What are we looking for in new Head Coach ?

I ask this without listing names - I think it's pretty agreed that we that CJF was a homerun when we hired him and now we want to run him out of town, so what I'm thinking is what attributes are we looking for.
I think there are 2 major things and they maybe related:

  • Recruiting
  • PR

Recruiting
I think realistically, VT is a tough place to recruit. I think there is a ceiling - the Athletic says we avg #33 in the last 10 years., #39 in the last 5. Fuente's first 3 yrs by their rankings were 26,24, and 26. Beamer's last 3 was 27. So I think that points to a top 25 as a ceiling - not top 20, not top 15. Obviously, Fuente has lowered the floor to levels we never thought possible.
So, I'm not a recruitnik guy, but I do feel like the next guy has to have East Coast ties. It's obvious that Fuente was never able to get the kids here in VA, though he had success in NC for a while. The fact that he's pulling TX kids tells me he and the staff is more comfortable there, but VT is extremely hard sell for those kids IMO. Obviously his staff isn't helping - again I don't follow - but I don't here Corn or Shibest pulling in kids. Smith and Tapp I think were brought in to fix the VA problem, but it maybe too late.
Public Relations
It is hard to recruit when you aren't selling the program everywhere. I don't think coaches today are Frank, so if we think the next guy will be an aww shucks guy, we're never going to find that guy (only one I think of today is Dabo - I'm sure there maybe others). I know a lot of people complain that he's shut the program to the fans - but what does that mean, specifically? The days of open practices are long gone in most places, the new guy probably won't have them either. Sure, the spring game should be televised in some format, but I guess for someone like me (donates, season tickets, but doesn't schedule life around games ), I couldn't have told you much difference between the last couple of years of Beamer and CJF except that practices are closed. So what does the new guy do differently ? Obviously we need to sell the program back to the masses of VA HS coaches - especially the 757.

I just want to see the qualities we are looking for instead of just going I want Will Healy (who maybe great, or just maybe another CJF and we'll find that out later).

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Comments

Not a complex answer by any means, but I think that we need somebody who injects immediate fun and life back into the program. Obviously the parameters for sustainable success don't include this.. however we need fans, like myself, back on board fast.

who injects immediate fun and life back into the program

AKA the Mike Young Effect

(add if applicable) /s

This is actually exactly what I was alluding to but was too lazy to type it all out. Thanks for embedding the video as well. Good times.

CMY is at football tailgates drinking Bud Lights and rubbing elbows with fans. He couldn't be more likable.

Fuente might as well do the same for his last two games instead of team prep.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Recruiting is going to be important and I agree that pr will come with that. One thing Fuente has failed to do is articulate and sell a clear vision. The fans don't know what the vision is or what the plans are to get there. That's partly because Fuente doesn't engage with the fans and partly because Fuente doesn't use the media as a resource to get the word out. The next coach needs to be willing and able to leverage the media instead of treating the media as an adversary. Treat the media well and they will return the favor. Use the media to clearly share your vision and how you can get there. That will go to donors, fans and recruits alike. If the next coach can do that and bring in qualified coaches to fill out his staff he'll be heading in a better direction.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Must haves for the future staff:

  • Ability to excite fans, donors, and recruits
  • Established existing connections to the Mid-Atlantic and/or the Carolinas (via the coach or the staff)
  • Ability to do more with less and/or otherwise innovate (on the field, in culture, or in recruiting)
  • Identity - new coach should be able to clearly explain his vision for program, on and off the field

Places we can sacrifice:

  • Brand name - Don't need someone who has coached under coach X or school X
  • X/O's knowledge - We don't need a former coordinator
  • Previous VT experience - doesn't need to be a former VT player/coach
  • Personality - doesn't need to be a 'blue collar guy.' We need someone to come in and create their own culture, not recreate Beamer's.

EDIT: I want to add that I want a coach who understands how to use analytics. It's not that I think analytics can replace coaching, but rather, I believe that a willingness to use analytics indicates that the coach is willing to try and learn new things. In an industry filled with stubborn people, it truly is a competitive advantage to have a coach who is willing to try/learn new things.

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X/O's knowledge - We don't need a former coordinator

Really hard not to get this, though. Coordinator to HC seems to be the natural progression of things.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Not really... Orgeron, Dabo, Mack Brown, PJ Fleck, Urban Meyer, Brian Kelley, James Franklin, Pat Fitzgerald, Jim Harbaugh, and others have all been Head Coaches without ever being a coordinator.

That said, I'm not saying that we should avoid former coordinators; just saying that we don't need to limit our options to someone who is/was a coordinator.

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The only problem with hiring from lower ranks is that the fan perception will change more quickly if things are not going well. The more clout you start with, the longer the leash.

Aside from that, you probably have a better chance of finding a rock star by taking the risk. You probably have a better chance of finding a flaming turd as well. Low floor and high ceiling so to speak.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

The only problem with hiring from lower ranks is that the fan perception will change more quickly if things are not going we

I disagree. You hire a G5 coach who underperforms, and everyone says he wasn't ready for the P5. You hire a P5 coordinator who underachieves, and everyone says he doesn't have the skill set to be a head coach. Unfortunately, VT is not a school that can hire successful P5 head coach.

This is why I believe we should look for a specific skillset (which I laid out above).

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From your list, only Meyer, Fitzgerald, Harbaugh, and Fleck were never coordinators (Dabo was interim HC and OC at the same time in 2008 before Clemson made it permanent). Even with the few exceptions out there (and yes, I'm looking through a list), I maintain that the vast majority of HCs were coordinators at some point. That would include Frank Beamer.

Either way, I don't really disagree with you. Just picking nits.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

This one is tough.

The next guy is going to have a major rebuild on his hands. The program has its lowest level of talent than its seen in decades with massive amounts of attrition on the horizon. The new guy will need:

1. To be able to cast a vision, sell that to fans, media and recruits - the type of recruits that VT can regularly get.

2. To be an expert at establishing and building culture so that the VT football program once again has some sort of identity (I don't care what identity it is so long as it has a positive one).

3. To be able to develop players. We all know its a pipe dream to be anything more than a regular top 25 recruiting program. So the new HC will need to have a proven track record of developing players - i.e. identifying the types of players he wants and getting the most out of those players.

Realistically that means we likely aren't looking at a "sexy" hire. We are probably looking at a successful FCS coach who has a proven track record at having done those things. OR, we look for a guy like Dave Clawson who, in my mind anyway, checks those boxes. OR, we take a chance on a "VT guy" like Shane Beamer. I'm not sure he has the track record of the things I mentioned, but he has been around the CFB world at a high level. I think he has some things to offer, and I think the VT fanbase could get excited about that kind of hire.

In any event, the next guy will have a much more difficult job than Justin Fuente has had.

Is coronavirus over yet?

We are probably looking at a successful FCS coach who has a proven track record at having done those things

One of the reasons I think Lance Leipold could be a very interesting hire.

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I'm telling ya if Whit gives me the okay, I'll start a dialogue with Matt Entz and the rest of the NDSU Tree.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

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Some say you know people...

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:
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I do know a ton of reprobates, this is true.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

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Someone who wins us a lot of games, of course.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

There is no other answer to this question than this answer right here. Bring in a coach who will win within the rules of the game. Do we care if we are winning with 7 star players or 0 star players. Just win and everything else will be fine. No one is going to say a damn thing if we win at minimum 9 games a year every year, winning bowl games and taking a trip to the occasional NY6 bowls.

