Beyond the Pail: A Day with Virginia Tech Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster

Bud Foster opens up about his dream job and gives a firsthand look into his everyday life.

Bud Foster at Virginia Tech's media day, staying out of the limelight. [Mark Umansky]

Trim and tan from a summer vacation on Claytor Lake, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster is giving a personal tour of the Merryman Center. It's one of the final days before football will take over his life and Foster is spending the morning at the headquarters of Virginia Tech's program.

Over the course of the day, Foster would do more than act as guide to Hokie football HQ. He would show he's more than just a defensive genius and sideline-dweller. He would show he has the ambition and vision to run a Division I program.

Months earlier in the adjacent Jamerson Athletic Center, Foster had arguably the most important meeting of his coaching career with the man he most needs to prove himself to.

This has been a big offseason for Foster and everyone else whose office is in Merryman. He and head coach Frank Beamer are not only trying to get the program back on track after back-to-back subpar seasons. They also have a new boss in Director of Athletics Whit Babcock, who arrived in Blacksburg in February.

Babcock met individually with each of his employees after taking over. His meeting with Foster the Friday before Tech's spring game was supposed to last 30 minutes. However, Foster viewed their meeting as more than just a simple get-to-know-you. He saw it as a job interview.

They spoke for nearly an hour and 40 minutes.

"This is my dream job"

Foster is entering his 34th season as an assistant coach, all under Beamer. He still has aspirations to become a head coach at a school in one of the "Power 5" conferences, but doesn't believe he needs to prove himself at a smaller school.

By no means is he trying to push Frank Beamer, who he calls "a great man" and the face of Virginia Tech athletics, out the door. In fact, he's turned down job offers from other prominent coaches like Kevin Sumlin, Jimbo Fisher, Mark Richt, Dabo Swinney, and Steve Spurrier (twice), to remain by his mentor's side.

Yet, he envisions himself taking over Beamer Co. once the man he simply refers to as "Coach" retires. When Foster had his initial meeting with Babcock, he was asked where he saw himself in three years.

"I said, 'You know Whit, just like you said you found your dream job, this is my dream job,'" Foster said. "'You've been here three months and I've been here for 27 years and built this program.'

"The thing I let him know though, I'm not a status quo guy. I'm not going to be Frank Beamer. I'm going to carry on the foundation that Frank Beamer started and build on it. Just like Tom Osborne did for Bob Devaney, or Jimbo Fisher after Bobby Bowden. We built something here and I'm a big part of that."

Foster said he could have been more aggressive pursuing other opportunities, but he knows there are a lot of dead end jobs in his business. More than that, Virginia Tech and Frank Beamer have provided Bud and his family stability in an industry where turnover is the norm.

There's Always Room For Improvement

Everything inside Merryman's reception hall is big, bright and Hokie. Giant photos and memorabilia are in every direction. A mannequin that's gone hard on arm day is wearing a Tech uniform and there are banners commemorating bowl appearances. Two ACC Championship trophies are just chilling on a pair of end tables.

You probably want your basement to look like Merryman's lobby, but the Hokie-fied interior design begins to vanish as we move away from the entrance.

"All of this—all of it needs to be papered," Foster said gesturing towards the barren walls. "We need to wrap this whole building."

His message: there's always room for improvement.

"I told [Whit Babcock] in my meeting, one of the things I was concerned with was complacency," he said. "I had that on my concerns list. He said, 'What do you mean by that?'

"I said, 'Well, we've won around here a bunch, and we have young alums and old alums. Also though, I think there's complacency in our department. We have to keep marketing ourselves and promoting ourselves.'"

Foster is aware college athletics is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, but believes it's important to remind the fans how good Virginia Tech has been.

"What we've accomplished, we got to throw it in people's faces," he said. "This is what we've done. A 15-year-old kid won't go, 'OK, Virginia Tech has been to 21 straight bowls,' you gotta sell that. "That's where we've got to keep hammering. We've got to be out there all the time. Whit understands that."

Foster is on the same page with his new boss and knows money from the fanbase is what fuels a powerhouse football program. He knows how important it is to get the young fans to jump on board, even during the lean years, to maintain the reputation of the Hokie Nation.

