Buzz Williams Remarks on the Virginia Tech Football Program

Williams shared his thoughts on the Hokies' football program, and perspective on the bowl streak.

[Mark Umansky]

Following Virginia Tech's 94-40 blowout of Central Connecticut State, Buzz Williams joined Mike Burnop and Jon Laaser for his normal post-game HokieSports spot. However, instead of focusing on hoops, Williams intercepted a Laaser question about ball movement and instead discussed the Hokies' win over the Hoos, streak extension, fan support, and the football season at-large.

"I've read everything. I've paid attention to everything. Studied everything. What an incredible, incredible accomplishment by Coach Fuente, those kids, the staff, the people whose names are not in the media guide. To have been backed up into a corner, and in my opinion the response of us, was phenomenal.

"To beat Virginia, the way they beat Virginia. First to the floor, first to the grass, to end it the way they did. Keep that streak alive. And then this will be their 26th [bowl] game, Virginia Tech's 26th, I have not been coaching 26 years. And you think all of the people, coaches, players that have contributed to that, and for these kids, to be able to keep that going.

"I know we played good, and I'm happy, but I think there's so many lessons. And I don't think all of the outside people that say that they supported Virginia Tech, were as supportive as they should. And I paid attention to that. I don't want to get on my horse because I'm happy that we won. Never forget that they're kids, and never forget that what they do, and the shoes they walk in is probably harder than a normal fan thinks. And sometimes we probably should be more grateful for the success that the Hokies specific to football have been a part of."

Watch the full commentary at 36 seconds in.

Comments

All very good points from someone relatively unbiased. We have certainly been spoiled by the success of the VT football program, and should spend less time criticizing those who give it their all on a daily basis.

Proud to be a hokie!

Team.

quick someone explain "midget ball" to me because my mind is running rampant and it's making this blowout A LOT more impressive.

Love what Buzz has to say about football. Class act.

(same post as other thread)

4 guard lineups.

Rob-Bede-NAW-Hill with KJB at the 5.

Rob got me on the other thread, but take a leg as well ;)

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

Unpopular (& possibly controversial) thought/opinion here: we're VERY blessed to have Buzz as our coach. His passion, intensity and focus are infectious not only to the team but to the fan base as well. That said, if I were him, I'd worry less about what fans choose to do & focus solely on winning games, & keeping a clean team. The rest will take care of itself. Win the games you're supposed/expected/capable of, and you won't have to worry about a "lack of support" or attendance. He (as well as others) can preach all day till the dang cows come home (& for some, a few, that might work) about the attitude or lackthereof regarding fans. But for the majority, it ain't gonna make a damn bit of difference.
It's part of the business. It's just the nature of the beast of this industry, & he, as well as the players, should be more than well aware of it. They should control what THEY can. Win (part of the whole "If you build it, they will come"). The exact same applies to winning. Win what you're capable of/expected to & you won't have to worry about the fans. Preaching at them may work for some, but for the majority that can potentially come across as a spirit of ungratefulness (as well as borderline disrespect). His position of strength only extends so far. Be grateful for whatever number of fans show up, be it 10 or 50k (whatever number).

(same as posted in other thread)

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

He is winning. Preach away Buzz

I think he needs to be careful in HOW he delivers the sermon. I'm not saying he needs to ki$$ a$$ or $ugarcoat $hit. But I believe there's a more palatable way/method he can deliver the message to where it sounds more grateful.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

You mean by, like, talking about one of the sports he is not coaching, for example?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Actually I wasn't thinking of that specifically, but you do bring up an interesting perspective. I believe, just like the fans, he's allowed to have his own thoughts & opinions, vocalize them even if it's not about the same sport he coaches.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I legitimately can no longer tell when you are trolling and when you are just being ignorant.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Look, the post game interview was put up. I listened to the whole thing (it was excellent, of course). He gave his opinions (that he's freely allowed to have & vocalize) & I had a few thoughts on some of the things he shared, so I shared them, & I fully understand they're not the most popular or agreeable (I acknowledged that). You stated that you felt I was being ignorant (or that my post was ignorant). Ok, well what do you feel that I missed?

