Justin Fuente will bleed maroon and orange next season…
The 39-year-old Latino college football coach has been officially named the next football coach at Virginia Tech.
Fuente revived the program at Memphis, which had reached rock bottom when he took over in 2012. By his third season, he had gotten the Tigers to 10-3 and a share of the American Athletic Conference championship.
This year, despite having to replace a majority of starters on defense, he posted another 9-3 regular season including a victory over nationally ranked Ole Miss.
Fuente replaces revered Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, who announced earlier this month that he’ll retire at the end of this season.
Fuente, a former offensive coordinator under Gary Patterson at TCU, is a no-nonsense personality who should thrive in the low-key environment of Blacksburg.
Athletics director Whit Babcock wanted an offensive mind for this hire and moved aggressively to secure Fuente before the coaching market opened up.
Fuente, a former quarterback at Oklahoma and then Murray State, developed Andy Dalton at TCU and Paxton Lynch at Memphis into NFL prospects.
“As our conversations progressed, we then met in person and it became obvious he is the right person to lead our football program,” Babcock said in a statement. “He possesses wisdom beyond his years, as well as a refreshing sense of humility and a calm confidence.”
Bud Foster will stay on as defensive coordinator, retaining the job he has held since 1995.