"What's been so unique about the Hokie Nation is, like the postman, even if it's rain, sleet, or snow they're going to deliver," he said. "That's what the Hokie Nation's been. They've been riding so far, but we have to stay on that path too. Continue to be the passionate group that we're known for.

"It's financial support, it's a lot of different things. If we want to still be an elite program. If our fans want us to be an elite program, they've got to give. That's the bottom line, they've got to give. They've got to donate."

Foster has clear-cut goals for the program.

"What we've built here is second-to-none, and what we've done here over the last 20, 21 years is second-to-none," he said. "As good as we've been, I think we can stay consistent, and we played for a national championship, and I want to do it again and win one."

Always Be Coaching

The walk through Merryman included a stop inside Virginia Tech's luxurious locker room. Once through the doors, Bud spots Trey and Terrell Edmunds. He pivots from host to coach and immediately takes advantage of the impromptu opportunity to talk to the duo about the workouts they just wrapped up.

Foster is proud to have coached so many sets of brothers at Tech, whether it be the Fullers, Edmunds, Vandykes, Martins, Hopkins, Warrens or Browns. It's proof to him that he's doing things the right way. He knows if he treated the older ones poorly, the younger ones would've never followed them to Blacksburg.

At the end of July, Trey and Terrell's youngest brother Tremaine Edmunds would announce a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech.

Foster's not generally regarded by the public as an ace recruiter, but enjoys that aspect of his job. He works to make hay in Northern Virginia, which he claims is the toughest part of the state because many of its residents have moved in from other parts of the country and may not be familiar with Virginia Tech.

He evaluates prospects his own way. It's impossible for Foster to understand how recruiting websites determine their star ratings by only seeing a player once or twice at camps. He identifies who will fit his system and works to bring them to Blacksburg.

Like another defensive-minded head coach, Nick Saban, Foster said he wouldn't delegate all responsibilities if he were a head coach because he knows how much weight a call from the head ball coach carries with prospects.

It's Personal

Foster is a long-standing believer in the Golden Rule. He learned his ethical code from his father at an early age and from Beamer throughout his playing and coaching career.

"You can be the meanest and nastiest dude on the field, but off the field I want you to be respectful," he said. "You're representing this university, this program, this family, your family. Bottom line: treat people how you want to be treated. If you live that way, you'll have a chance to be successful in all aspects of your life."

This credo has earned Foster the respect of his players, colleagues and peers.

He's an animated talker. He keeps his hands in front of his chest, fingers locked together like a mini teepee. They stay like that as he's talking, then explode apart for emphasis when he's made his point.

He talks ball candidly and thoughtfully, no matter how absurd the question. It's an extension of his straightforward and honest approach to life.

On his personnel: He's convinced that no one in America could block 230-pound defensive end Dadi Nicolas if he weighed 250.

On what jungle animal would make the best defensive end: He'd take 4 gorillas across the line, "They've got speed, quickness, length, tenacity, and aggressiveness."

On the 2009 Miami game: "I told [Miami defensive coordinator] John Lovett, 'Y'all better be careful here that your kids aren't buying into the media hype, because you're getting ready to run into a buzzsaw.' And that was one of those days where everything's going right. I was rolling sevens."

He's as fond of playing Georgia Tech's one-off offense as one might expect: "They're a pain in the tail. We change our whole scheme for that game. We probably had more [coaches] try to come and talk to us about that as much as anything.

"I've got a lot of respect for Paul Johnson. He's seen it all with his offense. It's kind of like with our defense, we've seen it all. That's where he's good, making adjustments and countering, and that's what we've done over the years."

More than inventing effective defensive schemes or playing chess in Lane on Saturdays, the opportunity to develop young athletes on and off the field is what keeps Foster coaching.

"Obviously my livelihood is to win football games," he said. "My mission is to develop young people to be successful the rest of their life, believe it or not. I take pride in being a great teacher, or a good teacher—I don't know if I'm a great teacher—but a good teacher, a good mentor."