This and what wisec4g said. For all the people who just say "recruiting," think Mike London at LOLUVA and tell me recruiting is all that matters. You gotta win the damn games with the recruits. If we brought in 5 star recruits and were still losing the games we are now, there isn't anybody who could look me in the eye and say, completely seriously, "but at least we got the 5 stars in the program." Or "I like watching the games in the fall, but I'm willing to sacrifice the W's for seeing us land the 5 stars!"

Even with those 2 5 stars they finished behind us in the recruiting rankings. Sure those were 2 good pulls but overall it was still a mediocre haul.

When people say recruiting first they mean Top 25 is the ceiling for a successful recruiting year and we strive for a top 15 finish. I say people ( I mean me lol).

This is the foundation for a successful program.

Still, he was able to bring in 5 star recruits to only having one winning season, 8-4, with his next best being 5-7. I think he still recruited better than what he got out of the recruits he did get even if the overall classes weren't top 25. And, like I said, he was able to get a couple 5 stars. People on here would swoon if we got 5 star kids, maybe even telling themselves that if we could do it once, there should be more coming in future years, but my point holds, you gotta win with what you've got and continue to recruit well.

1 - Recruiting
2 - Recruiting
3 - Recruiting
4 - Recruiting

That's all I care about in a head coach. If you are that good of a recruiter, everything else will fall into place. The personality of someone who can absolutely kill it in recruiting is the same personality who can charm the frown off any member of the media. Its the same personality who can rejuvenate a stagnant fundraising campaign into being active again. Its the same personality that can make the entire fanbase feel included even in times where you're closing them off.

I don't give a shit about the Xs and Os ability of the head coach. That is where the coordinators and assistant coaches come into play. Give me a head coach who recruits actively want to play for and will bypass other locations just to play for him, and that's who should be leading VT football going forward.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

So Jim Harbaugh?

Mark Richt?

I don't know anything bad about Mark other than he was a Miami alumni.

They ran him out at Georgia because "he couldn't win the big ones."

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Weren't the big ones Alabama and LSU when they were winning championships? Think he did pretty well overall there.

I agree with you, but the nice folks in Athens saw it differently.
(Source: lived in Athens and heard it all)

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

James Franklin?

Ron Zook, I mean he's from Beamer's tree

I honestly had thought of him and wondered what he was doing. Have no idea. No way as head coach, but would have been curious to bring him in with some obscure title and make him a recruiter that we could afford.

Checked and he is at Maryland now.

University of Maryland head coach Mike Locksley announced that Zook would join his staff and become a senior analyst working with special teams and defense. Locksley worked under Zook at both Florida and Illinois.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!"

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

One thing I've seen a lot of that I think people are a little too focused on is getting someone who has recruited the VA/Carolina area. All other things being equal that is definitely a plus, but I think if you get somebody at the top with the right personality and enthusiasm and ability to sell the program, it doesn't matter where geographically their recruiting experience is, especially since they could (and should) fill out their staff with people who already have those connections.

Fuente has obviously failed spectacularly as a recruiter, but as evidenced by how he handles the media and donors and everything else, I think that is more because he has a shitty attitude and "salesman" ability for that aspect of the job than it is because he was unfamiliar with local recruiting. I just don't think we need to be ruling out candidates from the midwest or even the west coast just because they don't necessarily have ties here.

Re: recruiting

I am in the camp that Fuente thought the program sold itself when he came on board. Then he realized the level of recruiting competition, and the lack of recruiting infrastructure at VT. We've only just now seen these hires THIS YEAR.

The next guy in has to (re)build this infrastructure and sell the program, and identify it's shortcomings to be creative and work around them.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Fuente thought the program sold itself when he came on board. Then he realized the level of recruiting competition, and the lack of recruiting infrastructure at VT.

Whole heartedly agree

I do believe however, that the fan base now understands the challenges. It used to be a small handful of people talking about the challenges we face in recruiting. Now most VT fan get that (1) stars roughly correlate to wins, and (2) VT has a broken infrastructure when it comes to crooting.

In that aspect, Fuente fought to expand his staff and modernize the program. The next coach won't have to fight the same battle with Whit and Donors.

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Not Justin Fuente.

That's a high bar you've set there...

The bar is so low the rats are getting drunk with me.

Number 1 goal in my opinion will be establishing a culture and identity the team ( and therefore the fanbase) can hang their hat on and rally around. I think recruiting and donations and everything else can follow if that is established strongly and early. No it doesn't have to be the blue collar culture that frank had ( although I personally would love that.) But it has to be something you can immediately identify as yeah, thats how we play ball around here.

I think recruiting is going to forever be a uphill battle these days due to the national exposure every recruit can get. The days of picking up diamonds out in no where land are long gone. Blacksburg is a tough sell for a lot of people compared to some of the other locations top recruits can go too. It is basically a small town in the middle of nowhere compared to major metropolitan areas. Maybe I'm overstating the importance of that. I grew up thinking Roanoke was the big city, alas, it is but a blip on the map.

I, personally, want the old school blue collar thing as a fan. I think it fits the surrounding areas culture best, but don't think it necessarily has to be that, at least nationally, but it does have to be SOMETHING. I couldn't tell you what VT football is about right now, maybe wildly inconsistent? Hardhat mentality it is not.

I completely agree with your last statement, we hire who we hire as coach, but they shouldn't change the perception of VT. We are a blue collar school from our incredible engineering department to our life sciences. We are blue ridge hard, not far from the heart of coal country. I want our next coach to personify that and sell it to recruits. VT people are the life of the party, salt of the earth and great to be around, but when it's time to go to work we punch in and kick ass until the final whistle blows.

He said give to me Roscoe

they shouldn't change the perception of VT. We are a blue collar school from our incredible engineering department to our life sciences. We are blue ridge hard, not far from the heart of coal country. I want our next coach to personify that and sell it to recruits.

There's a spectrum here. I don't think we should restrict our search to only coaches who are willing to recreate the mid 2000's Beamer attitude, but I also don't think we want a coach who is going to hire a DJ and try to turn practice into an EDM set.

Not to mention that, whether we like it or not, the perception of the university is changing as well. Perhaps the next football coach can help guide the university towards it's new identity, just like Frank Beamer did.

Also, I do find it fascinating that we're all assuming Fuente will be gone by 12/16. We could be in for a very rude awaking.

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Also, I do find it fascinating that we're all assuming Fuente will be gone by 12/16. We could be in for a very rude awaking.

Bar coming in to crap on our dreams :(

I actually doubt he gets fired. But maybe it causes him to reassess, like Beamer did . I voted for Beamer to be fired back in 92 in the Preston Journal. He made changes, Braine had patience - which no one does today (and yes 5 years should be enough time, but I think restocking the shelve in todays world was/is tougher than we thought and the cupboard was emptier than we realized). I think the Smith/Tapp/JHam hires were setup to bring back the VA talent. We had poor timing for a bad yr in recruiting last year and the pandemic blew up any plans to reintroduce kids to VT this year. Just a shame really - I thought this was a great hire when he came , and I'm not convinced that the next guy is going to be a ton better if a change is made.

Yea, I just listened to Sons of Saturday, and Billy talked me in to believe that all that was needed was an overhaul of the offensive staff. Then Pat convinced me that Shane Beamer could actually be successful here.

We'll learn a lot in the next 3 weeks.

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I think Billy is blinded by his biases. He was here before Fuente, therefore never recruited by him. There has been quite of bit of chatter by recruits, their coaches, and their family that Fuente is outright BAD at recruiting. Replacing our offensive coaching will not change that.

but I also don't think we want a coach who is going to hire a DJ and try to turn practice into an EDM set

Why not? If the kids he wants to recruit respond to that why not? Hell if he just likes it and it helps the team why not? SW VA is dying the old "rough miner/field hand/ hard hat worker" is mostly over. Let the new coach built his culture don't restrict who he is.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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I agree! If that's what moves the needle and encourages kids to come to Blacksburg, than EdM it is.

