Co-Def. Coordinator

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Justin Fuente Virginia Tech
Justin Fuente will certainly feel very happy after his latest contract extension with Virginia Tech. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Justin Fuente has turned down the opportunity to coach at programs like LSU and Florida State in recent years. His success at Virginia Tech has opened the eyes of athletic directors across the country, and that interest has pushed the Hokies to offer yet another contract extension to Fuente.

Virginia Tech announced on Tuesday that Fuente and the Hokies had agreed to another contract extension, Fuente’s second in as many seasons. The agreement extends Fuente’s current contract one more year through 2024, and increases Fuente’s financial compensation to $4 million for 2018 and 2019.

“We are very committed to Coach Fuente and his staff on a long-term basis,” said director of athletics Whit Babcock in a statement. “He has been very loyal and is a tremendous fit at Virginia Tech. We believe in further solidifying the upward trajectory of our football program by investing in him, as well as the wonderful coaches and staff surrounding him. We are pleased to provide additional support staff and resources to our football program.”

“Jenny and our three daughters are very fortunate to call Blacksburg and Virginia Tech our home,” Fuente said in a statement. “Ensuring that we were able to retain and reward our very talented and dedicated assistant coaching staff was very important to me. The loyalty and dedication of our assistant coaches and support team is unwavering. I’m very appreciative of the additions and enhancements we are making to our facilities and support staff. I’m very proud to be a Hokie!”

For the 2017 season, Justin Fuente was the 33rd-highest paid coach in college football among public schools, according to the USA Today’s coaching salary database. Fuente’s 2018 figure of $4 million would have placed him at No. 21 among 2017 coaching salaries.

Here is the salary breakdown for Fuente’s new contract at Virginia Tech.

2018: $4 million total ($3.4 million in base salary and two $300,000 retention bonuses) 

2019: $4 million total ($3.5 million in base salary and two $250,000 retention bonuses)

2020: $4.25 million total ($3.65 million in base salary and two $300,000 bonuses) 

2021: $4.25 million total ($3.75 million in base salary and two $250,000 bonuses) 

2022: $4.5 million total ($3.9 million in base salary and two $300,000 bonuses)

2023: $4.5 million total ($4.0 million in base salary and two $250,000 bonuses) 

2024: $5 million total ($4.5 million in base salary and two $250,000 bonuses)

Here are the buyout numbers in Fuente’s contract, with the number first being if Virginia Tech were to fire Fuente without cause. The second number is the buyout on Fuente’s contract if he were to leave Virginia Tech on his own accord.

2018: $15 million, $5 million

2019: $15 million, $3 million

2020: $12.5 million, $1 million

2021: $10 million, $750,000

2022: $7.5 million, $500,000

2023: $5 million, $500,000

2024: $2 million, zero

The buyout figures, on both sides, decrease on Dec. 15 of each year. 

Along with an extension for Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech has granted pay raises for all of Fuente’s assistant coaches. Fuente has also named safeties coach and assistant head coach Galen Scott as co-defensive coordinator. Here are the updated salaries for each of Virginia Tech’s assistant coaches.

Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster: $975,000

Offensive Coordinator Brad Cornelsen: $490,000

Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach James Shibest: $445,000

Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach Galen Scott: $338,000

Defensive Line Coach Charley Wiles: $280,000

Cornerbacks Coach Brian Mitchell: $280,000

Offensive Line Coach Vance Vice: $280,000

Wide Receivers Coach Holmon Wiggins: $280,000

Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Hilgart: $280,000

Running Backs Coach Zohn Burden: $280,000

Executive Director of Player Development Adam Lichtenberg: $175,000

Per Virginia Tech, the Hokies’ assistant coaching salary pool of $3.8 million is third in the ACC, only behind Clemson and Florida State.