Even so, Foster's sideline switcharoos have rightfully earned him a reputation as one of the best, if not the best, game day coaches in college football. While he's quick to praise the coaches that taught him along the way, Foster takes complete ownership of his defense.

"What I put on the field is me, that's my product. I coach the coaches, they coach the players. I coach them if I don't see something right, but it's my decision. It's my product. When somebody attacks me, or my defense, or one of my kids ... I take that personal."

Life off the Field

Bud Foster's Ford Fusion is, two, three, now four car lengths ahead and becoming less visible by the second. He hits the gas pedal like he knows he won't ever get a speeding ticket in the New River Valley. Bud is on his way to make a pitstop at the ATM before heading over to Auburn Hills Golf Club. Auburn Hills is nestled in the countryside of Riner, Virginia, about 12 miles south of Virginia Tech.

Thirty minutes later he's welcomed in the clubhouse by a burly, tall, freckled, blond-haired man who tosses a bowl of pretzels on top of the fairway green table everyone is sitting at. Bud introduces Phillip Nolen.

Phillip and Bud have known each other for about 7 years. Nolen runs the local livestock auction, brokers cattle and bought Auburn Hills on a whim last September.

Phillip's also a member of Bud's inner circle. It's a simple job: Help Bud decompress and have a good time. He's doing that today by serving us lunch and rhetorically asking, "You need some more beer?" or saying in a rich southern accent, "It's looking dry in here."

Both are followed up by the waterfall sound of ice cold Bud Light splashing into glasses.

Nolen's new investment hosted the inaugural Lunch Pail Defense (LPD) Golf Tournament, a charitable event hosted by Foster's foundation. The event raised close to $7,000.

"It's fun to do and it's a feel good thing," Foster said, "I think our kids are the future. There's a next president, doctor, or someone who will cure cancer, and all they need are the means to get started."

LPD's short term goal is to eventually award a full college scholarship to a teen that embodies the "What's Important Now" (W-I-N) lunch pail attitude of the foundation. Or as Bud put it, "Take on a Foster Child".

Phillip and Bud looking at a picture they took with Christiansburg Mayor Michael Barber at the LPD Golf Tournament.

Rain forces golfers to trickle inside. One by one, they gravitate to Bud. Whenever someone approaches him he gets up out of his chair to shake hands and chat. It's easy to envision Foster winning over a room of boosters and high-profile donors. He won't schmooze and charm your pants off, rather he'll remember your name and care what you're talking about. The latter is what leaves a long-lasting impression.

Claytor Lake, the New River Valley and Blacksburg are home for Bud and his family. When he told his kids he was a finalist for the Clemson head coaching position in 2008, they asked if they could still attend Hokie games if he got the job.

He won't cry himself to sleep if never gets the opportunity at Tech, or anywhere else. He's only 55 and hasn't given much thought about when he'll stop carrying a lunch pail to work, or what he'd do if he's not Frank Beamer's successor. No matter what, he'll eventually retire to his house on Claytor Lake, a relaxing spot that's been therapeutic to him over the latter portion of his career, to continue his charity work or perhaps be a spokesperson.

Nolen has a different idea for Bud's retirement job.

"A marshall driving around with a little flag," he said. "He could encourage them in that loud big voice he has, 'Hey! What are y'all doin' over there!'"

Pace of play would never be an issue at Auburn Hills again.

Contact the editor about this post anytime by phone: (703) 646-1931 or mail: 3057 Nutley St Suite 633, Fairfax, Virginia 22031.

Comments

What a wonderfully written and moving story about a good man. Here's hoping he gets that chance one day to succeed Beamer. Thanks, Joe! You showed us the human side, the best any writer can hope to do.

When somebody attacks me, or my defense, or one of my kids ... I take that personal."
Bud got me all hyped up. How could Josh Sweat or any recruit not want to play for this guy?

I knew I liked that guy-

Excellent article, Joe.

"And it is caught, it is caught for a touchdown"

Great piece! Good work, TKP!

I would also suggest - as complementary reading - the article in Hokie Football Annual (2012 preview) about Bud Foster, where Chris Colston looks at Bud's roots and upbringing. Between these two articles, you get to see and appreciate Bud as a person and a coach. And when you learn these stories, you get to understand how privileged we are to have really neat people like Bud in our football program (yes, despite the losses and recruiting losses).