You're absolutely right - if the coach can pull it off and recruits like it, then yes do it. I guess I was thinking that Blacksburg night life isn't the type of place where you go to a club and get bottle service (like you would in Miami, or LA/USC, etc) so it would be feel disjointed/weird to portray that in practices.

But, you're right, if recruits like it then make it happen.

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I do agree we need to change up our brand somewhat. The family aspect I think should always define VT. It's a tight-knit community and program with respect to football alumni. But the blue collar/hard hat/down home country stuff I think is stale and needs to go. We need to focus on how hype Lane under the lights is, bring back some energy and fun to the program brand. Want to see the sidelines lined with more former players as well.

Just curious, do we see Bruce Smith (or any football alum?) hanging around the sidelines at games anymore?

Haven't seen Bruce on the sidelines for a long time honestly. Can't be for sure but it has been a while.

He's too busy slamming mid-week rails at TOTS to make it to games

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Living the dream.

Ehhh it's the dream when you're in college. When you're in your 60's it's called a drinking problem.

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I would agree with the down home country stuff comment. That's why I cringe every time I hear someone refer to the indoor practice facility as the " Beamer Barn"

Wild Turkey 101

Beamer barn is a lot less of a mouthful than AEG Turbine Factory knockoff indoor practice facility.

Well that's true, country bumbkins from the Blacksburg area have trouble using them big words.

Wild Turkey 101

I don't know if the Blue Collar perception still plays. Most of the students come from DC and Richmond Metro, the Engineering school is rightfully moving toward the Technical and Innovation path, the college of Agriculture is shrinking since advancements in farm tech means fewer farmers are needed to continue to generate the needed produce. I have said it before, but Tech should be angling to be the futuristic college on the east coast. Focus on disruptive technologies and innovation. Staking ourselves in the past is not going to help any program advance.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

There's nothing blue collar about today's average Tech undergrad unfortunately. Was a bit of a shock when I enrolled in 2014 coming in with this idea that we were a SWVA school. It's just dominated by metro area kids/culture now

-Stick it in

It always has been.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Upvote for the screen name

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I would prefer someone without any prior ties to VT so they can completely rebuild and change the mindset. I would also prefer someone with mid-Atlantic ties. A focus on rebuilding relationships in-state would be nice. Someone that is charismatic and actually engages our fan base.

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

BAH GAWD THAT'S BUTCH JONES' MUSIC

15

I think BHill even alluded to this in his recent video.. I think we need someone that sells the "we are Family" and "This is Home" brand. That seems to resonate with new and old Hokies and I think it does help sell SWVA to recruits. I love what Coach Allen is doing with his LEO approach to unite his players and recruits and family. He is selling something and people are buying in (and its genuine, not some superficial lip service). That's the kind of thing we need here. Momas and HS coaches need to feel Great about sending their kids to VT.

Besides that, the obvious: Recruiting, Salesman, someone who utilizes social branding (or has someone who can use social media to really excite and resonate with current recruits), someone who pulls in past Hokie players (even if not in a staff Position) but even in roles of mentorship, encouragement, etc. Our alumni players should have a big part in selling the vision too.

Perhaps they can even help address/push Hokie Club issues as far as not reaching all our alumni (side note:I graduated in 1999 and live locally. A family member is faculty at VT and I have never received 1 mailing, 1 phone call or 1 email asking for support and explaining how my support helps VT athletics)

Anyone that can do that will energize the donors and excite HS players and coaches.

I'll toss my $0.02 into the ring here...

  1. The next coach needs to be able to establish an identity and clearly define what it is, how we get there, and what it'll take. How are you going to convince kids to come to Blacksburg if you don't know what Virginia Tech football looks like?
  2. The next coach needs to have a recruiting plan. VA & NC are fertile grounds and a lot of focus can be spent here, but they can't neglect looking abroad. Someone on TKP within the past week or two laid out a pretty good plan for setting goals to recruit in VA and that should be expanded to neighboring states. We can shoot for the five stars, but our bread and butter should be fours. Part of that recruiting plan is player development. If they're gonna keep trying to find the diamonds in the rough, they need to be able to develop them. Oh...and last thing...don't rely on the transfer portal to fix shit.
  3. Alumni relations are key. I'm not looking for someone to cradle the balls and work the shaft, but a little outreach never hurt and lifting the iron curtain would be appreciated on our side. I understand that season tickets are paying for our butts to sit in the seats, but the donations to get those tickets entitle some of us and definitely entitle others to know WTF is going on.
  4. The next coach needs to be a manager. Fuente obviously is not or else they wouldn't have had to bring Kill in. Accepting sub-standard work from someone being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars is not ok. I don't accept it from my project engineers and all we're doing is putting together buildings...at least we're trying to.

I'm ok with a guy who comes in, looks around, and goes "yea, it's gonna take me at least two years to unfuck this mess. Hold onto your butts". At least then I know the guy isn't a total sleezeball. As long as I know what to expect, I'm fine...it's getting smoke rings blown up my ass and told it'll be sunshine and rainbows that's uncomfortable.

I truly...TRULY...don't give a shit if the guy has never even HEARD of Virginia Tech before. I don't care (I mean I'll cry), but I don't care if "Beamerball" gets left on the tarmac when the new guy walks into the office. What I would like is #1 above. I think that Fuente/Whit tried wayyyyyyyyyy to hard on the Beamer transition and it backfired.

I REALLY, REALLY wanted Fuente to work out and even after the Liberty game when I was throwing shit around the house I was able to settle down and come up with a "I can live with him if he does X" list. But after Pitt and the post-game presser, that list got lit on fire.

Win 9+ games each year. I am not being a smart ass either. To do that, a solid recruiting plan must be put in place. I don't care where those recruits come from, but talent wins ballgames. Beyond that, there is a lot of talk about not closing off the program and creating excitement...bottom line is that there is no excitement without winning. Just win baby. Should be easy enough since all the other P5 schools are focused on hiring losers.

Oh and I would very much like a clean program.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Oh and I would very much like a clean program.

100% agree. I haven't seen this mentioned and I know it's hard to compete when there is rampant cheating going on, but it plays to our identity of hardworking, blue collar, family school.

All these things are important and should result in winning with class. Winning means beating the teams that you should and a few that you shouldn't.

I thought FuMan was the guy when we stomped UNC in a hurricane.....guys were focused despite the weather and hell bent on winning. FuMan gave them dry socks and shoes at the half.....I thought he really gets it. Again, when we responded on the road at Miami last year, I thought he gets it. Yet we've continue to underperform more than not including getting our socks blown off by some of those teams that we should stomp.

The FuMan in the Pitt post game presser was beat with no good answer. He doesn't get it.

I want a coach who is determined to succeed and inspires his team to follow him into hell trying.

Picture below is an image of a cabbage - a vegetable with numerous cooking applications. If the new coach has at least the charisma and outward fan engagement of one of these I will declare the new hire an improvement over our existing scenario.

The truth is if the next guy comes in with all sorts of charisma only to win 4 to 6 games, there will be 18 posts about firing him on TKP. We want what Fuente isn't, I get it, but that doesn't advance the program. A lot of smooth talking friendly people still fail to recruit. Recruiting is what is needed, however the message is delivered.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

4to 6 wins with charisma vs 4 to 6 wins without charisma? I know my choice

Recruit Prosim

Yeah, and I will consider 4-6 wins an accomplishment in the 2022 season when the current and prior recruiting classes have to play a major role. Any talent that a new coach can recruit into the program has not had a chance to start playing a big role yet. We are going to have to give the new coach time to turn things around W-L-wise. Now some things like attitude and effort and basic fundamentals and recruiting have to change a lot faster, but we are going to have to accept a lot of losses before it gets better.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

Cover 3 pod talked about what they would look for in a head coach if they were an AD, Barton Simmons said that he wouldn't care about Xs and Os it's all about personality. We need someone who is a great communicator, has a clear vision, brings energy, and can surround himself with great coaches. That type of person is likely to be a good recruiter and get buy in from his players.

