During recent coaching chaos in college football that has already seen 10 Power 5 conference head coaching jobs come open, seemingly every possible coach and coordinator has had his name connected to an opening at some point.
Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente has seen his name pop up more than most.
Fuente was rumored to be a potential candidate at Florida before the Gators hired Dan Mullen. He has also been mentioned as a possible hire for Texas A&M and Tennessee, as well as Florida State if Jimbo Fisher were to depart.
Despite all the rumors, however, Fuente’s boss, Virginia Tech athletics director Whit Babcock, told David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press that he’s confident Fuente will be back in Blacksburg coaching the Hokies next season.
“I just believe he really likes it here,” Babcock said of Fuente. “I also know him well enough that if there were anything there, I really truly believe he would tell me.”
Fuente has been a natural speculative fit for several high-profile openings because of his success the past few seasons. Fuente’s teams went 19-6 during his final two seasons at Memphis, and in his first two seasons at the helm of the Hokies, the team has gone 19-7. Last season, Virginia Tech won the ACC Coastal Division and Fuente was named the conference’s Coach of the Year. However, no evidence of Fuente seriously conversing with other schools has been reported.
Babcock proactively sweetened Fuente’s deal after last season, offering Fuente a contract extension that runs through 2023. Fuente is guaranteed $3.8 million this season, and while other schools might offer more, Babcock believes Virginia Tech makes up for the difference in its support structure.
“I don’t believe Virginia Tech takes a back seat to anybody,” Babcock told Teel. “I really and truly don’t. What can we not accomplish here? And how much money do you need? Basketball coach, football coach, AD, anybody. It can take the edge off, but it can’t buy happiness, I don’t think.”
Just because Babcock is confident the school will retain Fuente doesn’t mean he hasn’t been paying attention to the coaching rumors. He said he will find a time to sit down with Fuente following the season and ensure that the coach is satisfied at Virginia Tech.
“He seems very happy. It does not mean we’ll take him for granted. He and I will visit in the next couple weeks and talk about the future and vision and all that.”
The post Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock confident Justin Fuente will remain with school appeared first on Diehards.
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