I love this story, I love Bud, and I really love the fact that he's got a TKP Decade of Dominance shirt sitting on his desk in that picture. Great stuff, Joe.

I thought that's what that was. Awesome!

in Fuller we trust

No words.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

Nice Pick up!

Great story, great work. Way to go, securing the interview and producing a top-shelf report...giving us insight into the life of the man...reminds me of an ESPN 30 for 30.

Eat your vegetables.

This is better then that, but, good analogy. I can't wait to play golf at Auburn Hills.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

A very great article on One of Best Coaches VT has ever had, that wasn't their Head Coach. I hope his dream job comes true...VT's Head Coach. Thank you again...

Jack R.

We are very fortunate to have Bud as long as we have had him. I hope he stays as long as he's coaching. Whether it be the next head coach or not. I don't think I could bear to see him on an opposing sideline. Great article.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

Apparently neither could his own children:

When he told his kids he was a finalist for the Clemson head coaching position in 2008, they asked if they could still attend Hokie games if he got the job.

Great, great article.

It was interesting & insightful that he took his meeting with Whit & turned it into an interview/summation of HIS perspective on VT football - where it is and where he wants it to go. I also like that Whit early reputation is such that Bud felt he should approach the meeting in that manner. I think that bodes very well for Hokie football in the future, 'whenever the day comes' that Frank steps down.

In a world of great offensive teams putting big numbers on the board every week. This man's defense has been an aphrodisiac to me and a whole generation of other Hokies. Thank you Joe for a great story and thank you Bud Foster for making my beloved program so fun to watch. I would be giddy to see this man get the whistle one day.

Win one for the Beamer...

Thank you for such a well composed piece of reading. I can't get enough when it comes to the other side of our got ball program and coaches. I almost thought I saw Franklin's finest on the back desk in Bud's office. A man's man for sure.

A fine man of character and a fine coach.
Our Hokies are in good hands. Build the man while you teach football.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Top-notch stuff, Joe. And he isn't lyin', folks. If you're not an opposing QB, Bud's actually a really nice, sincere, friendly person. The more I see/talk to/hear about him, the more I'm not only OK with him being the next head coach, but the more I really want to see it happen.

Bud at head coach post-beamer, Torrian as defensive coordinator.

hnnnnng

SCHWING!

I'm apparently one of about three Hokies on the planet who likes the BC rivalry.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a DECADE OF DOMINANCE t-shirt on Bud Foster's desk. Joe wins.

Oh man, I didn't even notice that. I wonder what his reaction was to that shirt.

Great article, very insightful. Fortunate he is on our side, always hoped he would succeed Coach and this just confirms that. Keep up great work Joe.

Hired! Bud embodies Hokie, Ut Prosim, and our football program.

Bud's the answer.

This was great- Bud will be a great head coach because he is innovative and demands accountability.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

Yeah... Bud Foster would be such a horrible head coach

http://i.perezhilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/igpms.gif

I'm sorry, every time I hear someone claim he's not got the right whatever to be a head coach, it just makes me laugh. This article is confirming what we already knew. Bud has his head on straight and whenever he gets that opportunity to take over from Frank, VT football will still have many good years left. And actually, from what he was saying in this article, I couldn't think of a more perfect Whit Babcock kind of guy.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

well put. i've never understood the "he's just not head coach material" crap. he'd make a hell of a coach at VT or anywhere else. i hope whit gives him a fair shot and if it doesn't work out, so be it but he deserves as much and i couldn't imagine a greater representative for our school to follow in the footsteps of frank.

This is unbelievably awesome. Thank you, Joe.

Was there ever a doubt that Bud Foster could run a D1 program? Not in my mind. I just want it to be the hokies when Beamer is retired. In Bud I trust.

Legs for everyone. Bud Foster gets it. Period. He needs to be the next VT Head Football Coach. If you want to see a smooth transition when Frank retires and maintain continuity in Blacksburg, this is the way to get that. Does anything else even make sense?