I think we have a decently high ceiling. We play in a traditionally weak division in a weak conference, but we have the best fans in the division, good name recognition, good pedigree, and actually a good geographical radius for recruiting. We should be able to average within Top 15-25 classes which should overperform in a weaker conference.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

There is a giant leap between top 15 and top 25 recruiting classes.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I guess I wasn't very clear. I meant we'd be ranked between 15 and 25

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Yes that's a giant leap. One tech has only been in less than a handful of times in history. 25th ranked 2019 team was: Perdue with 4 (Tech was 26th with 7)
15th was ND with 16 four stars.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Almost as big as 25 to 76

Recruit Prosim

Not arguing that fact.

I suppose my ambition for VT recruiting is to rank around 18-23 each year with an 11-15 appearance once or twice every 5 years. That kind of performance would make me feel like recruiting is not a weakness and would indicate a huge upgrade in terms of talent being brought in.

Of course, it all means a Timecop fart if that talent isn't developed but having better clay is one less obstacle to overcome.

Click here to destroy wall.

suppose my ambition for VT recruiting is to rank around 18-23 each year with an 11-15 appearance once or twice every 5 years

This is light years beyond what anyone thinks could actually happen in Blacksburg.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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I don't think it's that far of a leap. We've never seen what an actual recruiter head coach could do.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

You have to hit your ceiling before you can break it. It starts by getting back to top 25. Then, we convince that one unusually good player to join the class, and he breaks the glass ceiling.

Who knows what will be possible in 10 years? But for now, it's safe to assume a top 25 class is our ceiling.

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I don't have time (trying to finish up my firsts masters semester) but 2 top 15 classes in a 5 year span is going to be the territory of few name brand teams Im willing to bet. I'll book mark this and do the leg work later this week to see if I'm right (using data from 2005 and on).

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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2 top 15 classes in a 5 year span is going to be the territory of few name brand teams Im willing to bet.

Off the top of my head - UNC, UW, SCar, UCLA, Ole Miss, Stanford are all 'non-brand names' that have probably have had two top 15 classes in a 5 year span. Granted, they all have advantage that VT doesn't (or in the case of Ole Miss, they just flat out cheat).

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UNC and Stanford are both national brand name teams. The rest I'll have to see the data on them.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Why would UNC be considered a National Brand name and not UCLA?

Yea I'd concede them also but they are starting to lose their national brand name recognition because both football and basketball aren't keeping it in public view like it used to be. UNC has always had basketball keeping their name upfront and a fairly long up and down history for football.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Gotcha. Makes sense. I would agree UNC is definitely a national brand. People try and equate their football team sucking the past couple years with them not being a national brand to often.

Some up and coming power 5 coordinator, no re-treads and no lower tier head coaches trying to earn their big boy pants.

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:
โ€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Lots of threads to drop this so might as well put it here.

Full disclosure, I'm on the Cut Our Ties with Fuente train, without hesitation. But let me pour a little cold water on the athletic department and university as a whole. *In addition to* a major coaching failure, we have what is, in effect, a G5-level of competence (except maybe facilities) in all the components around the actual coaching and playing of the game.

I'm constantly seeing fans think this program is more sophisticated than it actually is. Look back at some of the issues and you'll see there's just nothing close to a "machine" working in the background to ensure a good product on the field. Resources are undoubtedly a huge part of that. But so is basic execution that aligns around a common set of goals.

So, yes we need new blood. Yes, this person needs to be a true GM/whole enterprise leader. Yes two huge components of that are recruiting and PR. But this program needs an injection of talent in all the supporting parts, and that's on Whit/Sands/admin/etc.

A few examples:

  • Many of you keep mentioning the S.I. article and follow it with something to the effect "I can't believe Whit/Fu let that happen." That ain't how it works. They allowed a national sports brand to have more access, probably without putting a ton of thought into it. But, friends, sources don't get a say in what's actually written (except in extremely rare and highly suspect cases). So, as mentioned here over and over, there needs to be a MUCH greater sense of transparency and openness. Let reporters โ€” local and national - in, and let them tell the stories that humanize these kids, the coaches, the support folks, the "behind the scenes" details. This shit ain't military secrets. Go 180 degrees on the current climate. This is 100% on Whit.
  • Go back and listen to that Iezzi interview about recruiting and tell me if you think the problem is really just resources. It's not. It's amateur hour all over the place, which is no knock on the support staff on the ground doing the work. It's a complete and utter failure of leadership that is (hugely) a responsibility of the head coach but also the athletic department.
  • Mentioned several times here, but the theoretical vision (This Is Home) and the execution of that vision are totally misaligned. Alumni outreach not only doesn't embody This Is Home, it's contra to it. If you're going to market the program as home/family/etc, you gotta really lean in to that. Celebration of past teams in big, bold ways (via social campaigns, video pieces, virtual and in-person experiences, etc.) Our football player alumni roster is fucking incredible and is largely disconnected. Fix that, not just so it's "not a problem" but so it's an actual strength.
  • Make it way, way easier on fans. Trying to give to the football program is a ridiculous, 1990s horror show. There should be zero friction in the giving experience, well-timed messages, etc. There just isn't good enough or fast enough progress on this front. IPTAY has been brought up ad nauseam. But, yo, we gotta get ahead of the game and we're not even in the game.

Getting a GM/CEO coach in here is a start. But the athletic department is leaving a lot of eyeballs and dollars on the table, too.

You said exactly what I was trying to say but in a much clearer way. I cannot agree more with your assessment.

Yes. The Whit worship needs tempering. There's way more that he has influence and control over yet so many folks act like his job is just to hire the right coach and then... "there's nothing else he can do? What else can he do?"

You touch on many of the things he can do, should have been doing all along, and be expected to successfully execute in short order.

This guy gets it, this is a plaid level post

Agree and Disagree.

Points 1 and 2 definitely should be important for Whit/Admin to be heavily involved with but it's the job of the HC to execute these things. When you have a HC that is fundamentally not good or wanting to do these things more than to show up and say words it gets to a bargaining issue. Can you accept a coach that is less of a salesman and on what terms? clearly Whit thought he could accept it previously because he gave Fuente an extension but that doesn't mean he agrees or ever has agreed on Fuente's execution of these things.

This is even more true for recruiting and how support staff is managed. Whit does not manage these people he manages their manager. It's doubtful in my mind that Whit is, or has been, pleased with recruiting. Especially given several national news incidents that have shown VT recruiting in negative light. But again, he manages the guy that manages that effort. If he wants a change he tells Fuente the results he expects and then it's Fuente's call how and who achieve those expectations. But a lack of success in recruiting doesn't in my mind prove Whit lacked leadership.

Point 3 and 4 though, I do agree with. I am at a loss with Alumni interaction across the board with VT. It's pathetic, decades old strategies and it's hurting VT fullstop. The entire system and people in the system need to be purged and rebuilt. Every time I have knocked on the door to try to help too many barriers are put up as to why it cannot happen. Until I can be a big time donor I sadly don't see this improving though because it doesn't seem like a priority for anyone in the entire school.

Contributions are a piggyback problem to this. Old, outdated understanding of how to engage alumni and fans. Purge the system with people that get today's digital world.

As bad as the recruiting has been over the past 2 years, this is likely to be a terrible team 2 years from now. I think the #1 thing we need right now if to get more talent into the program as fast as we reasonably can, so a good recruiter should be the focus. Or, if they are just an okay recruiter, someone who realizes that and is able to surround themselves with other people who are good recruiters and can sell the program.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

It can be a competent and competitive team with the right leadership. Maybe Fuente isn't going to do anything with the 2022 squad, but I'm certain there's someone out there who could make the most of it and find core strengths. Matt Rhule comes to mind.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: โ€œGuys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.โ€ - David Teel Tweet 2018

Matt Rhule went 1-11 in his first year at Baylor. Dude tears teams down and rebuilds them. He wouldn't do anything until he got his guys in (but he'd actually get his guys in, unlike Fu)

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With the situation at Baylor that Rhule stepped into it's not surprising that he had to tear the whole thing down. That's what he was brought in to do. No way you can compare that with any other coaching job. Anyways he's in the NFL now so very unlikely he'd make the step back down to CFB.

Competence.

Position: Virginia Tech Football Coach
Education: BS in Analytics (preferred).
Past Experience: Five to ten years of FBS coaching experience. (25 years of Tecmo Super Bowl considered an equivalent if you can demonstrate that you played an entire season using only one play and went undefeated.)
Skills:
1). Score at least one more point than the good teams; at least 20 more points than the bad teams; at least 38 more points than UVA.
2). Recruit so exceptionally well that we have to turn down most Top 10 players from other states.
3). Be cool and polite when necessary.
4). Retain all players for four full playing years.
5). Prepare all seniors for the NFL draft; ensure at least 50 percent are drafted each year.
6). Coach all defensive players to lay the boom like Kam Chancellor.
7). Only leave if we tell you to, which will not occur if 1) through 6) above are successfully achieved.
Salary:
*. Base: $500,000
*. Performance-based: $250,000 per win, $50,000 per loss, $500,000 additional at ten wins, $500,000 additional for winning ACCCG, $2,000,000 additional for winning CFPCG, $10,000 additional per home sellout.

#MakeTheMove . . . "Vick, dashing back . . . here he comes again . . . Electrifying . . . and have you ever seen anything like this?"

Salary:
*. Base: $500,000
*. Performance-based: $250,000 per win, $50,000 per loss, $500,000 additional at ten wins, $500,000 additional for winning ACCCG, $2,000,000 additional for winning CFPCG, $10,000 additional per home sellout.

I know this was TIC, but I'd love to see a coach get a contract that is heavily performance based.

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I got really curious so I ran the numbers with 2019 results and adjusted for athletic department revenue from 2018 for the publicly available ACC schools.

School Coach 2019 Salary 2018 Revenue % of VT's Revenue 2019 Non Adj 2019 Adj. Prop Comp Var Salary v Adj Prop 2019 Wins 2019 Losses 10+ Wins ACC Champ CFP Champ
Clemson Dabo Swinney $9,315,600 $120,532,975 122% $5,050,000 $6,068,593 $(3,247,007) 14 1 1 1 0
Florida State Willie Taggart $5,000,000 $168,177,850 171% $2,350,000 $3,659,139 $(1,340,861) 6 7 0 0 0
Georgia Tech Geoff Collins $3,000,000 $91,647,068 93% $1,700,000 $1,616,678 $(1,383,322) 3 9 0 0 0
NC State Dave Doeren $3,250,000 $87,976,532 89% $1,900,000 $1,750,613 $(1,499,387) 4 8 0 0 0
Louisville Scott Satterfield $3,250,000 $134,155,908 136% $2,750,000 $3,564,930 $314,930 8 5 0 0 0
North Carolina Mack Brown $3,500,000 $104,571,404 106% $2,550,000 $2,676,682 $(823,318) 7 6 0 0 0
Virginia Bronco Mendenhall $3,700,000 $106,581,570 108% $3,000,000 $3,205,517 $(494,483) 9 5 0 0 0
Virginia Tech Justin Fuente $4,000,000 $98,485,395 100% $2,700,000 $2,700,000 $(1,300,000) 8 4 0 0 0
Base $500,000 $250,000 $50,000 $500,000 $500,000 $2,000,000

Let's be honest, Coaches make too much money regardless. A performance based job salary would give a heck of a incentive to recruit, develop, and coach well.

This research and analysis is too good to be buried in subthread 63 here... Could be its own entire topic

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

Can we call some cloners on Kamino and see if they can clone us a Mike young of the football world. Just a quick look on social media and anywhere online it's night and day to football and basketball.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina

Recruit? Yes, for the Sun Belt level, he's right behind App St, and just beat them this year, also pulled in VA guys, and pulled some transfer magic, including Sam Denmark. He's winning competitive recruiting battles, which helps when you raise your level of competition.

Fan Base Engaged? Yes
Proven Winner? Yes
Young? Yes

Bargain? He's the lowest paid head coach in the FBS at just under $400k. How much do you want to pay him?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Offer him $750k/yr base, double the ACC incentives, add bonus/game wins (ranking-based)

Jamey Chadwell, Age 42
Childhood: grew up on a farm
Hometown: Caryville, Tennessee, population 2165, located 30mi N of Knoxville
Alma Mater/position: East Tennessee State, QB 1995-99
Offensive scheme: "similar to Air Force's", "very unique" - Louisiana coach Billy Napier
Balanced, 238ypg passing and 203 ypg rushing 2020 season
Collegiate head coaching experience: 10 years
HC W-L Record: 9-0 2020, 77-51 overall
Experience/Record: HC/OC Coastal Carolina (2017 interim, 2019-2023) 17-16
Assc HC/OC Coastal Carolina (2017-2018) 8-15
HC Charleston Southern (2013-16), 35-14
HC Delta State (2012) 3-7
HC North Greenville (2009-11) 22-14
Contract ends: June 30, 2023
Buyout cost for another FBS program: $150,000
Base salary @CC : $375,000 with $25k increase/yr
Incentives @CC: Chadwell gets half, other half to staff at his discretion
Division title $200,000
Conference title $300,000
Bowl invitation $150,000
Bowl victory $200,000
EoS top-50 ranking $250,000
EoS top-25 ranking $400,000
Team Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 950-965 $50,000
Team APR of 966-980 $100,000
Team APR > 980 $150,000
Staff Salaries: DC - Marvin Sanders $175,000
Asst HC/OL coach - Patrick Covington $142,500
Co-OC/QB coach Willy Korn $84,360
Co-OC/RB coach Newland Isaac $91,200
DE/OS LB coach T.J. Hollowell $84,000
LB coach Chad Staggs $155,000
DL coach Skylor Magee $150,000
TE/OT coach Bill Durkin $123,120
ST coach Curt Baldus $105,000
WR coach Joey King N/A

gtofever

Tony Elliott

  • Great presenting himself to media and representing his current program. There's lots of videos of press conferences and articles on him.
  • Great recruiter. Won ACC recruiter of the year in 2015 and has had a ton of big time recruits over the years in the south East from NC to FL
  • Has learned from Dabo overall since he was his position coach back in 2000. Dabo helped get Tony into coaching and Tony has been coaching at Clemson since 2011. He's been there for their raise as a program.
  • He's was a walk-on WR that became a team captain and graduated with an engineering degree. That just screams VT.
  • He has experience coaching in the ACC. He also has experience recruiting to a small rural college town.
  • He's been the play caller for Clemson since 2015. Hence a 2 time national champion offensive play caller. He also won the Broyles Award as the top college assistant in the nation before.
  • There's a great article in The Athletic on how he leads with love in his coaching style so that even as he gets after players they know he's coming from a good place. Article also talks about the tragic upbringing he had to overcome.
  • Well respected across football landscape. Has turned down G5 head coach opportunities and was asked to interview for the Carolina Panthers head coach job.

In my opinion he should be at the top of the list. He knows what it takes to be a successful P5 program and has learned from one of the best coaches of this era. I rather sacrifice head coach experience for someone who knows what it takes to grow a school into a P5 power in the ACC.

I love the bulleted list. My question(s) - Tony Elliott has never had to 'coach up' 2/3-star players; he's always had 4/5-star players, which are (relatively) easy to get at Clemson. IF he were to come to VT, do you think he could instantly and consistently recruit above the top 25-30 level? If not, do you have concerns that we would remain mediocre, since Elliott has never had to coach up under ranked players?

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Well first with the framing of your question, VT doesn't get 2 star players often. I'd venture to say we are ~85% 3 star roster.

To the point of Tony Elliott you can see he has recruited 3 stars and even has a 2 star commit on his 247 profile. The 3 stars he's gotten have been pretty good from what I've seen with Jordan Fuller being a great recent one.

He was at Clemson since 2011 before they were a national power, he was recruiter of the year for the 2015 cycle when FSU was the best team in the ACC. Clemson has only recently had a step up in recruiting rankings compared to elite peers. Traditionally you would see Clemson in the teens in rankings and they've mainly made big jumps to elite status because of development. Even before they were elite you'd see Clemson make an effort to play 60+ players per game for player development purposes.

Thinking back to 2011, the only clemson players I remember who were major contributors and 3 star or less players were Jordan Fuller and Hunter Renfrow - but my memory could be bad.

Clemson has only recently had a step up in recruiting rankings compared to elite peers.

They were getting top 15 classes since before Dabo was promoted. Starting in 2005, Clemson class rankings were 15, 14, 16, 9, 36, 27, 10, 20, 15, 16, 9, 11, 16, 7, 10, 3. With the exception of three years, every Clemson class is better than every VT class. Is Tony Elliot going to be able to improve our recruiting to top 15-20? If not, is he able to get 10 wins/year with a top 25-30 class?

That's my concern; I'm not sure he can do either.

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For those classes you bring up that's Clemson averaging at a class rank of 14.6, so low teens which is great, especially compared to VT, but isn't at the level of the elites that Clemson has been competing against. Clemson has been known specifically for being a program that has developed their guys to step up to that next elite level. In regards to 3 star contributors both their starting safeties last year were 3 stars as in K'von Wallace (who VT didn't offer until after Clemson did) and Tanner Muse. Quick look this year they have several starters in Spector, Venables, Zanders, and Nolan Turner that are 3 start recruits. It's just to make the point that he has been in a program that has been big into player development and culture. There's quite a big of articles on how Clemson has been able to compete against traditional blue bloods. I will say that to your point the majority of the guys Tony Elliott has recruited and worked with on offense have been blue chips but it's hard for me to fault a guy for getting those high level players to commit.

Please correct me if I'm understanding your argument wrong but what I'm hearing is you rather someone that hasn't been in an elite program because they've proven they can win with lesser talent. If that's your opinion it's a fair point but from my perspective Clemson as a program has been punching above it's weight in development for most of it's recent run competing with the likes of Alabama and Ohio State which consistently have top 5 recruiting classes.

You've sold me! I knew that Clemson wasn't recruiting at the same level as Bama/OSU, but it didn't occur to me how much player development had to be going on for them to compete with Bama/OSU. Great points.

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One Hokie fan at a time! I've honestly been a fan of his for quite a while now.

A pipe dream, but while we're on Clemson, maybe he could bring Todd Bates w/ him on the defensive side. I'd hate to lose TnT and/or Jham, but Bates has the whole package - great recruiter, great teacher, great X's and O's guy, and players love him (link for reference). He's a guy you figure out how to get on your program. Some notable quotes:

  • "I remember one of the camp days, (former DL) Coach (Dan) Brooks came to me and said, 'Todd Bates is the best coach we have out here,'"
  • "Bates is an excellent tactician and someone players have raved about learning from over the last three seasons, but there's much more to his coaching style off the field."
  • "Rivals' Recruiter of the Year for 2019"
  • "He believes greatly in molding his players into better men"

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Todd Bates was on my list of potential DC hires. That would be fantastic.

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I like this.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

If I were Whit, I would go for the home run here and do something completely unorthodox.
I would use every single channel (including Frank) and resource possible to try and make the biggest splash hire ever in VT history, that would immediately check all the boxes of recruiting, brand loyalty, energize the fanbase and donations. It sounds insane, but there is one hire that would jolt VT football into national relevance in the media and on the recruiting trail before the first win or loss.
If we are looking for a pure CEO play, I would pull out every stop to hire Mike Vick as head coach.

I think of this as the Penny Hardaway effect at Memphis x 100.

Recruiting: Mack Brown sits across the coffee table at a recruit's home. Mike Vick sits across a coffee table at a recruit's home. Who wins in that scenario, 9 times out of 10? The 757 would become extremely relevant again. He's is born and raised a VA boy & Virginia recruiting as a whole would take a massive shift. Dual-threat QBs from across the nation would line up. This is where I think we would see the most immediate benefit of the hire.

Relevance/Brand: Vick is a name brand that is still recognized from kids to adults. He has spent years after the NFL in public speaking arenas and as a broadcast analyst and is polished and easily could handle the press. He gives instant credibility from his background playing at the highest levels and knows how to work with teams that have maintained his international brand. He also would consistently have the Hokies featured in the national sports media more than any other coach.

Staff: Vick would be able to pull either past coaches from his years in the NFL or would easily attract past VT players who have worked through coaching trees. Either way, with some guidance and his past relationships, he would have the clout to bring in a group of coordinators and coaches that could rival much bigger blue-blood universities.

Fanbase: An immediate unified Hokie Nation would line up alongside (arguably) the most decorated and legendary hokie of all time. He is one of us. He gets Blacksburg and knows the culture from our greatest era. Whit could run a strategic hokie club fundraising campaign in the first year, based around Vick finishing what he started by bringing a Natty back to Blacksburg. There also shouldn't be any issue with past players getting access and hopefully leveraging them to help the team and brand.

Coaching: Regardless of the X's and O's (which I feel he would have a big grasp on just based on being an NFL QB for so many years) he seems to have a love for mentorship and youth and especially those who come up from similar neighborhoods as he did. I may be missing someone, but I don't know of any HC in the NCAA who compares to MV. He would be a new and different approach and may set a new precedent in what it takes to reach kids at that level. He was signed to be the AAFL Atlanta Legends OC in 2018. That fell through but shows his interest in coaching.

Culture: Michael Vick has clout. Swag. He is an alpha leader. He walks into a room and has legendary status. He also has fallen from grace and found his way back and has been humbled along the way. He is seasoned in so many ways that would strengthen him as a HC. He's been part of a ton of locker rooms, media rooms, PR rooms. He knows what it takes to win at the highest levels and what it's like for a teenager trying to figure out where he is going to college. He would create a culture that players want to be around, for sure. The hire would be progressive as HCs are concerned, and would create a ripple effect across college football. I also feel like he would tap into past coaches for advice, whether it be Frank or Andy Reid. He would shift the culture of VT football into something different and fresh, but still rooted in our past.

Everything Else: If Fuente is let go in December, whoever takes over next is in a really bad spot, at least in the short term. A bare cupboard of recruits (not to mention attrition), Whit scrambling to make the numbers work after a financially disastrous 2020, and a fanbase who has shown itself to have a shorter and shorter fuse. MV could navigate all of that with what is mentioned above. If he fails in the first 4-5 years, I think mutually moving on would be much easier than with Shane, as MV would just head back to the broadcast booth.