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

6-1, ranked 13th nationally.

4 years ago we were coming off back to back finishes of dead last in the ACC only winning 2 games in each year in conference play.

I think he's earned the right to run this program however the heck he wants to run it, because whatever he is doing is very, very clearly working.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I absolutely agree 1K%. An absolute model (for other coaches as well) of true, authentic success. And I wouldn't be surprised if focusing on winning & keeping a clean team while letting the rest take care of itself is a staple characteristic of how he runs the program. It's just that it would behoove him to remember that when it comes to fan interaction & involvement. Some of the things he said in his post-presser don't (I feel) give off that vibe, nor does it really give off a vibe gratefulness or fan appreciation. Just my perception.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Your comments seem to be veiled in some sort of...threatening tone lol. As if Buzz needs to tread lightly or some shit in regards to the fans. Our fans aren't great basketball fans. That's just a fact. Fans can influence a lot with what they bring to a game. Recruits remember the atmosphere. Hell, in football, almost every recruit mentions the environment and Sandman. We need that in basketball as well.

No, I wasn't making a 'veiled threat' or any kind. I was just sharing my thoughts on what he said. I never said he needed to 'tread lightly' or anything. Only that he should be more conscientious & grateful in his delivery. As I said before, I understand that some folks will be receptive to that type of delivery he gave, but I'm hard pressed to believe that most persons will be as gladly receptive to it. Most people I've met/known don't enjoy being told that what they're doing is not enough or they should do this with the type of tone he took.
I firmly believe there's a more effective & better way to deliver his message without compromising it, while at the same time sounding grateful, appreciative & respectful. There's always a better way. And of course I understand, know (& have seen) the implications regarding recruiting of the atmosphere that's provided. I agree that it's a massive contributing factor. But it ain't the ONLY factor. And if fans reacting negatively to a bad loss or poor performance on the field or court is what decides for the recruit, then maybe they don't need to be here.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Maybe I'm just interpreting Buzz's comments differently, I think they are spot on. While many of our fans had given up on the season three weeks ago relative to the streaks continuing much less deserving a bowl bid.

Frankly those "kids" deserve a bowl much more because they stood up against the odds and the harsh albeit deserved criticism.

Win one more and carry this momentum into the off season and next!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

See, if that's what he meant/intended by them I could totally get on with that.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Let me get this straight. If recruits don't come here because of a lack of fan support, that's their problem- and Buzz should be more grateful to all fans regardless of their actions?

But the fans are only going to show up if we win because they are entitled to a winning program?

Yeah, that's exactly the type of attitude that will ensure we will keep the best basketball coach in school history around.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

That atmosphere was preceded by a bunch of non-atmosphere. Build the winning tradition, and the positives will spiral too.

But we know better that we are can influence a program. It would be ignorant to see how our football program is viewed and not apply the same principles to our bball program. Be pro-active, not reactive.

And that 1 is bullshit, just saying.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

Eh....as someone who also doesn't like being talked at by anyone regarding how he behaves as a fan, I disagree. I think Buzz's comments are fine, and I don't hear the same tone you seem to hear.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Good on him. I'm glad these coaches are starting to call out these unrealistic/ungrateful fans.

I frankly disagree. I completely appreciate and respect Buzz, but I think it's a bad look and comes off as a little thin skinned for coaches to be calling out the fan base for what a bunch of lowly fans say on message boards or elsewhere. They honestly shouldn't care, and if they do it's because it bothers them. I knew there would absolutely be growing pains this year, but I don't see how anyone can call our fans as being ungrateful after watching what may have arguably been the worst season in the past 25-30 years. Not just losing, but looking completely lost and getting throttled by pedestrian teams. I don't see why fans being upset and critical of the program and still supportive in the big picture have to be mutually exclusive. If that bothers the coaches, then I don't know what to say.

Speaking of thin skinned... if what buzz said actually bothers you then maybe you need to look at yourself before criticizing others

Doesn't bother me at all, and he has every right to speak his mind just like anyone else. I just think it's crazy to not expect a significant segment of people to be upset after such a bad year. This just gets right back to a "true fan" argument which I think is pointless.