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Nolen runs the local livestock auction, brokers cattle and bought Auburn Hills on a whim last September.

I got in the wrong business.

But seriously, I like seeing that Bud took the meeting with Whit as a job interview and seized the opportunity. I hope he gets his shot whenever Beamer hangs it up.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Yeah, that was the part that I liked the best - being aggressive, taking initiative, letting Whit know how much he wants it. That is very impressive to me.
The other part I loved was him stressing the need to constantly avoid complacency. His fire is really captured with this article. I'm completely sold. At this point, who would really be a better candidate? The guy has his whole life invested in VT - nobody is going to outwork him, that's for sure.

A picture is worth a thousand words. A gif is worth a million.

nobody is going to outwork him, that's for sure

[nothing to add, really]

Wow, the feels

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

Bud has improved his chances at this job dramatically in the last 5 years or so. His recruiting has improved, which demonstrates a key skill set for a head coach. He has shown evolution in his defense.

That said, I know and hope that Whit will consider a broad range of head coach candidates when this job is open. Where there is some value in transitioning to Bud, there may also be value in going another direction. In Whit I trust, to find the right person for the job.

Good interview.

Bud is just bad ass. So glad he's stuck around. Great read!!

@AMB4VT

We are really fortunate that he has stuck around this long. I had people tell me around 2000 that it was no way we would be able to keep him, and here we are 14 years later and he's still coaching for us. I hope he gets the opportunity to be Beamer's successor, he deserves it more than anyone.

#SamRogers4Heisman

this is one of the better articles on foster that ive read in a long time. this just reaffirms that he is a classy guy with an incredible drive and i think he could continue to do great things at vt if he was hired as the head coach after beamer. great article joe

tyrod did it mikey! tyrod did it!

Well written piece. Thanks! It's no wonder that his players would run through a wall for him.

"A marshall driving around with a little flag," he said. "He could encourage them in that loud big voice he has, 'Hey! What are y'all doin' over there!'"

Pace of play would never be an issue at Auburn Hills again.

Some things just need a meme.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Bud can never not be scary, ever.

From far away: "What a nice, friendly guy."
Zoomed in: "Yup, today's the day that I die."

Bud

#SamRogers4Heisman

Leg, this made me snicker.

Fantastic!!!

@AMB4VT

Pickled Hoo tears.

That's great stuff right there.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Does he keep the rest in his cellar?


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

He can keep the rest any D@(#ed place he wants and I'm not going to be the guy to ask him where that is.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Well that's the great thing about 'Hoo tears.

They are never in short supply, so no need to stockpile them.

But maybe he wants to appreciate a certain vintage? Maybe vintage 2011 where he blanked their offense AND denied them a chance to get to the ACC title while we went.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

So Much Win.

well played

HokieFanCPA, this is the absolute f-kin greatest. Thank you.

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

A mannequin that's gone hard on arm day is wearing a Tech uniform

He keeps his hands in front of his chest, fingers locked together like a mini teepee. They stay like that as he's talking, then explode apart for emphasis when he's made his point.

He hits the gas pedal like he knows he won't ever get a speeding ticket in the New River Valley.

all great lines in a terrifically written piece. cheers joe

"I promise you I will keep getting back up as long as you keep pushing forward." -Michael Brewer
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Excellent article Joe! Thanks

Just reading it, it must have absolutely torn him up inside during the stretch where Beamer & Stiney were defending the offensive performances by continually citing the 10 win seasons. That right there is the kind of complacency that Bud himself is hounding again and again about avoiding in this piece. I believe these were also the years he was annually rumored to be leaving the program to go elsewhere.

Makes you wonder what was really going on behind the scenes. Its very noticeable how the annual rumors of Bud taking another job vanished the second Beamer made the switch on offense. I've heard rumors that Bud might have issued an ultimatum of 'either fix this offense or I'm gone". I always brushed it off as improbable at best, but it does make you wonder...

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

Considering just about any other DC would have jumped ship long ago (especially to an SEC program or Clemson, given their offense), I think it's a testament to his loyalty that he's hung around so long. That said, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he had finally gotten to a breaking point where he just couldn't stand to see his players work so hard and perform so well for nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, but less than they deserve.

