Memphis coach Justin Fuente hired as new Virginia Tech head coach
Fuente, 39, has a 26–23 record in his four seasons with the Tigers, including an 9–3 mark this year after beating SMU 63–0 on Saturday. He inherited a downtrodden program that had won just five games in the three seasons prior to his arrival and molded it into a top 25 contender, one of college football’s most impressive turnarounds in recent years.
Last season, Fuente led Memphis to a share of the American Athletic Conference championship, its first conference title since 1971, behind a 10–3 record, the program’s first 10-win season since ’38.
“We are thrilled to welcome Justin, Jenny and their three daughters into our Virginia Tech family,” Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement. “We identified Coach Fuente as a top candidate early in our process. As our conversations progressed, we then met in person and it became obvious he is the right person to lead our football program. He possesses wisdom beyond his years, as well as a refreshing sense of humility and a calm confidence.
“Justin is a very impressive individual who also happens to be one of the brightest offensive minds in college football,” Babcock said. “He elevated Memphis to unprecedented heights. His recruiting philosophy is progressive and comprehensive. Coach Fuente has displayed tremendous talent in evaluating players and developing young men as they strive to reach their full potential. Simply put, Coach Fuente exudes all the qualities that Hokies hold near and dear. We are excited to officially welcome Justin Fuente as the leader of the Virginia Tech football program.”
Prior to Memphis, Fuente was an assistant at TCU for five seasons. He coached the Horned Frogs’ running backs for two seasons before spending his last three years as their co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, tutoring now-Pro Bowl quarterback Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Before TCU, Fuente was an assistant at Illinois State from 2001-06. He coached quarterbacks his first three seasons before adding offensive coordinator duties his final three seasons.
Fuente replaces long-time Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, who last month announced his retirement at the conclusion of this season. Beamer has a 236-120-2 record in his 29 seasons with the Hokies, who beat Virginia 23–20 on Saturday to get to bowl eligibility. Longtime Beamer assistant Bud Foster will remain on Fuente's staff as defensive coordinator.