It certainly looks like he's taking time out to speak up for his friends on the coaching staff after seeing a very vocal segment spend the last half of the season screaming about how much they suck at their job and deserve to be demoted or dismissed. And he's not wrong, the reaction of our fans to this season shows just how spoiled we are as opposed to other fanbases. That vocal segment acted like a missed bowl was reason enough to burn everything to the ground, and that kind of perspective is really out of touch with how most programs operate.

He's also seeing the possibility that the heat is going to be put on him next year if we miss the NCAA tournament, which would be insane given where we've come from under him.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

It's the inescapable nature of the beast of this industry. He's 100% allowed to have & speak out his opinions & absolutely do appreciate the sense of unity & his vocal support of his colleagues.
That said, criticizing the fans (& I'm certain there are hard stats to support this) is not the most effective (or grateful) way to secure the needed support from most people. He (all of the coaches & staff) need to be aware of it. Like it or not, it's still a results oriented business.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Well said Alum!!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

I seem to recall you ranting a few weeks ago about how our perpetual mediocracy was the direct result of half of our fans being complacent with going to a bowl and beating UVA.

How do you keep all of your high horses straight?

Yes, because saying the team was mediocre is the same as saying the coached suck and need to be demoted.

Ad hominem attacks FTW!

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I never said you called for coaches to be fired. But you present yourself as having been a beacon of optimism and patience this season, subtly aligning yourself with Buzz as if his words dont also apply to you. It's the self righteous delivery that has come to be the starting block of all your diatribes.

I agree with Buzz and the calmness which we he delivered his words was convicting for me. I did not appreciate how hard our players were working at times and let the results color my view of this team.

I think many people are slightly taking this the wrong way, which is probably why coaches don't even bother trying to vocalize this most of the time. What I think he's trying to tell people is that most fans have never competed in anything at the level that these kids are competing. They don't know what it's like to have to give it your all every day, through the emotional highs and lows, and to accuse the kids of not caring because they've put up some less than expected results is super insulting and discounting of all the work they've put in. IMO, he's not trying to complain about the fans or say anything bad about them, but he's trying to open their eyes to the fact that they might not have a good frame of reference to compare to. Obviously some fans do have something very comparable, but I would also expect that those fans are typically not the ones making such comments.

But there's a better/more effective way he could've done that without potentially coming across as condescending and ungrateful, while at the same time not compromising the original message and sugarcoating it.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I think we as fans need to realize that good coaches have options as to where they decide to set roots. Beyond financial support, facilities, location and ability to recruit, coaches want to have community support. How we act/support our teams in tough times I'm sure is noticed by current and potential coaches. Buzz just showed some insight into a coaches mind

I think most of the fans are aware of this, but it goes both ways.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
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Uva swallows

God I love Buzz.

Preach it Buzz. I woke up early Saturday morning sick as a dog but still WANTED to stay for the entire game. We bounced, screamed and took multiple shots in crappy weather to see this young team get their bowl bid. It wasn't ideal conditions, the season hasn't been ideal but I had one of my favorite experiences in Lane Stadium. Love my Hokies no matter what.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

First game I've actually left early. Been sick all week, mom wasn't feeling well either, and even though we spent the entire game in the indoor portion of the club I could tell she well and my energy was all gone so we left after Holston scored. Got to the car in time to hear Marshall score one last time and listen to Hooker take his kneel downs.

You guys ever think that he is sticking up for the kids on the teams and not that the coaches have a thin skin? Because I see this as a Mike Gundy "Im a man Im 40" type of protection of the kids and I like it.

Danny is always open
23 can't read

I love seeing Buzz defending his colleagues and the players on the football team. That's admirable loyalty to Virginia Tech.

That being said, the criticism from fans toward the football program this season was 100% reasonable. It is important to be supportive, and to always remember that the players are young men who are working their asses off during the week and trying their best on Saturdays.

But this is Div. I football. The players know what they are getting into, and the coaches are making six- and seven-figures. If you can't handle the criticism when things go bad, you're in the wrong business.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

"Kids"

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

I'm 42, even though everyone here is an adult some of you are young enough to me that I'll call you a "kid". ;)

So, like Mike Gundy, 'YOU'RE A MAN! YOU'RE 42!'