Maybe since he's gotten to run the show his way on defense, with his people, VT has always been the best fit from a DC standpoint. Stay where you have success doing your job. (yeah, and the family thing)


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

Great article, you see a glimpse of the other side of Bud. I have known Bud for over 15 years and he is one of the most generous guys I know. A couple years back, my sister and brother in law came back to Va Tech for a game and she is a huge fan of Bud Foster. We won the game and headed back formore tailgating and she told me "Next time you see Bud you tell him is the best". I told her to turn aaround and tell him yourself. For the next hour he talked and posed for pictures with everybody at the tailgate.
He needs to be our next head coach.

I had a similar experience. I had always heard Bud isn't a people person or is too rough around the edges. Make no mistake, he has a bite to him, he is intense, and that's not a bad thing, but the former statement couldn't be further from the truth.

I've seen him work a room of boosters twice up in NOVA now, and he when I interviewed him, I was shocked at how generous with his time he was, especially given who he is. He made time for EVERYONE he saw in the 8 hours I was with him. He's a genuin no-bullshit man, but is exceptionally nice to strangers, and that's refreshing.

He is also very loyal to his friends, family and all of his current and ex football players and of course the university. He does these little things like wishing all of his players current and others happy birthday. It's a simple easy thing to do, but I don't see Nick Saben doing that.

I have been told we might be able to have a chance to get him down here to talk at some point over the next year, and if so, that would be a truly wonderful time.

I have had the opportunity to meet many of our coaches and admin over the years (Weaver about 5 years ago, Beamer last year, Whit and Buzz this year, James Johnson while he was an assistant, Greenberg, Billy Hite)... The one thing that strikes me is just how personable everyone I've met has been. The only one that I found to be a bit restrained or had his wall up at all was Weaver, but it was endearing in a lovable old crotchety grandfather kind of way.

Seeing some of the jackasses that are out there in the coaching world, it really is nice to get to meet some of these guys and realize just what kind of a world class staff we have put together over the years. You don't really get the whole meaning of the 'family' environment that our Athletic Dept likes to stress until you actually get to experience it yourself. If you're a Hokie, you're family. One of the best moments I've ever experienced was walking around Charlotte looking for a place to grab lunch before the 2010 ACC Championship Game against FSU and I ran into Beamer with a couple players outside the hotel. On the day of probably the most important game we played that year, he was still making time to say hi to people he passed on the street. You just don't see that in this profession much anymore.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

On what jungle animal would make the best defensive end: He'd take 4 gorillas across the line, "They've got speed, quickness, length, tenacity, and aggressiveness."

I almost lost it when I read that line. I have no idea how that question would even come up, but the seriousness of the answer tells you a lot about Bud's attitude toward anything football-related.

This is the entire quote. Enjoy.

"It might be a gorilla right there across the line. They've got speed, quickness, length, tenacity, and aggressiveness. I think that all the way across the board with our kids. I wouldn't necessarily say defensive end. To me you talk about a land animal, don't get me wrong, there's lions, and I haven't seen all the jungle, what all the different predators are. I'm sure a hyena, I hear they eat bones and stuff, so they're a pretty grizzled predator. Those guys that can have strength, quickness, and can take over a game is kind of like the king of the jungle so to speak. That's what you want for our defensive ends."

I'm guessing he's never seen a ManBearPig?

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Bud watched a ManBearPig wreak havoc in it's natural habitat (the DT position) for the last several years. He simply didn't realize such a creature could be given a name. Super cereal.

So in other words, he wants to see a bunch of guys like this

http://media.hamptonroads.com/cache/files/images/150451.jpg

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

hyena

#SamRogers4Heisman

Great article Joe!!! I didn't think I could love Bud any more than I already do, but you have proven me wrong sir.

Wow! I go away for the Summer to follow my Nats and I come back to TKP being even more legit an official!! Great work, Joe! Glad to see the site hasn't lost it's humor either. Without GIFs and memes, it just wouldn't be the same.

