How do you rate the job Fuente is doing?

I'm curious as to what everyone's thougths are on Fuente. Right now, I'm 50/50 on him. When the Baylor job came up a while ago, I was torn as to whether I wanted to see him stay or leave. I'll explain a few of my thoughts, and start with the minuses.

Recruiting is my biggest minus. Last year's class was our worst in recent memory, and my memory goes back a long time. We've gotten a few good kids the past few years, but not nearly as many as we used to. When I look at their offer lists, it seems like we are competing against lower conference schools for recruits more than we used to – and sometimes losing. It looks as though the state of Virginia, which is our lifeblood, has been abandoned, which really bothers me. The recent article about recruiting Tidewater was very disturbing. We used to have 2 guys heavily recruit that area, and now it's a fraction of a person. We've lost touch with the local coaches there. I can remember Cav talking many times that building and maintaining relationships with those coaches was so important. I realize things have changed since Cav, and a lot of handlers and rec coaches are now involved, but losing touch with high school coaches who can give you an honest evaluation of kids really bothers me. I am acquaintances with a family in NOVA who's son was recently a top recruit in the state. It's a good family, and their kids are great students. This particular son was offered by practically every blue blood school in the country. We didn't offer him. The family was a little pissed we didn't even reach out. Some of their older kids had attended Tech, and they considered themselves Tech fans. Not anymore. It's nice to be able to get some kids from a place like Texas, but it's a risky strategy to put a lot of effort into. As we've seen, it's hard to hold on to kids who aren't from your area, especially when the bigger programs from their area come knocking on their doors. You're going to have better success keeping verbals from kids who grew up with your name being common to them.

The assistant coaching hires have been disappointing. It seems like a revolving door. Since Fuente has arrived, he's had to make 9 hires since that initial staff was set when he first arrived. Coaches do move around in this industry, but building a consistent staff is so important to building a program like ours. Most of those coaches who he replaced did a poor job. I think a head coach's ability to attract and hire a good staff is important. I'm cautious about the hires of Darryl Tapp and Justin Hamilton. Everyone loves it when former players are hired. It's almost like a popularity hire. But just because they played here, doesn't mean they can coach or recruit. Both are very inexperienced and young, with very little history of success doing their jobs at this level. Frank made a similar move by bringing in Shane and Cornell Brown, and those results weren't good. I'm not saying Hamilton and Tapp were bad hires; I'll give them a good amount of time on the job before I form my opinion on them.

Now for the positive. I think Fuente did a great job when he first took over the program. As great as Frank was, he left the program in a questionable state. His last 4 years were not up to his normal standards. A lot of things had fallen off. We were 19-8 those first 2 Fuente years. This included a trip to the ACCCG and a very competitive game against national champs Clemson. The comeback that year against Arkansas was miraculous. Frank's conservative, but consistent, approach could have never done that. He did this with virtually every player left behind from a program that barely finished over .500 the previous 2 years. Fuente deserves a lot of credit for that. I think he's good at coaching up the talent he has.

To me, Fuente seems very direct and honest in his approach and dealings with people. I appreciate that. I sense some frustrations from fans for all the players who have entered and left via the portal. I see that as a plus. A good coach will give honest feedback to all his players. Not everyone can be a star or starter. When some kids hear they won't get a lot of playing time, they chose to leave and go to a place where they can. I think that's good for everyone. It gives the player a new chance and opens up another scholarship for us. Fuente has also managed to purge our team of some unwanted players. And he's let some go even though they were very talented. I won't mention names, but the kid who when to Miami is a prime example. I like a coach who places character above talent. He understands that a small, but bad influence can poison the team, and he doesn't put up with that. Almost everyone we have lost through the portal was a good loss. I think he does a good job of managing his roster in this manner.

I've already rambled enough. What are your thoughts?

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

Seems like you put a lot of thought into the post but I feel like this will quickly become beating a dead horse on the heels of the "Is VT in a better spot than when Fuente was hired?" and "Fuente v Beamer recruiting" threads.

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

It's about time someone brought this up.

/s

On a letter grade? C

tough to call him a total flop, but hasn't done enough to justify me saying that hes been an unqualified success either.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

D+ just from the revelations of the Jerry Kill saga...he's been mediocre the last few years with a soft schedule. I know it's far more nuanced than that, but I'm too lazy to list it all out. C- or D+ is what I give him (he gets the lower grade for his affinity for Cornelsen). My anticipation of and zeal for VT football has lessened significantly since he took over and my life hasn't changed at all since 2016.

What were the revelations of the Jerry Kill saga?

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

I believe it's unsubstantiated rumors of a fight between Corny and Kill that everyone has just accepted as true.

"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

Our OC is who we thought he was.

Couldn't resist:

My biggest concern beyond the sagas, attrition, and recruiting mishaps is that it looks like this offense just isn't quite what we thought it would be. We had a lot of instant success with Evans and a star veteran cast around him in 2016, but the offense has been on a descent course since then in productivity and efficiency. We may put up more yards than the Beamer era offenses, but let's be real it's not hard to do that with the change in style of play over the last 10+ years. I'm also not seeing a ton as far as QB development and progression (second string guys who have been in the system for years seem to have less command of the offense when called into action.)

A team with this much returning production should make major strides this year. I really want to see this offense come out and finally click again like we saw in 2016.

I dont disagree with your post, however, with HH at QB we put up over 30ppg

Definitely an improvement with HH under center, no argument. However, he was extremely limited in what he could execute in the playbook. When he was forced to throw from the pocket, we saw the result (UVA/Kentucky). I'm hoping he continues to progress into this upcoming season, but no spring practice is going to dampen my initial expectations.

No argument here, hopefully increased game time and reps w/ the ones will improve this. He has all the potential to be a very solid QB

Also didn't Hooker have a pretty significant shoulder injury last spring/summer? I think the biggest thing is that every year we've said "everyone important is coming back!" and then through draft/dismissal/injuries (both minor and major)/etc. we've got a rotating cast of characters instead.

Sometimes I worry about how much our quarterback has to run the ball. It hampered Jerod in 2016. It hampered JJ in 2017 and ended him in 2018. It hampered Willis in 2019 until Hooker had to take over already injured.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Hooker was dealing with a knee injury in the UVA game that I'm sure limited his effectiveness... against UK we scored 30pts... how much more do you expect from our O against a SEC D?... Fuente will be judged by me based on this year. Everything is in place for the O to be explosive. If not it's on Fuente. No excuses from me....