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I resemble this comment.

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

My kid is a student at VT, so I admittedly often refer to the players as kids - without implying anything demeaning!

In my personal fantasy, Buzz later followed up these comments by committing to start a 26 year NCAA Tournament streak with the Hokies

Here's one for ya.

Longest active streaks - NCAA tournament appearances and Bowl appearances
Kansas MBB - 29 (1990-present, NCAA MBB record)
Virginia Tech football - 26 (1992-present)
Duke MBB - 23 (1996-present)
Georgia football - 22 (1997-present)
Oklahoma football & Michigan State MBB - 21 (1998-present)
Gonzaga MBB - 20 (1999-present)
LSU football - 19 (2000-present)

The next closest basketball streak is 8 years (Cincinnati and UNC), both Boise State and Wisconsin are at 16 years for football.

For some historical context, only UNC (27, 1975-2001) and Kansas have been to more consecutive NCAA tournaments than we have been to consecutive bowl games. If you count FSU's appearances despite having to vacate the 2006 Emerald Bowl, only FSU (36 - 1982-2017), Nebraska (35 - 1969-2003) and Michigan (33 - 1975-2007) have had longer bowl streaks.

Wow, great info there. When you are in the mix historically with Kansas, Duke and UNC basketball, and FSU Nebraska and Michigan football, you are in good company.

I feel like this is a good time to once again say Thank You Frank Beamer!

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

I'm just impressed to see Buzz in school colors.

I agree you have to be careful in how you deliver your message especially from a position of strength. I also agree that criticism (especially invalid and unwarranted from people who oversimplify complex situation is 100X in the coaching D1 business) needs to be met with thick skin in many situations.

I would say this - coaching is also being a leader who has to balance integrity, investments of time and in many situations taking sides. With social media and direct player and coach criticism coming from amateur wannabe critics everywhere people are going to take sides. Coaches should take sides at times, but especially in challenging ones.

The savvy leaders will see it as a opportunity to forge deeper relationships with those who matter when it comes to building a winning team (who does it the right way). The savvy leader (Buzz is brilliant at this even if he sometimes is hard to follow) will know that fan who he pisses off will come around when he wins. That is the bet Buzz is placing. If you look at it from a player, fellow coach, administration perspective vs. a Pr perspective I believe his moves are calculated while accounting for that perspective of the fan who feels differently.

Frankly, at VT we need some ya against them mentality at times (not sensational newsworthy) in order to build that camaraderie. I believe calling at the "always critics" also endears other fans who think some folks are over-simplifying complex situations with their commentary. It is endearing to me as an example.

Big takeaway from the video is that it wasn't ECU's President or AD that made the call to cancel the game...

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

Can't watch video at kids doctors office, YEA, whose was it?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

He said something like "the non-AD, non-president".

interesting. I took it as he was saying it sarcastically, like both of them are playing dumb saying they didn't make the call.

I thought I read that ECU didn't have a full time AD and hadn't in quite a while. Not sure about the status of their president. Either way I interpreted it as Buzz basically saying, "their admin is a shit show and their actions reflected it."

Also previous Buzz assistant Steve Roccaforte left to become an assistant at ECU and the rumors were that the two had a massive falling out. So maybe some stuff that took place around that are mixed into that statement as well.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I feel like he could have said this directly to me. I have been too frustrated this year, and have sometimes crossed the line into an unhelpful, unsupportive attitude. To the extent that he's addressing people like me, his message is spot on. And it sounds better coming from Buzz than it would coming from Fuente, in the sense that Fuente has thick enough skin to ignore me, but Buzz's comments could be interpreted as, "you can't talk to my brother like that."

If Buzz ever gets heat he doesn't deserve, I hope Fuente will stick up for him in exactly the same way.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

I continue to be impressed with the caliber of human being we have coaching our men's basketball team.

Related, any plan for another run of Buzzketball shirts?

Seconded on the Buzzketball shirts!

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows