According to multiple reports, Whit Babcock is set to appoint Memphis head coach Justin Fuente to the same position at Virginia Tech.
The news first broke during the Virginia Tech-UVA game this afternoon. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy broke the news on Twitter…
Justin Fuente will be new coach at Virginia Tech. Bud Foster & Shane Beamer will remain on Hokies' staff, source told @espn
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 28, 2015
It’s important to note that Whit Babcock addressed the media following today’s game, and he said nothing was official.
“I’m aware of the rumors that broke,” Babcock said. “I’ll just tell you that they’re not official at this time.”
Fuente also addressed the topic after his Memphis team blew out SMU 63-0. He called the reports “premature.”
“There’s a time to address those things, and that’s not right now,” Fuente said.
It’s important to note that neither man denied the reports. While nothing is official at this time, it appears that Fuente is indeed the guy. His hiring would end a month of speculation about who will replace legendary head coach Frank Beamer.
Fuente is 26-23 in four seasons at Memphis. He inherited a program that went just 5-31 over the previous three seasons before his arrival. After going 7-17 in his first two seasons, the program took off in 2014. The Tigers went 10-3 and beat BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl. This year they are 9-3, and that includes one of the biggest victories in the history of the program against Ole Miss.
Before going to Memphis, Fuente was Co-Offensive Coordinator at TCU, where he developed future NFL starting quarterback Andy Dalton. At Memphis, he recruited and developed Paxton Lynch, who is likely to be the first quarterback selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Fuente played quarterback at Oklahoma and Murray State. He is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
McMurphy also indicated in his tweet that Bud Foster and Shane Beamer will be retained. If Foster is retained, that likely means Charley Wiles and Torrian Gray will be staying at Virginia Tech as well. That news, if it turns out to be true, is not surprising. However, the Shane Beamer news is very surprising, and we don’t have any way of knowing whether it’s true or not until the official announcement is made.
If the Fuente news is true – and it appears to be – then we can expect an official press release in the next 1-3 days.
To get to know Fuente, please watch the following video. It’s nearly 30 minutes long, so clear your schedule.