Then why didn't the staff play HH two quarterbacks ago? You can't hang your hat on Hookers performance as a sign of this staff being competent without acknowledging we sat behind JJ and RW

Recruit Prosim

Or we could safely assume HH has developed over time all while overcoming some nagging injuries through the process.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

Do you have evidence if these injuries?

Recruit Prosim

It is more likely than not that Hendon Hooker was injured, largely supported by insider whispers, and concluded by me through the art of common sense as reasoned by his wearing a very large shoulder brace and showing obvious signs of severe discomfort.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

Did you not see his knee hyperextend? You don't recover fully from that in 1 or 2 weeks.

I'm talking about before that

Recruit Prosim

I can only guess that Hendon didn't play early because he doesn't practice well. Looking at those passes to Tre were evidence...

We still can't say that Fuente got it wrong without making some sort of excuse?

We don't know if he got it wrong because we weren't in practice. Maybe Hendon wasn't healthy enough to play lots of snaps until week 5. Maybe Hendon looked bad in practice until that week. Maybe it was an equal race and Fuente thought that Willis better suited the personnel around him. Maybe Willis looked way better in practice than he did on the field, and Fuente was waiting for that level of play to happen.

Yes, based ONLY on what fans could see, it was the wrong decision. But, up until the Miami game, we saw less than 150 snaps from Willis in 2018, and saw about 10 from Hooker. Fuente saw thousands from each. I don't know what he saw in those other thousand, but clearly there was something that made him select Willis at first. He might've made the right call based on the information he had.

Twitter me

Cross-referencing a point French made in the comments of his Bullock breakdown - that if RW had learned his reads better, he would have done a lot better. Maybe Fuente didn't get the benefit of learning Willis hadn't learned it well enough until he got a couple real games under his belt in the second season?

Also, I think the shoulder brace on HH was for fashion, not injury. /s

I remember when Fuente made that one particularly boneheaded decision to move Farley to defense. All he had to do was ask the fans and we would have all saved him from his mistake.

\S

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

He was right once, so he's right every time.

It's okay to admit he got it wrong but fixed it in time to save the season.

It isn't ok to admit anything I don't believe. My opinion is that Fuente and staff never particularly liked Willis. They seemed forced to say good things of his performances. And, yet he started. I dont think they do that without good reason. There are plenty of clues to point you toward what those reasons are. At the end of the day we will never know for sure. But, I sure as hell am not going to choose to assume the coaches that know more about football than anybody on this board just botched it.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

Fuente recruited Willis as a transfer and installed him as the QB. I have no idea where this idea is that Fuente never liked him. If he didn't like him, he didn't have to offer him a scholarship.

He didn't at first

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

Lots of people complained that Fuente was not effusive enough in his praise of Willis in 2018. Many were also upset that Fuente didn't name Willis the starter sooner prior to the 2019 season. After the Miami game, Fuente was suddenly incompetent for ever letting Willis step foot on the field.

Same for Vance Vice being the staff member that everyone wanted fired for two years until he started bringing in high rated OL recruits. Or Beau Davidson as fans couldn't sing his praises enough when we had Texas commits and feared we'd lose him to Alabama soon, yet now are complaining that he has alienated VA recruits and harmed the program indefinitely.

Fans feel the need to identify a scapegoat when anything doesn't meet their expectations. That doesn't meant there isn't valid blame to be placed but the pendulum swings are so extreme that you'd think our coaches are secretly switching with incompetent doppelgΓ€nger versions every other week.

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

he didn't have to offer him a scholarship

Willis initially walked on.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

For any player to develop, he needs time. Realistically, only the first first string starter gets that time and Fuente has yet to have a quarterback for start for more than one season and a few games. Early departure and injuries derailed the development of his first two quarterbacks. Willis had some skills and pulled some games out for the Hokies but ultimately his flaws lead to his being replaced. Finger crossed here that the current crop will have that time.
If you want to argue that Fuente had picked the wrong guy to be the QB, I will only point out that we fans second guess coaches all the time without the benefit of thier time with the players.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

I thought we'd be somewhere closer to how Minnesota currently is with Fleck.

So much this.

Fleck's opponents note how his teams are tough and that they just don't make mistakes. Fuente preaches "Hard.Smart.Tough" but Fleck's team actually play that way. I just rewatched the stretch of games from WF to Pitt from last year and even though those were good wins, there were still a lot of unforced errors.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

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

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Fleck is who I wanted Tech to hire. I know it would've been widely criticized at the time, but that's the energy we need here. We NEED a recruiter. Until we get one, we're just going to keep falling further behind Clemson. The best we can hope for is that we have a good season and Fuente is hired away by someone with more money than us. I think he could succeed somewhere that requires less selling of the school to recruits.

Fleck would have left for Baylor.

I don't say that to start an argument. I say that knowing Fleck doesn't stick around long at any of his stops. Minnesota will not be his last stop. He has bigger and better opportunities. Similar to VT. USC, Texas, Ohio State, are real opportunities in his future.

His first year at Minny was also very rough, 5-7, having to rebuild a roster decimated by an ugly gang rape incident where the coaches..... **drumroll** Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys, defended the players.. (memory is a bit hazy, I think Claeys was the interim b/c of Kill's health). Breaking the bowl streak would have caused Merryman to burn down.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

memory is definitely a bit hazy. Claeys was not defending the players who were under investigation, he was defending the players who threatened to sit out based on the way the university handled the investigation -- e.g. the same thing that causes an uproar here... there weren't ever any charges filed by prosecutors, and there was a long, drawn out "university code of conduct" investigation that resulted in a lot of suspensions, at least one player claims he threatened with expulsion if he didn't rat people out, and so on.

Regardless of the merits of the investigation and punishment, Claeys is in a damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don't situation... either he pisses off the university in support of his players threatening to sit out, or he pisses off the locker room in support of the university

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Googling back in time on this one. The university had access to all the players and the victim who was gang raped. The police did not, and the players did not cooperate with the police. The police could not use specific evidence, which the university could use. Similar to one of our players being booted from the team this year.

Here's a former player's perspective, the whole situation was ugly.

Link

Warning: the detailed report that is discussed in this article is graphic

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Fleck is who I wanted Tech to hire

Really? PJ Fleck was on your radar during the 2015 season? He was in the midst of his third season as a head coaching, going 1-11, 8-4, and 7-5. He was 4-3 in 2015 on the day Beamer announced his retirement. I'm calling bullshit.

Twitter me

As much as I want to grade as an Incomplete.... We're now into Year 5. Last year we had arguably the easiest schedule we've had in 20 years and we got pants'd by Duke and lost to UVa and lost to ODU the year before that. And our recruiting class was straight up bad. And we've been dealing with a lot of high profile turbulence like the SI article, the constant pop shots from former players and recruits, and a spike of transfers out that outpaced the rest of the sport. We did win the Coastal that first year, but its been a gradual fall since.

Ugh, the more I think about it, its a solid D. That 2016 year keeps it from a failing grade, but we are not at the level we were expected to be in Year 5 after Beamer. We're closer to being one of the worst teams in the sport than a legit contender.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

People keep saying we had such an easy schedule last year but dude it was definitely easier in 2018 when we went 6-6. We all know we got pantsed by Duke before we switched quarterbacks and what happened after we did. We are not even close to being one of the worst teams in the sport lmao bro. How the hell did this get 17 upvotes

1) there's no way our schedule was easier in 2018 than 2019. Out of conference games vs W&M, ODU, ND, and Marshall (and @FSU crossover) in 2018. ODU, Furman, Rhode Island, ND (and Wake at home crossover) on 2019.

2) he didn't say we're close to being the worst team, he said we're closer to being worst than we are to being a contender

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Dude... Wake last year was way better than FSU in 2018. ND was way better in 2019 than 2018. Who cares if 2018 Marshall is slightly better than 2019 Furman, we're expected to win big in both. The only coastal team that was worse in 2019 than 2018 is GT, the rest were better some way better.

Lol at the idea that "FCS and G5 are basically the same.... should be a blowout". Marshall's a way better team and program than Furman

Full strength FSU team on the road vs an injury decimated Wake team at home. You're letting the rest of Willie Taggart's tenure paint your opinion of that game.

I can't be bothered to spend time pulling the numbers, but last year's schedule was literally the easiest in P5 football.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Furman last year was actually a pretty good FCS team, Marshall was terrible. Either way it doesn't affect the expected record which you're judging season success on.

And yeah don't pull the actual numbers or rewatch any games because it doesn't help your argument. That Wake team was 7-1 when they played us, not decimated by injuries. That FSU team was dogshit.

Bottom line for each season is three easy games. Last year ND was way better, in the coastal every team besides GT was slightly better (Duke Pitt Miami), or way better (UVA UNC). BC was slightly worse. That comes out to a harder schedule bud.

Yeah, I have a counterpoint for nearly every single one of your arguments. Furman was a good FCS team, correct, but they went 8-5. Marshall went 9-4 in 2018 as an FBS team. FSU was bad, certainly worse than Wake. I'll give you that. I'm unsure how you figure that ND was better. In 2018, they went 12-0 in the regular season. In 2019, they went 10-2. Duke went from 8-5 to 5-7. Pitt, while improving their record, actually made the ACC Championship by going 6-2 in conference play in 2018 but 4-4 in 2019. They were a tougher matchup for us in 2018 and 2019 given their form at the time of the game. Miami may not have gotten worse, but they certainly weren't better. I wouldn't call UVA way better, but they were better. No argument about UNC.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

There's a good argument UVA was way better though man, they were tough as hell and beat us in a game we played pretty well in. ND I agree is close but they played a VERY easy schedule in 2018 and got pushed by some very bad teams. Good win against Syracuse but when they finally played a good team in Clemson it was no contest. In 2019 they lost at a very good Georgia team and at Michigan in a rivalry game. I can see an argument for either season.

The difference between Duke's 7-5 reg season in 2018 and 5-7 season in 2019 was playing Alabama and a pretty decent Tar Heel team instead of a horrible one. Personnel wise I find it hard to believe the 2018 team was better.

Pitt did better in conference in 2018 but everyone will agree that that was an absolutely horrible coastal with zero good teams. They may have gone 4-4 but they got a better game from us and UVA, there's your two conference games. And they beat UCF in the nonconference instead of getting pantsed by them. (Also in 2018 Pitt lost to a 2-9 Larry Fedora team... yikes).

For Miami I'd flip your statement to say they may not have gotten better but they certainly weren't worse. Again there's an argument for either side but that 2018 Miami team was horrible.

There's a good argument UVA was way better though man, they were tough as hell and beat us in a game we played pretty well in.

There was one quarter we played well where we scored 3 TDs. Couldn't even muster more than a field goal in any other quarter. Not sure how you can say we played well that day.

Twitter me

Agreed. Us showing up with the wrong gameplan on offense and not having any capability to make an adjustment to fix it was pretty damning. The defense started out sloppy but made some adjustments in the 2nd and 3rd quarter to slow down Perkins. However Anae was able to exploit another weakness in coverage later in the game. I don't think that was our finest showing in terms of gameplan or execution.

Wow, that game was pretty close right up until the end.

Not bad for having no game plan and no adjustments.

The fact is that we didn't stop them when we needed to, and the fourth quarter put a bit too much pressure on Hooker at that stage of his development, where Perkins was right in his element.

We kept a close score but we in no way played a complete game or our best game out there. If the defense doesn't give up two backbreaking running touchdowns in the 1st quarter, and our offense isn't sputtering for 3/4 quarters, we likely win that game comfortably.

If the defense can stop Perkins, we win that game. Comfortably. Two of their scores were long Perkins runs. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 27-20, VT leading. Not too bad for "no game plan".

Even when we were up, there was no resting on their offense.

Hooker isn't so much a clutch quarterback. Down by a field goal late in the fourth quarter wasn't going to be a great situation for us in that game. You're right, our offense wasn't as effective as I'd have liked, but the game was pretty close until very late.

Total Yards:
VT: 483
UVa: 492

Possession:
VT: 33:39
UVA: 26:21

First Downs:
VT: 25
UVA: 14

Turnovers:
UVA: 1
VT: 4

Yes, 4 TO's the key there. That and some huge defensive lapses early in the game to give UVA confidence.

W/e we were playing well up until that game. Their defense played well against us besides that one quarter and their offense legitimately grinded out that win despite us stopping them for most of the game.

