Whit Babcock Doubles Down on Justin Fuente

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Justin Fuente
Whit Babcock looks on as Justin Fuente talks at Fuente’s introductory press conference in late 2015. (Ivan Morozov)

With big jobs come big responsibilities.  Whit Babcock has a big job, and this week he made a big decision: he decided to retain Justin Fuente as the head football coach of Virginia Tech.

I’ve never been in a leadership position, but I recognize that sometimes leaders have to do what they feel is right even when it may be subject to heavy criticism, or even when a big chunk of people disagree. 

I respect that, and I respect Whit Babcock’s decision.  He could have taken the easy way out, even if he didn’t feel like it was the correct decision.  But he didn’t.  That’s a gutsy call on his part.  He’s put himself on a very thin limb, and if it breaks there will be nobody below to catch him. 

At this point, Justin Fuente’s success or failure at Virginia Tech will also signal the success or failure of Whit Babcock as athletics director.  If this doesn’t work, then the next target of the mob won’t be Justin Fuente…it will be Babcock himself.  He knows that, and in his very long press conference on Tuesday afternoon, he said as much, using terms like “I own it” or “I need to do a better job helping Coach Fuente” and such things.

So, there it