Top Ten Stories of the Decade, #1-#5

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In our look at the top five stories of the last decade, we review events that altered the course of Virginia Tech athletics forever, and for some of us, changed our very lives. It was a powerful decade, full of intrigue and drama, and here are the five stories that captivated us the most.

5. Coordinators Bud Foster and Bryan Stinespring

story is bigger, Bud Foster’s unparalleled excellence as a college defensive
coordinator over the past decade, or Bryan Stinespring’s on-the-job training as
offensive coordinator, and the fact that he kept his job after three years of
near complete offensive futility?

We couldn’t decide, so we chickened out and lumped them together.

These two storylines are big for different reasons. In Bud Foster’s case, his
achievements are what makes him stand out as one of the biggest stories of the
last decade. Five times in the last decade, Bud Foster’s defenses ranked among
the top five nationally in total defense:

  • 2001: #2 (#1 until the last week of the season)
  • 2004: #4
  • 2005: #1
  • 2006: #1
  • 2007: #4

At other times in the decade, Bud’s defenses ranked #7 (2008), #12 (2009),
#27 (2000), and #32 (2002). The only truly bad defense Bud put on the field was
2003, when VT suffered from a lack of talent at defensive tackle and linebacker,
and a lack of discipline in the secondary. Opponents also started doing a better
job of exploiting the defensive scheme’s weaknesses, which included isolating
the whip linebacker in coverage. The 2003 defense finished ranked #51 in total
defense, but the truth is that it was one of the worst defenses in the nation by
season’s end.

Those 2003 problems were fixed immediately, and the Hokies were #4 in defense
the next season, starting a string of four straight seasons of top-four
defenses, a remarkable accomplishment.

Bud Foster is appreciated by Tech fans for his impressive achievements as a
defensive coordinator, throughout changes in his roster, defensive scheme,
college football offenses, and position