So in 2019, I count 10 ACC teams falling in the 50-70 range. So I ask, does it really matter?

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

I believe Wake didn't have Surratt and FSU was the 1st game of the year. So looking at final records and saying Wake was better isn't exactly taking all factors into consideration.

My thoughts:

Unless things fall apart this year, the recruiting is fine.

I think the hires he has made have not been splash hires. However, I think they are calculated hires and have good value. We need the value because we can't afford the splash.

I think the biggest thing Fuente has had to battle is the fanbase's initial opinion that we were hiring an offensive genius. I do think he is in fact a great football mind, but what folks werent expecting is that he is also very conservative and fears losing a game with mistakes above all else.

And much as I hate to say it, keeping Bud around did not prove to be the magic formula we all hoped for. I don't blame anybody for this. I think the game had changed enough that Bud's system was in need of some tweaks similar to '03 but he was also riding a dip in talent.

I would give him a B grade. He does things the right way and is as honest as they come. We have experienced a bit of on the job training, but I think Fuente has a bright future. It might be easy to gravitate toward a C grade. But, I consider C average, and I don't think an average coach pulls in Jerod to have a good 2016 and would have been fired after 2018. Average looks really bad at this level.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

He has a 72%. I've brought a 72% to an A before. I've also let a 72% fall to a failing grade. we'll see how Fuente does.

Twitter me

At my high school, 74 and below was failing. So my first test at VT, I got a 72 or something like that and was devastated. Then I got to rejoice when I figured out I still had a C.

In all seriousness, C-? There have been some very understandable extenuating circumstances (new QB every year with a different skill set, locker room cancer holdovers, etc), but I still can't forgive him for losing the streak and wasting Foster's last few years of coaching. That said, I think things are looking up and I'm excited to see how the defensive coaching changes pan out.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

The streak I can't forgive him for is ending the longest winning streak in the nation at over 26 years.

C-

F is for Fuente, Fuente, Fuente, Fuente. I can't fault him for his ridiculous contract extension as that is on Whit or his flirting with Baylor as that is a better state for Football and probably a hella lot more monies. I can fault him for shoddy recruiting outside of a few JUCO transfer gems, poor game and offensive management, poor relations with alumni and fans and loosing to ODF'NU (that one still stings since wifey and most of her friends and family went there so I hear about it way too much). I am actually kind of hoping Fauci is right on this one and we will not have football this fall so I am not let down so much as the old ticker is having enough problems as it is...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

You are what your record says you are. He's been average. Not bad, average. He was supposed to breath life into a stale program and recruiting and he has done neither thus far. He doesn't bungle 4th down calls or timeouts for the most part, and he has gotten the team ready to play at times- WVU, ND, good halftime adjustments against Arky... but overall it's just average. He's lost touch with some guys and they've left, he's had some discipline issues, he got crushed by a 3-9 ODU team, it's average. C at best.

My thought are:

* Fuente was replacing a Hall of Fame coach and that's huge shoes to fill.

* His first year exceed expectations thank to timely transfer of Evans and a senior heavy class. Keeping Bud around was a smart move at the time.

* I think similar to Beamer, Fuente has the problem of keeping an offensive coordinator who don't seem to a good feel of the game. Jerry Kill's criticism of the offensive staff inability to breakdown film doesn't inspire confidence.

* Fuente has that "resting asshole face" where he is so dialed in, it makes he come across as humorless and with an air of disdain. His no-nonsense approach may have ran off players and that's concerning.

* Coming off bye weeks has indicated a poor preparation, evident by the ugly home loss to Duke. He has to get that addressed or expect calls for him to go to intensify.

I have to agree with DC that Fuente has been average at best.

β€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.” ~ lewiswb

I'd call it a poker face. You know who else has one?

Nick Saban.

So it comes across differently when you're winning.

Major apples to oranges comparison there. When you are as successful and proven as Saban, you can be an asshole all day long. When you are average at best and also come off as an asshole, you're not going to get much slack.

Neither Fuente nor Saban are assholes. Folks who actually know them do not share your opinion.

Both are decent coaches. One has a stellar record, and one has a mixed record.

They're both no-nonsense kinds of guys, particularly on game day, which some fans choose to misread.

Comparing Fuente and Saban's attitude is still not a fair comparison. Saban doesn't need to show a softer and more appealing side to bring in fans and support- his winning does that.

Fuente needs people to care more about football to provide better resources. A very unlikable person that doesn't win is going to have trouble doing so.
At the end of the day, winning solves all of the problems a coach might have with the fan base.

VT 2016
Go Hokies

I'm not giving you one inch on the "unlikeable person" narrative propagated by some.

There is no evidence of it whatsoever. In fact, there is plenty of evidence disproving that.

Yes, he has a poker face during games and when he's talking to the media. That's a different topic, and I used Saban as an example of someone who does that and doesn't get criticized for it. So it turns out you're not an asshole if you win. Ooops! Gotcha. Because that's not necessarily true, either.

I'm fine with Fuente having a poker face in game situations. I'll like him better as a coach if he can get the team to winning, and the jury is still out whether he can turn the corner.

Yes, Fu is a nice guy. I've met him. Very polite, southern draw type yes sir no sir guy. Not outspoken, not too eager to ham it up with strangers, but he's not an asshole. In terms of coaching, he is very demanding of his assistants and players. He is a guy that won't tolerate any mistakes if he knows you are capable of not making them. He pushes the kids hard in practice and it can wear on them when he points out little mistakes. That has been his biggest issue, IMO- he "rides" some guys for very little things, because he knows they can do better. And at other times, some players don't see him other than on a tower for 2 weeks. This is a make/break year for him- it's all "his" guys now.

Yeah, that's the balancing act needed at times to be an effective leader anywhere I think. You need to know when to push someone, and also when to take a step back and give them some positive encouragement. Not everyone responds the same to constant yelling or criticism. Each individual is unique in what motivates them.

Agree neither are likely total assholes, but that's perception from the outside when you aren't winning.

I wouldn't say both are decent coaches. One is arguably the greatest college coach of all time and the other is a decent coach with a mixed record.

I am talking about Fuente and you bring in Sabah. Smh.

β€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.” ~ lewiswb

You brought up "resting asshole face", and he was the first to come to mind that have a relatively emotionless demeanor during on-field coaching. There are many, many others.