Welcome back. I wondered a couple weeks ago where you were, good to see you're back for the season.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

What really stands out to me in all this is how confident Bud seems that he's the guy after Frank. Obviously, we will never know what is talked about behind closed doors, but you get the since that he knows the plan when we reach the post-Beams era. Maybe Joe can comment more on that?

I'm not sure confident is the right word. He obviously isn't taking it for granted if he hijacked his meet and greet with Whit and turned it into a job interview.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

Yeah, Bud seems to be the kind of guy that can drive a meeting agenda with the best of them.
Because well, he is.

And that's what coaches do.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Ok, maybe it's not the best word, but he definitely seems like he believes it's his job to lose.

I am so happy UVA turned Bud Foster down for the Head Coaching Job and hired Al groh instead. What a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the 2009 Miami game: "I told [Miami defensive coordinator] John Lovett, 'Y'all better be careful here that your kids aren't buying into the media hype, because you're getting ready to run into a buzzsaw.' And that was one of those days where everything's going right. I was rolling sevens."

sack

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

I remember Bud doing this to motivate his defense before that game:

The hype was all focused on Miami; the defense had looked atrocious such that Foster was putting news clippings and reprimands on players' lockers; and Virginia Tech's speed was basically exposed against Alabama, where the Tide managed to both run through and by the Hokies.

So what did they do? Play soft coverage and hope Harris made some mistakes? Revamp the offense to catch Miami's speedy defense off guard? No. Foster and Beamer basically said fuck it, we're going after Miami. That early fumble by Jacory Harris that set up the Hokies' first touchdown? Well they did what I said they wouldn't be able to: Foster dialed up a hide-the-children, all-out, man-to-man blitz with no free safety with the cornerback, Dorian Porch, coming off the short side of the field. (Miami was in a three receiver set with a tight-end backside. Foster put two guys to this backside: one played the tight-end in man coverage and the other, Porch, just blitzed, and of course Harris never saw him.)

And the blitzkrieg was on. Virginia Tech ran the ball well enough to convert good field position into points (and managed to dig themselves out of some bad field position after a muffed punt). A big pass from Tyrod Taylor and a blocked punt and the Hokies suddenly had a 21-0 lead, one that proved insurmountable.

VT's players raved about Bud Foster's defensive plan. What was it? Early in the game, as I said, Foster brought serious heat. All-out man-blitz type heat. I didn't think VT could play man on Miami's speedy receivers, but they barely had to because the well-timed blitzes were in Harris's face before he could throw it. But Foster didn't just bring these all-out blitzes.

Indeed, later in the game the strategy was actually much the opposite, as he went to a heavy dose of cover two: funnel the outside receivers inside to the safeties and force Harris to fit a tight through between defenders. This was something Harris was never really able to do. Now, a big reason for that was when Tech only rushed four Jason Worilds simply lifted up the man blocking him and threw him to the side and sacked Harris, as he did on a key third down early in the game.

http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2009/09/30/ask-smart-football-wh...

It's all about The VPISU
VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Also go Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

An absolutely excellent profile of Bud. The best I can remember. In fact, it's amazing that such coverage hasn't been afforded Bud Foster before. And I don't include TKP in that, I mean by the 'traditional media sources'. I've been around for Frank's entire career, and thus Bud's. Bud has been getting TV mentions since our MNC attempt. But I' cannot remember anyone that spent this amount of time with him and reported it. It was just absolutely superior. A very revealing picture of Bud that confirms most of what we all presumed, but also shed light on other facets of his personality. A HUGE standing ovation on this, guys! Excellent work Joe!

Incredible excellence, Joe! Perfect picture to start the article, too! You're even getting high praise from one of the best in the state......TKP is getting noticed!

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

That picture makes me think of some sort of aura hanging out in the bowels of Lane Stadium, ready to pounce on game day.

#Hokies

Great story, thanks for sharing. Go Hokies!

Touchdown Tech - Bill Roth

I know I'm late to the party, but I just had to compliment you Joe. This is a fantastic, well-written article on our beloved defensive coordinator. It is great to get a closer glimpse of the man, not just the coach. I think his meeting with Whit pretty much sums up why he should be our next head coach when the time arises. Fortunately, we won't have a Fisher/Bowden situation since Bud would never do that to Beamer.