Under Fuente, the Virginia Tech football program has seen a resurgence. The Hokies are 19-8 since the 2016 season, when Fuente was hired, and are 11-5 in the ACC. Virginia Tech won the Coastal Division of the ACC in 2016, and finished second to Miami in 2017. 

hokiesports.com press release

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18 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. galen scott making 338k is very competitive for dc in the acc. hope he and all the coaches go earn it every day! they deserve it as long as they win he coastal 50% of the time, win the ACC 20% of the time, and never have a losing record or massive scandal.

  2. Let’s see here . . . blah, blah, blah, . . . Fuente . . . extension. Ok, Cool.. . . Galen Scott co-defensive coordinator . . . wait, What!?! WTH, is Galen Scott. Oooookaaaaay, . . . who is he again, hmm, Safeties coach. Okay, I can’t recall the last time I’ve read anything about him or my over the top football friends talking about a Galen. A Waylen maybe, but a Galen, no.

    Ok, I’ll just assume this is good news, but CBF BETTER be in agreement with this co-defensive thingy or we have a problem.

    Trust the coaches, trust Babcock all is well and good, they know to keep Bud happy. . . .but Bud BETTER be in agreement or this is a problem

    Now how about some insight on this co-defensive coordinator idea? I’m looking for some investigative reporting here and not have to rely on the boards and such.

    1. Galen Scott was the DC for Fuente at Memphis in ’14-’15, Co-DC in ’12-’13. He took a demotion to stick with Fuente and coach under Foster. At VT he’s been Safeties coach and Assistant Head Coach.

      Apparently he’s had had multiple DC job offers over the last couple years and stuck with VT, and is being rewarded with the Co-DC title and more $$. It’s pretty much a recognition thing only. Duties are not changing.

      This also kind of makes it clear he would be the one to take over as the DC when Foster retires. Note that Foster’s title is not Co-DC. he is still Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator.

      And as far as Foster being in agreement.. Holomon Wiggins said tonight at the Northern VA Hokie Club Recruiting recap… “Do you really think he would get that title if Bud Foster didn’t approve?”

  3. Is the Bud Foster/Galen Scott co-defensive coordinator situation similar to that of the Michael Scott/Jim Halpert co-regional manager situation? Will Bud handle big picture defensive things while Galen deals with the day-to-day stuff?

    1. As best I can tell, their day-to-day duties and responsibilities are not changing. This is a title and $ only kind of thing. Scott was the DC at Memphis for 2 years (and Co-DC for 2 years before that) and Mitchell was the DC at ECU… Wiles has been coaching this system for decades.. pretty sure Foster gets input from all of them when prepping game plans.

  4. Interesting that the buy-out for Fuente leaving on his own is so low. Is that the norm? Thought you would want it higher to minimize poachers?

  5. Glad Whit and Dr. Sands have taken care of this situation. We have a great coach replacing a legend in Frank Beamer and we are moving toward salaries his peers are making across the country. College football is “big money” for the universities and keeping the right coach is very important. Hats off the Tech officials and to Coach Fuente and his staff – lets go Hokies!!!!!!

      1. I don’t know about that. Bud is still one of the best at what he does and I have not seen any indication that he has begun to just “phone it in”. It seems to me he still has the passion and desire to field the very best team he can. My guess is Bud is here for another 5 years unless there is some outside motivation such as declining health.
        Bud is set financially, and from all I hear and read he gets along very well with Coach Fu and the rest of the coaching staff.
        I certainly do not see Coach Scott as someone who is going to push Bud from his perch. I simply thing Fuente wants both coaches and needed to sweeten the deal for Scott to make sure he stays in the fold.

        1. Probably right. It’s a nice incentive for Scott to stay, and he is no threat to Bud’s Job, just compare their salaries. But it will look nice on Scott’s accomplishments to list Defensive Coord. as previous position, when applying for a position in the future.

      2. doubt it
        the guy has a fire in his gut and loves what he is doing is only 58 years old and brings in $1mm/yr.
        I see him doing this for 10 more years minimum
        btw
        he doesn’t look or act like a 58 year old

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