I don't agree with the description, as coaches with poker faces have been successful from the early days of football. Their players generally know a different side of them.

I was taking specifically about Fuente based on my perception of him. Period. You brought in Saban as a red herring. Period. End.

β€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.” ~ lewiswb

I was taking specifically about Fuente based on my perception of him. Period. You brought in Saban as a red herring. Period. End.

Yes. Your perception. Base on a very limited perspective, really. Fuente chooses not to share what he's thinking during games, or even with the media. There are lots of coaches to take that approach.

I brought up Saban as another example of someone who doesn't generally show a lot of emotion in game situations. There are many other examples.

"I brought up Saban as another example of someone who doesn't generally show a lot of emotion in game situations"

If you honestly believe this about Nick Saban then you've never watched a game that Nick Saban has coached. It's to the point that there are memes of him flipping out on refs and screaming at Lane Kiffin all over the internet. He wears his emotions on a sleeve for everyone to see.

Seriously, just Google "Nick Saban sideline behavior". These are the top three results:
How Saban learned to tone down his sideline behavior (to a point)
Saban explains expletive-laden tirade that resulted in a penalty
Saban loses it over clock management

That doesn't even count the videos about him "going off" or "losing it on the sideline". There's also the time he infamously got testy with Maria Taylor for just doing her job and asking him a question that he didn't like.

Saban is one of, if not the, greatest college football coaches of all time, but one thing he has never been accused of is being "someone who doesn't generally show a lot of emotion in game situations".

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

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

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Now that you've blown off some steam, and spent a lot of time trying to prove something, read the thread you're responding to. I used him as an example of someone who often displays "Resting Asshole Face".

If you really believe Fuente's an asshole, prove that.

Otherwise, get off my lawn.

"I brought up Saban as another example of someone who doesn't generally show a lot of emotion in game situations"

This is direct quote from you. I replied to your post where you said this. It is laughable and demonstrably false. Nothing in the thread somehow makes this statement true.

You don't need to make shit up to defend Fuente. You hurt your defense of your position when you do this.

Secondly, I don't think Fuente is an asshole. I never claimed anything remotely like that so why would I need to defend it? I don't know him. From what I have heard from him, I actually like the guy. The original poster didn't need to call him an asshole to be critical of his performance. That was unnecessary and rightly called out. Maybe you should read the thread you are replying in and see if you can find where I said Fuente was an asshole before telling me to prove an assertion I never made and don't agree with.

Lastly, this isn't your lawn. So, if you don't want people pointing out your bad faith arguments, then maybe try to stop arguing in bad faith. It kills your credibility for when you actually make a good point.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

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

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Come on now. You're the one making a bad faith argument, by trying to peel off a piece of a discussion you weren't part of, and pretending like you can discount it on some kind of isolated technicality that doesn't actually exist.

It may well be that Saban loses it sometimes, but if you say he doesn't have a game face on the vast majority of the time, you're just incorrect. Those aren't mutually exclusive ideas. But the fact is that you're caught up in all the pageantry, while missing the point.

I disagree with bashing Fuente for having a game face by calling it "Resting asshole face". Go ahead. Defend that if you want to take an opinion on it. That's what I took exception over. If anything, Fuente maintains his composure better than most.

There's nothing about holding a professional demeanor that makes a coach an asshole. That's my point. Feel free to agree or disagree.

I literally typed, " The original poster didn't need to call him an asshole to be critical of his performance. That was unnecessary and rightly called out". So why on earth would I defend the "resting asshole face" position? I have never argued for that or agreed with it. But you keep on claiming that is my position. I agreed with you on that but you want to paint me into a corner as someone that thinks Fuente is an asshole so you can take some righteous high ground.

My point was, and still is, that Saban is notorious for flipping out on the sidelines during games, which is the exact opposite of Fuente's reputation for being stone-faced and the exact opposite of what you said about Saban. Its a terrible comparison. So maybe pick a different, more appropriate example instead of doubling down and accusing me of taking positions I never once took and mistaking pagentry for message (because obviously you have a Galaxy Brain intellect and I'm just a drooling simpleton).

As for "trying to peel off a piece of a discussion you weren't part of", I thought TKP was an open forum. I didn't realize that I needed your permission to join a conversation.

I'm done with this sub-thread. I know how you will keep this going by ignoring that I agreed with you that calling Fuente an asshole was uncalled for. You will keep accusing me of saying things I never said. You will keep ignoring the fact that Saban is notorious for his sideline outbursts, and arguing in bad faith. All with a heaping helping of condescension. I'm done. Go ahead and have the last word, because you always do.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

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

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

This is fun. Please keep going.

I agreed with you that calling Fuente an asshole was uncalled for

Well, we're pretty much in agreement, as that was the only point I was trying to make.

Fuente has that "resting asshole face" where he is so dialed in, it makes he come across as humorless and with an air of disdain. His no-nonsense approach may have ran off players and that's concerning.

Disagree, and tbh I think it's a little out of bounds to say that about him. I met him once at a HokieClub event; he might have been somewhat out of his element, but he was friendly and welcoming. A former player (not sure who, didn't recognize him) came to the event, and his face lit up. Some of his players love him.

Anyways, Fuente isn't as warm as Frank or CMY, but most people aren't. He seems to be a matter-of-fact person, possibly introverted, but not an asshole; He's never been defensive or rude towards the media (like Buzz), he's never chewed out a player on the sideline (like Dabo), and he's never put a college student in harm's way (like Brian Kelley). I just don't know how you can call him an asshole.

Twitter me

Anyway, my expectation for the football program is much lower. Would love to see VT assert dominance over the Costal, but I think that may be UVA, UNC, and maybe Miami.

β€œBut do kind of enjoy reading this thread, it's really nice because Auburn can't swoop in and take our juicy ripe tomatoes.” ~ lewiswb

Fuente is the guy who comes in and aces the first test of the semester and everyone thinks he's the smartest kid in the class. They all work hard to be just like him and he lets it get to his head. The next several tests show the real truth. He struggles to pass and even has some head-scratching failures that even the teacher can't understand. Then, at the end of the year, he's near the bottom of the class and everyone has dismissed him as a nobody.

Fuente isn't a bad guy. I don't dislike him and I have really been rooting for him to figure it out and do what he was brought here to do (make our offense work, recruit better, elevate the program) but after the first exciting and promising campaign the wheels have absolutely fallen off and his teams have not demonstrated any sort of positive progress since 2016.