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"If you watch TV news you know less about the world than if you just drank gin straight from the bottle."
-Garrison Keillor

This article and thread...no words. #BUD4HC
DISCLAIMER: upon succession of Beams

True Hokies STICK IT IN!!!

STICK IT IN Army of Virginia Tech

Fosterball

He just looks like the type that a mugger wouldn't dare jump in a dark alleyway.

We Hokies have been truly fortunate to have the capable coaching of him and Frank Beamer all these years.

It's all about The VPISU
VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Also go Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

I used to be his Student Equipment Manager. I remember one night after a game we were at Foster's Restaurant (Obviously a few years ago) and he was with a big group of people. He saw me and he told them he needed to go say hi to his equipment manager. He is such a nice guy, and an even better coach. Watching every practice and listening to him was such a great experience. Great Article!

Tyrod did it Mikey! Tyrod did it!!

You know thinking about it now with after being further away from 2 early unhappy Friday mornings in dreary. I'd be happy with Bud Foster being named a coach in waiting if VT finishes the year strong. Strong is in essence an objective term I know but reading this article again I'd hope he would get his chance. I think I end up thinking back to this article a lot when the thoughts of Fancy Gap Frank being at the time to retire comes up.

Except the fact that Coach In Waiting situations have failed every time but once - Jimbo Fisher - and that resulted in the bitter feud between the school and the legend forced to retire, as well. So a whole lot of tarnish on the legacy.

Ignoring that, if Bud is named CIW, then what is the timeline? Because there has to be a timeline. When the timeline is publicized, then the dynamic in the locker room changes immediately despite what everyone promises. Also, the other assistants begin to quietly look for jobs elsewhere.

That's a great article about Bud, and I really appreciate all that he has done for us, but Coach In Waiting is not the answer.

swvadon nails the reason the CIW as an openly known entity should not be done. Whit, Frank, and Bud could have a CIW plan and just keep it quiet and most of the dynamics he mentions above don't occur. A secret CIW doesn't eliminate all of the above dynamics, but it does get rid of most of them and the giant swirl that creates.. So you either don't do a CIW or do it secretly, but never publicly. IMHO we won't know until some time after the next head coach is announced to the public what the plan had been (if ever).

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Yeah, even though it's early in his tenure, it's pretty easy to tell that Whit keeps his cards very close to his chest. We won't know what he plans until it is done, and then we might not learn how he did it. I'm perfectly fine with that, too.

I agree, however I think it would be nice for Beamer to have a farewell tour. Obviously it would only work if Foster's the guy, but you could announce it at the beginning of the season and let him get the recognition he deserves.

I think that will happen whether Bud gets a secret early offer or not. Circle 2016 as the year goes Derek Jeter on us, for one last lap.

Would Whit even be able to name a Head Coach in Waiting? I know that Virginia has requirements for open state position to be posted publicly for a certain number of days and some interview requirements as well, before a position can be filled. Would it be the same procedure with coaching hires at State funded colleges or is the Athletic Department able to work around that somehow or another? (i.e. Coaches being employed by Hokie Club instead of by the state or something like that?)

When the Times Dispatch publishes the annual database of state salaries, VT coaches aren't on there because their salary come from other sources.

Mike London, though, showed up, but only at $300k, since that is what come s from state money.

The data are a few years old, but the Collegiate Times has a searchable database:

http://database.collegemedia.com/databases/salaries/salary.html?schools=...

I thought they updated the information annually, but 2011 is the most recent year. Coach salaries are paid by the schools, but additional compensation (the bulk of Beamer's $2M or so, for instance) comes from other sources. Gotta love their job titles - "Professional Lecturer."

That is typical across the nation. The vast majority of coaches' income is derived from sources set up differently from the universities. Technically, Bud Foster has the highest salary from VT. Beamer's is well below that, because he gets paid more from the VTAF & other sources.

I've seen the 'official' reports, and that was a couple years ago. I think Bud was at $400K & Frank was at $250K or so. The same applies for London. It's not too difficult to determine the breakdown on the respective incomes, but most media people don't bother.