WOAY – Virginia Tech announced Tuesday that the Hokies and head football coach Justin Fuente have mutually parted ways with immediate effect.
Fuente arrived in Blacksburg ahead of the 2016 season, succeeding legendary head coach Frank Beamer. After four years as the head coach at Memphis, he won 10 games in his first season in Blacksburg, the first Virginia Tech head coach to do so. Highlights from that 2016 campaign included winning the ACC Coastal Division and a come-from-behind victory over Arkansas in the Belk Bowl.
However, despite winning nine games in 2017, Fuente was mostly unable to continue the momentum from that first season. Last year, the Hokies went 5-6, and elected to not play in a bowl game. It was the first time since 1992 that Virginia Tech did not participate in the postseason.
Following the 2020 season, athletic director Whit Babcock gave a public vote of confidence that Fuente would stay as head coach for 2021. Despite winning their season opener over a then-top 10 opponent in North Carolina, Virginia Tech has put together a 5-5 record with two games remaining in the regular season.
“We sincerely appreciate the contributions that Coach Fuente made to our football program and the positive impact he made on our student-athletes during his time at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said in a statement Tuesday. “While it is never easy to make a change, I believe in order for our football program to attain the type of sustained success that is expected at Virginia Tech, the time was right for new leadership of our football program.”
Fuente posted to Twitter, “To the many incredible young men that I had the privilege to coach…..I can’t thank you enough for your dedication and commitment to doing your very best….we leave Blacksburg with many great memories……” Fuente went 43-31 in his time with Virginia Tech.
J.C Price has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2021 season. Virginia Tech plays at Miami this Saturday night, before traveling to Virginia on November 27.