Year 1 - A
Year 2 - B-
Year 3 - D
Year 4 - F

When you look at it collectively it doesn't look great at all. And recently he just hasn't done anything to inspire confidence that things will improve. He really needs an A+ type of year in 2020 (or 2021 if 2020 doesn't happen) to bring his average back up out of the basement but how many people around here can honestly say they could see that happening? 2016 is looking more and more like the anomaly with each passing season. At what point will fans and administrators realize it's time to move on? What will it take?

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

By height.

he just doesn't measure up

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

C+

I want badly for him to turn things around. I think he is a great person and a good coach, but you can't succeed in power 5 football if you can't recruit.

I think the "can't recruit" was soundly disproven on the other thread.

At a minimum, the jury is still out.

Enlighten me then.

I consider anything but a top 30 recruiting class a failure. By that metric, the last recruiting class was a failure, and while I still have hope, the 2021 class may very well be too.

Assuming this year does finish as a top 30 class, last year's small class will hardly be noticeable in today's high turnover climate.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

I honestly hope that happens. And if it does I think you are right.

I just don't have a lot of hope that that will happen. A top 30 class with momentum from a solid season could turn things around recruiting wise.

There was a whole thread on recruiting posted by Alum07.

Would probably be worth reading.

The 'can't recruit' was absolutely NOT 'soundly disproven' in Alum's thread. The big takeaways there were:

  • The average recruit rating for Fuente's classes are not dissimilar to the averages in Beamer's last 5 or so classes
  • However, Beamer's classes tended to have a much lower floor but much higher ceiling. As I explained here, Beamer brought in more players with a 0.95+ ranking
  • Most troublesome - while VT's average recruit rating (again - average recruit rating only tells part of the story) is not much different than it was in Beamer's day, the average recruit rating for P5 schools is increasing. This is like making a good salary, but not adjusting for inflation - you're effectively losing money.

It's probably hyperbole to say Fuente 'can't recruit,' but at best he's recruiting at the same level as Beamer. At worse, he's recruiting a little bit worse.

Twitter me

It's probably hyperbole to say Fuente 'can't recruit,' but at best he's recruiting at the same level as Beamer. At worse, he's recruiting a little bit worse.

That's all I'm saying.

"Can't recruit" is hyperbole, and doesn't reflect Fuente's record.

Also, by the last 5 seasons Beamer's recruiting had declined and he was going through health problems that made it more difficult for him to recruit (and made it easy for other programs to recruit against us). Saying that Fuente has 'stayed the course' at best recruiting wise doesn't come off like much of an endorsement to me.

I see it differently.

When Fuente took over the ship, it was sinking.

He stabilized it, and now he's working on lifting it. Whether he has succeeded, we don't know yet.

It's like an aircraft carrier that was going the wrong direction. You can't turn it around on a dime. There were some structural things to fix. Like when you're restoring a yard, it might not be pretty when you start. It takes some time to see results. We're only just now seeing the results of what Fuente is doing.

We'll know soon enough if things are starting to turn, as they should be now.

It's not that Fuente can't recruit, it's that Fuente can't recruit where VT used to recruit any longer after the events of the 2018 season/2019 off-season culminating in the SI article that laid everything bare.

I thought about posting my thoughts in the other thread, but I don't believe Fuente has done that well of a job.

If I had to grade it, I would say a C. He really hasn't elevated the program in a very visible way. If he does not have the proper resources, he needs to tell Whit and then it is up to Whit and Sands to make it happen.

I don't like the direction of the program. We've become a middle ground ACC school, and I don't see any major changes in that identity anytime soon. Fuente will coach here until we have either found the perfect candidate to replace him after we are tired of 7-9 win seasons, or he will have a disaster of a season and will be kicked to the curb. I don't see us winning anything major while he is here.

Which sucks, because there has to be major financial change if VT wants to be a contender again, which I don't know how much focus the athletic department and university are focusing on over Olympic sports. Honestly, I'd rather be really good in football and basketball and poor in everything else- FB and BB are the most visible and have the biggest influence on the university.

VT 2016
Go Hokies

2016 was an A

Every year since then has been a C at best.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

I truly wanted us to succeed under Fuente bc he seemed like a great fit. These things take time and year 5 shouldve been adequate time for him to get his footing. I truly believe this year and next year will be good years for us. But the truth of the matter is that if we dont figure out how to recruit better, then Godforsaken UNC will take over the coastal without much competition. If we dont get back in the saddle the next two years with 10 wins in each then we have to part ways or, IMO, face the reality that we will be a middling football school for the foreseeable future, and that blows.

Grade: C+

I looked back through the 247 Composite Top10 in Virginia for the last few years, and the only guys from NOVA without VT offers are

2019: Turner-Muhammad, CB, 4-star (.906) Episcopal HS Alexandria (Stanford)
2020: Christ, OT, 3-star (0.89), Dominion HS Sterling (PSU)
2020: Pogorelc, OT, 3-star (0.89), Chantilly HS Chatilly, (Stanford)

None of them seemed to be offered by every blue blood in the country though...

We can't seem to recruit Episcopal at all, and they bring a lot of out-of-state students with no connection to VT/Virginia. Perhaps a case of mutal disinterest.

Christ and Pogorelc are OL... Vice seems to have a pretty good handle on recruiting OL that will succeed in his system. So far I have no reason to 2nd guess his offers or lack of offers, although it would be nice to land the top Virginia recruits, it seems like this coaching staff really doesn't care about that, and on goes after guy that map to their system(s).

I don't like to publicize private conversations I've had, but the person I was speaking about had about 40 offers, including: Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Clemson, Miami, Florida, Georgia. This was straight from one of his parents.

I am acquaintances with a family in NOVA who's son was recently a top recruit in the state. It's a good family, and their kids are great students. This particular son was offered by practically every blue blood school in the country. We didn't offer him. The family was a little pissed we didn't even reach out. Some of their older kids had attended Tech, and they considered themselves Tech fans. Not anymore.

Was their son interested in VT? Did he reach out to Fuente or the VT staff?

Some of their older children actually attended VT, but they're mad because VT didn't offer their superstar athlete? Was their kid interested in VT, or did they just want the offer to add to their list?