If I were Whit, I would make an all-out effort to try and get him back in Blacksburg and give him every resource possible to take his best shot. Is this realistic? I don't think anyone knows, but I would do everything in my power to find out.

Y'all... Mike Vick does not want to give up his cushy desk job at Fox to work 80 hours weeks at a job where he gets relentlessly scrutinized by millions of people every week, and he has to live in a town that he doesn't particularly love. Get real.

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idk why he'd leave a cushy tv analyst gig for the stress of being a P5 head coach. the primary reason why he'd theoretically work out (he's mike vick) is also the primary reason why he doesn't need to or have to take this job.... he's mike vick

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

Love the analysis. Its a pipe dream, but still love it

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the NCAA banned all persons with a felony charge from Coaching and Officiating?

Is coronavirus over yet?

Yes, which is stupid. Typical NCAA though.

I totally agree.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and disagree with the notion that hiring Vick would be a unifier

-Stick it in

It is also just an ill informed idea.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Coming in as a first time coach in cfb and cbb are two very different things. From an Xs and Os standpoint to the size of the entire operation, the undertaking is vastly different. Specifically for Penny, he had almost a decade of middle school and high school coaching under his belt, which is much more impactful in bball than football.

Also, you can't bring "a Natty back to Blacksburg" if we never had one in the first place

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

This go around, I think the program needs someone who is very experienced coaching at the highest level of the game, who has recruited at an extremely high level that can finally energize the fan base.

In my opinion, Fuente burned down a program and tried to rebuild it in his image. Tech was in need of retooling and new energy not a total rebuild. I'm sorry but I've never thought that "Hard, Smart, Tough" were ever hallmarks of Virginia Tech football. That sounds more like a good Boston College team rather than Tech. When you think of the golden era Tech teams we were "Dynamic, Aggressive, Relentless". We need someone who will get us back to "our" roots - not the forced upon us culture that doesn't gel with our brand.

I think we need someone who is a coordinator at a playoff level program who understands Virginia Tech football from up close - either as a competitor or former player. Probably a higher risk than a retread camp Saban or G5 coach in some ways, but probably a higher upside if it works.

I give my nod to Tony Elliot. Checks the boxes that for me (he also had the pleasure of playing against our '99 and '00 teams to know what we are about). As an added bonus, I think it would be great to hire an African American in this role.

Agree with you on the "Hard, Smart, Tough" mantra. First, that sounds like a developmental program, which we have essentially become under Fu. And second, we don't even display any of those three things with any consistency in our play.

One thing I don't think we should do is emphasize this as a developmental program. That is waving the white flag in recruiting and resigning us to mediocrity. Yes, Beamer's early years had this emphasis with finding the diamonds in the rough and being great at strength training. But VT evolved beyond that from the mid-late 90s on. I think it's time we started acting like a program with some expectations and brought a little bit of swagger back into the program. Really done with the "coach em up" mentality.

Clear Eyes
Full Hearts
Can't Lose

Everybody has something and it doesn't mean much more than a rallying cry. Their has to be overall buy in before the slogans can have a chance.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I'm losing confidence in the Coach but with what's going on financially at Tech and who knows what is yet to come (hiring freezes, layoffs, etc...) there is no way the school pays a football coach $10MM+ to not work here anymore.

I think the minimum is overhauling the entire offensive staff. I think JHam actually hasn't done terrible given the circumstances.

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If I am looking for head coaching gigs, I would be very hesitant to go anywhere that mandated I hang onto staff that I don't already know and want to work with. I should be able to choose my entire staff (Sorry JHam)

I agree, but I meant IF Fuente isn't fired. At minimum he'll get to keep the defensive staff, but be forced to let go of Corny & Fam.

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Usually some of that buyout is negated if the fired coach gets another job

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Fuente's contract doesn't include offset language unfortunately

Source?

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Andy Bitter and other beat writers.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Thanks. That sucks, I wasn't aware of that

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

You're thinking about it wrong. If we keep Fuente on staff but lose $20M over the next 3 years because people stop donating, is that better than paying out $10M and not losing the donations? And I'm sure there's other income that comes if we're actually winning games (do we get more if we go to a bowl game than not for tv revenue? Do we get more revenue if we are playing nationally televised games vs just ACCN?) The answer is it's better to pay the buyout. We don't know what's happening to overall donation amounts, but I'm sure Whit does. And that will determine whether he pulls the trigger or not.

I see this argument a lot, and I understand where it comes from. But the price to switch coaches will be much more than Fuente buyout. You also have to pay up to buyout the assistants, probably buyout the coach you're getting and THEIR assistants (do we want an unemployed coach? Maybe if it's Harbaugh). Then you need to pony up for the increased admin/support roles that are constantly talked about here, because nobody is going to take a rebuilding job without the resources to succeed at it.

Specifically to the "money now vs money later" argument, cash in hand is king during a recession/budget deficit. Money now means looking at the budget and picking a 10-20 million worth of employees and programs to cut this year. Unless some BSD comes in and writes VT a check to make this moot, it's more complicated than we fans would like it to be.

I only included Fuente, but you're right, there are additional costs. That doesn't change the main point that if we lose more from donations than making the switch, it makes sense to make the switch (with the bigger the variance between the two numbers making the case more and more compelling). I don't know if that's the case. We may be way off it making sense from that perspective. I didn't say it was the case, just that it would be the criteria to use.

The "Fire Fuente" crowd need to hope either
A) we beat Clemson and UVA and some big school is so enamored they hire him away
B)Cornelson sleeps with the partner of a major donor and they cut a check to can him out of embarrassment

And by fire fuente crowd, you mean anyone with a set of eye balls?

I have had some time to digest this more rationally. Honestly, the only way I am upset come mid December is if nothing changes. I am ok if the money is found and we can successfully start fresh. I do not know the reality of how bad the finances are. Nobody knows how much finances will be impacted yet again in 2021. If Whit can't land his top one or two choices here, I move on to plan b.

Plan b (most likely scenario in my opinion). I think if I was the decision maker, I am telling Fuente that Corny and Shibest must go. I would allow Fuente to decide how to backfill but I would lean more toward a Jerry Kill type advisor for help with CEO things, allowing Fuente to call his own offense. You would still need an O coordinator of sorts but could hire on the cheap or unproven. Shibest would essentially be a value firing. We can find a cheaper replacement to not teach fielding a punt. Use this year's 2.5 million to hire some additional support staff and re evaluate December 16, 2021.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

But if Fu remains on the hot seat what decent OC or other coach is going to want to come to Blacksburg and join his staff? That's why I think you have to fire Fu. Our recruiting is shit and if he stays it will only get worse.

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

That is why he would be better off taking over play calling duties so that the OC has very little responsibility. Shit make Lechtenburg OC and hire a running back coach.

Bottom line, making a move for sake of making a move, with all that buyout money at stake, would be bad. Get hooks in what you think is a great candidate, maybe it is worth it.

Think of it this way. There have been folks done with Fuente since his third season. That was with a successful first season. In this new coaches third season, we will still be paying Fuente and hopefully a little more for the total new staff. Now imagine if that guy hasn't worked out. It could be devastating. For anybody that says Fuente has already ruined the program, you do not know how bad it can get.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I know how bad it can get - look at FSU over the past few years. And they won a National Championship within the last 10 years. I think it REALLY depends on donations. If they dry up, especially if big ones have told Whit it's because of Fuente, I don't think Whit could afford to NOT let him go. If there hasn't been much decline in donations, then Fuente probably stays, for at least 1 more year.