A VT offer is serious, at least to VT. It's not collectible jewelry. If VT didn't offer a kid with 40 offers that included a bunch of bluebloods, I would normally guess that it was because they didn't see the potential recruit as a likely commit. It could be that they misunderstood a communication, but it's more likely that they had an indication that it wasn't going to be a productive use of their time.

I would guess they are more or less experts at what it looks like when someone is just collecting offers. That said, they probably get it wrong sometimes. That they're saying they aren't fans now tells me that either they or the student probably weren't serious about it to begin with.

Obviously, I don't know the details, but that would be my guess.

Yeah I'm not too keen on knowing names, I just wanted to assess why a top in-state player might not have gotten an offer from VT.

To date, I give him a C-.

2016 started his tenure out hot. Momentum hasn't been higher since that near upset of Clemson in the ACCCG. But everything has been on a steady decline since then. We thought things were going to keep right on rolling in 2017, and I will give credit for having the team ready to roll against WVU, but as we hit the bulk of our P5 schedule, the wheels completely came off on offense and things haven't been quite right since. 2018 was going to be a rebuild, though I don't think anyone expected us to lose to ODU and be completely run off the field in so many games. But, 2019 is perhaps more disappointing even with a slightly better record because of all we had returning and the schedule we had laid out for us. You could tell the team was deflated after that first BC loss - we heard all offseason that a storm was brewing and the team culture had never been better. To me it looked like guys who were playing so uptight and coached into being afraid of making a mistake. Getting waxed by Duke, struggling against ODU and FCS teams, and then losing the UVa streak followed by a dismal bowl performance almost took every bit of optimism out of me as a VT fan.

We have to start recruiting better, period. I know we are at a resources disadvantage, but I also don't think we are so disadvantaged to be currently 12/14 in the ACC in recruiting. That isn't going to cut it, and part of that blame lies on the staff and the head coach. We can't afford to fall further back in an already mediocre conference.

Fuente needs a big year in 2020. The frustration from the fan base is becoming palpable. It was telling to me when we thought he was headed to Baylor that you have Herbstreit and Marty Smith on twitter actively lobbying for Shane to get the job, and then Mike Vick tweets out a huge endorsement for him as well. There are some major fractures in the VT football family, and the heat is only going to get hotter if a team with this much returning production once again underachieves.

I don't get how Kentucky completely runs Louisville off the field in the final game of the season and we lose to Kentucky at the very end of the bowl game, yet most are very bullish on Louisville while it's further evidence that we're on a steep decline. I think we should have beaten Kentucky but they had a hell of a defense and our offense actually did fairly well. Fans have been lamenting Bud Foster's game plan against mobile QBs and both UVA and UK had quite a bit of success with them in the final 2 games. Well Foster has retired and the defensive scheme is likely to be tweaked to address that. So what am I objectively missing here about those 2 games spelling doom for our future?

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

I think your confusing (or, rather, the media is confusing) momentum and position. Using the stock market analogy, Louisville's stock went from $2 to $8 from the end of 2018 to the end of 2019. In that same period, VT stock went from $7 to $9, and hasn't traded above $9 since 2017. Louisville is just a faster moving stock, despite having similar current value.

I also think you're viewing the Foster replacement through O&M glasses. This hire has a lot of potential upside, and the staff was put together pretty wisely, but you're still replacing a HoF level coach with a first time coordinator, and you're making a scheme change in the middle of the most bizarre college football off season since WWII (literally). There is so much that could go wrong on defense this year - do we have the right personnel? Will they understand the new system? Will they be able to execute, or will their brain tie up their feet?

Twitter me

Excellent post, leg!

Way more threads on this than I'm willing to read through.

However, I will be upset if we lose Vance Vice. I truly believe he has proven himself in recruiting and development, and could be a hot commodity should a good offer come to him.

I'm very excited to see how the defense plays, and what will be a new scheme/technique.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Since Fuente has arrived, he's had to make 9 hires since that initial staff was set when he first arrived.

I can't make your math work...

6 departures, 3 of which were Babcock's holdovers: Foster (retired); Wiggins (transfer to Bama); Scott (misconduct); Burden (fired); Wiles (fired); Mitchell (fired).

7 adds: Lechtenberg (NCAA added position); Hamilton; Tapp; Teerlinck; Claeys; Smith; Williams

and 3 remaining from the initial 2016 group: Cornelsen; Shibest; Vice.

They whiffed on Mitchell and Galen let everybody down. Other than that, I'm not sure what the criticisms of the turnover would be.

Technically Torrian Gray as he left just after signing day in 2016.

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

true

For whatever reason, all the wheels began to fall off after that loss to Miami in 2017. Up to that point, he had 5 losses, and two of them were to Clemson, had taken the team to the ACC Championship in his first season, won a decent bowl game against an SEC school, won a big time neutral-site game during primetime, and had the team in the top 15. I remember that Miami game was where I first started to question his coaching. He left JJ in there to get murdered when the game was already out of reach which really rubbed me the wrong way. The next week, he has his second loss to GT in as many seasons and badly mismanaged that game (IIRC, he went for two in the second quarter which ultimately hurt us in the end), and then the bowl loss to Oklahoma State where, apparently, the staff saw no need to install anything new into the playbook in the month leading up to the game. Then ODU happened, the rest of the 2018 happened, and Duke happened. Whatever that team left in Coral Gables back in 2017, it looked like they got it back after the Miami game, until of course Bryce Perkins and Lynn Bowden pantsed the entire defense and Cornelsen saw no need to begin attacking UVA's depleted secondary in the first half. I guess what I'm getting at is that we know what we have with Fuente at this point. He will have some stretches where the team looks really good, but in the end, it's usually going to culminate to an 8-5 finish. He's a C on average, B on a good day, F on a bad day.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Ah... Reading this comment was a trip down memory pain.

I thought about it and needed to make others suffer too.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Not so fun fact about that Miami game - the team plane couldn't land after the game due to the weather, so I think they had to fly to Nashville (might be wrong on the city, I can't recall that detail) and find buses to come back. It culminated to a 13 hour all-nighter to get back to Blacksburg. That screwed up the practice schedule, which you never want to do the week before playing a triple option GT team.

Twitter me

I never knew that. That makes more sense now. Didn't the same thing happen after LSU dismantled us back in 2007?

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Anybody want to call dibs on making a Fuente performance thread next week? I can make a schedule on Google calendar if that would be preferable so we don't miss a week or double up.

It's Time to go to Work

Ehhh, not entirely sure just yet.

In my opinion we need to look at the 2018 season as the true entry to the Fuente era. That is the season when things truly bottomed out, when the locker room was cleaned out, and when Fuente began to really establish his culture. We didn't really see that culture take root until after the Duke game last season. And if the final stretch of the season was any indication of the culture he is establishing, I'm certainly happy to be more patient.

Now I certainly have to caveat that with the reality that the offense, though potent during that great stretch last season, there were some fairly significant gaffes with the game plan in key spots (here's looking at you UVA game).

On top of that, even if we have a good 2020 and 2021 seasons, the significant drop in recruiting will really begin to show up, especially when going up against the likes of UNC (who will be loaded with talent).

I guess in the end, the jury is still out for me. a top 40 recruiting class and an ACCCG game appearance this season (granted we have a season) will prove to be steps in the right direction.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I'd say a C. More specifically i'll give him a B for coaching and a D for program building.

I think he's a pretty good coach, and when we've had the talent we haven't squandered it. I won't give him an A because of the few times our team has folded (ex. Duke last season) when things started going poorly, and there's been times i felt like he became too conservative. I also think he needs to take a more hands on approach particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

On the program building side, i've been less than impressed with a lot of the staff he has brought in. The 2020 recruiting class was mostly a disaster and 2021 is shaping up to be rough as well. I think he has failed to really help cultivate a lot of buzz for the program and push the AD/university/alumni base to pump money into the program. Look at what Buzz WIlliams did with our basketball program while he was here (putting aside a lot of people's current feelings about him). He managed to drum up a lot of excitement and pushed for/received renovations to Cassell and what not. Fuente appeared to have finally attempted to play the game with the Baylor flirtations but that kind of move fizzled out with all the covid stuff going on. The only reason i don't give Fuente an F is because he has had a few recruiting classes and some recent staff hirings (Teerlink/Tapp/Claeys) that i've been happy with.

Fuente appeared to have finally attempted to play the game with the Baylor flirtations but that kind of move fizzled out

Fuente has pushed for the expansion of our support staff, and that's huge. And we're still far behind everyone else.

That said, I agree with just about everything else you said.

Twitter me

I agree. This post sums it up well. B as coach, but D as program manager/ builder. Even though that might avg out to a C, just the one grade doesn't tell the whole story. And I'll add he gets an F in public relations, which I believe is part of program building. PR has been his weakest skill as HC, so much that I think he needs a PR firm for advice or something. Just way too much drama or negativity over last few years, most not his fault, but some definitely his fault, but every time something negative comes up, it doesn't seem to be handled very well at all.

HH4455

B-/C+ He's no offensive scheme master like Art Briles or a great recruiter like James Franklin, but he does decent at both given the resources at his disposal (2020 class aside which is obviously missing a lot).

The worst thing about his tenure for me is the unforced errors that take away any momentum he's built up.

In game I'm referring to game losing coaching mistakes in 2017 GT, 2018 ODU, 2018 ND (run the ball under center on the goal line damn it), the lack of fight in the rest of the 2018 season, 2018 Cincy, 2019 BC (bench Willis after turnover 3), and 2019 Kentucky. (That's 6 or so games where if we only win half we're singing a different tune about Fuente right now.)

Off the field it looks like Tajh Capehart, inability to close on guys like Ford. And not recruiting any D Tackles before the 2018 season. The large amount of transfers of often very productive players I would also put under this category.

My opinion: B AS OF TODAY

Yes, he's learned on the job, had massive defections (especially with Beamer guys), redone his staff (more than once), had a crappy recruiting year last year and he's not a quote machine -

Here's why I say a B:
1) as much as Bud was loved, nobody would argue that the last few years (divorce, health and his final year victory tour) were a distraction for recruiting and continuity. The defensive coaches are now all his. They are a great mix of experience and youth. They are energetic and seemed committed.

2) We have more depth at almost every position than at any time in the last 10-15 years! This team is no longer 1 injury away from a disaster at almost every piosition. Does anyone disagree that (with the exception of wr) we are 2-3 deep at every position? We have quality backups!

3) the transfer portal momentum has changed! He has quietly made the team far more mature and stronger in the last two years. It has yet to show, we will see if it pays off.

4) my guess is that if Jerry Kill was that pissed off, then we don't get Tracey Clays.

If the teams dumps this year, I'll be ready to join the recruiting discourse thread with my torch and pitchfork!

Replacing a legend sucks! Especially when you keep a lot of folks around to remind us of the "good ole days".

This 2020-2021 team deserves to be Judged on it's own merit. I think going into the season, I'm pretty excited!

Not sure about the depth at every position. QB seems solid, RB has a lot of options right now but not necessarily proven depth, WR went from being loaded to dangerously thin in one offseason, TE solid and OL I agree very deep.

DL again a lot of options but not proven depth. LB I think is pretty solid and the secondary scares me a bit past Farley, Waller, Conner, and Deablo.

For replacing a legend, Jimbo Is probably #1 by winning a NC a couple years after. After that it's a pretty vacant waste land of replacements. You could argue Solich is a strong B+/A- for going to the championship game and getting pantsed by Miami.

The last really good season Frank had was 2010 where he lost to a 6-5 JMU team. In 2011 we beat a bunch of scrubs and got hosed by the only real team we played (and almost put up a 0 in the first game against them). After that it's been a bunch of what-ifs, what if Brewer stays healthy, what if GT doesnt take out half our defense at the knees, what if everyone stayed for 2017. Right now VT sits with the most preseason all ACC players outside of Clemson. We have solid depth in most positions. We have a lot of transfers in that have a lot of talent at the college level and have proven it. We had 1 bad year in which we had 5 seniors on the team, no real QB, and a defensive coordinator with health issues.

With the state of the program after Tyrod left, Fuente has done well to turn the ship, he now has to move it forward. He has some issues that he could work on, but winning would also fix those. I believe that he is a no-nonsense kind of guy and I think that hurts him as many places will tell a kid what they want to hear. But I prefer him not to change on that front because as RBs keep going to PSU and they keep getting moved off the depth chart, they are going to talk. Also I personally like upfront people to work with, so much easier.

How do I rate the job that Fuente is doing?

via GIPHY