Only Whit knows the real bottom line here. I have a hard time believing we would lose 2.5 million per year in giving. But, I don't have a legitimate foundation of information to base that opinion on. We could also make the move and still lose a ton of revenue in 21 due to additional covid restrictions. Basketball is getting ready to start the second season during the pandemic. There is no guarantee that football wont still be restricted come fall (although I hope not).

I didnt include this in my options but there could possibly be a chance to renegotiate Fuente's deal as well. Would you give him a raise in 21 if he was willing to drop the buyout? I doubt it is realistic, but if Fuente wanted to bet on himself here, it could be a win win.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I didnt include this in my options but there could possibly be a chance to renegotiate Fuente's deal as well. Would you give him a raise in 21 if he was willing to drop the buyout? I doubt it is realistic, but if Fuente wanted to bet on himself here, it could be a win win.

This is an interesting idea. I'm sure that his current contract includes incentives but it would be a heck of a powerplay by Whit to do something like this.

Hey, if you agree to drop your buyout clause then I'll promise you a 10% raise if you win the Coastal and either the ACC or your bowl game in 2021. If you don't reach the ACCCG then we'll have a discussion about our future at the end of the season.

Force Fuente to put all his money on himself. If he comes up short in 21 (spoiler, he does) then Whit can cut him loose with no buyout.

Fuente would never go for that. (But then again, Fuente doesn't think there's anything wrong with his coaching staff, so maybe he would?)

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

It would at least be an interesting discussion. If the covid year is truly to blame, then you would expect a better outcome next year. If he doesn't believe he can be better next year, it reaffirms the decision to move on. More than likely though he wouldn't move off the existing contract though.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

You'd have to be REALLY bad at math to take that deal. Lose $10M to take a $400k raise for one year? The only way you take that deal is if it includes language that if Fuente loses the buyout language, then has a 10 win season next year he gets an automatic contract extension and a $1M/year increase. Fuente could bet on himself winning and Whit could bet on him not making 10 wins and being able to let him go without a buyout.

I would give him the 1M increase just to lose the buyout and build incentives on top of it. The only way it would work is if Fuente feared unemployment. Their are other more subtle and creative ways to restructure it as well that may be more realistic. Just thinking outside the box a bit.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

No agent is going to let their client do that. Fuente's agent would drop him, and no one would be willing to pick him up. Furthermore, Whit could just fire him at any point (including right after Fuente agreed to the new contract)

There's not an example in college sports (other than changes to state law that occurred during the pandemic) where a coach renegotiated an active contract to help the school over himself.

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There is no guarantee that football wont still be restricted come fall (although I hope not).

I'd bet a lot of money that stadiums don't play at full capacity until 2022

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* except for Liberty and the SEC of course.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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I suspect LU has to comply with Virginia's COVID rules just like VT does. But the SEC? Not so much.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

My hunch is there is a big gap between what you suspect should happen and what actually happens. Liberty does not care about what the Gov of VA says.

Fu can't even handle being the HC let alone him being that as well as calling plays. Maybe you demote him to OC and bring in a new coach? Though that's not very likely at all...

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

It isn't like a head coach calling plays is unheard of.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

It's not unheard of, but it's not common. There's very few coaches who do it. On offense, I can only think of Jimbo and Leach off the top of my head. I have a feeling Spurrier used to do it, but I'm not positive.

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Yea, I agree with this.

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For your plan b, do you think Fuente could hire any new assistants of value in his current situation? In fact, isn't he about to need an extension so he can recruit and attract quality assistants?

I would be more concerned that we lose any assistants of value this offseason if we don't fire Fuente than upgrade any assistants. Look at the Ryan Smith hire, he wasn't at the top of the list.

I would assume Teerlinck and Vice will have other options they might take this offseason. And we want to give Fuente yet another year as long as he goes out and gets a new OC? Is that likely to be successful?

Plan b would be just buying time however you cut it. I mentioned Fuente taking on a heavier role on Offense because hiring a quality coordinator would be hard under current conditions. I don't think any assistants bail this year, but honestly not something I had thought about either. We will have a new staff within the next two years (nearly guaranteed) so the real question is how do we get there while being the most fiscally responsible.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

After careful consideration and discussion with my wife and family.
I will respectfully decline the position as the Head Coach of the VT Hokies football team, if offered.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Damnit I was hoping as HC you would have to share your recipes with all of us.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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After careful consideration and discussion with my wife and family, I have decided that I will share recipes.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

One thing that is interesting to me having seen this same discussion occur the last time around with Beamer retiring, is how nobody here has emphasized character at all. Last time around I remember an emphasis on "winning the right way" the way Beamer did. I get it to a degree, but this sort of desperation for wins is how you get the next Butch Jones or Hugh Freeze heading the ship. If VT went that direction I would genuinely be embarrassed to support the program.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

I think that says more about the landscape of college football. I think players deserve to cash in whatever money they can. As long as there is no criminal activity, I don't really care. I want to avoid Hugh Freeze for reasons I can't really discuss without violating the CGs.

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Our school culture demands it whether they are candidates or get hired. We don't have to talk about it, and many of the names being brought up aren't shady, other than maybe James Franklin.

I believe this is one of Fuente's issues. He's not open, and hides way too much inside the locker room. It gives the perception that he's playing foul, especially when a player leaves the program, and nothing much gets said about it, or "no comment". I'm still in awe over the Cam Goode dismissal. No sense, professionalism, decency, just chucked the kid off without even trying, and blaming the kid for it.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I know this sounds pretty low on the list of things, but I think it goes a long way in building a brand. I want to see our coach on College Gameday on Saturday mornings just getting our name out there. I can't tell you how many times I've seen Mack Brown doing interviews on there. I want to see him on talk shows like Packer and Durham. I want to see an active Twitter account thats engaging and makes you feel like he's not some distant figure (even if it's just some students running it). All of this seems inconsequential and winning is the main key, but a lot of this stuff would help build back a brand. Get kids used to seeing the VT coach when they are watching ESPN and know his name so that one day when they are high school players they want to come here growing up seeing these guys.

THIS. I don't know if this is something where the show reaches out, but I have to think a coach or an AD can make calls and try to increase their presence on these kinds of programs. I think it goes a long way for the general perception of the program and establishes the brand.

The only 'activity' Fuente gets now on Packer & Durham is Packers bad impression after Conference Cuts when they mimic his water bottle crushing, 3 word taciturn responses to press conference questions.

Not the best look for the university, when we are starting to become the punchline on the 1/2 step above public television morning show that's literally run from someones basement.

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

Shane pls

or maybe

#Let's Go - Hokies

Win 9+ games per season while maintaining a reputation of relatively ethical, "clean" program (i.e., not 9+ games at all costs).

I didn't read every single comment but I'm shocked at how few of us said something similar.

I would not have a single problem with Fuente if he we were winning more ballgames.

100% this, had he beat Liberty, Wake, and Miami then its a different story.

Winning isn't everything, i'd much rather have a clean program, but winning is definitely not nothing.

Not necessarily Fuente's fault directly but just another problem with the program's overall branding which would be nice to improve with the next guy - it has been nearly a half hour since Logan Thomas completed a huge pass on national television with all of America watching and VT Football social media has yet to acknowledge or take credit for it.

If it happened in some random 1PM game on Sunday that's one thing to miss it but on Thanksgiving I think you need to take advantage of that spotlight when it's given to you.

They have retweeted two LT plays the pass and his TD catch to be fair. The social media team does a lot wrong or poor. But they jump on any NFL success pretty fast.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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After reading an article where a superstar running back (ML) from USCe said Shane Beamer is the type of coach/recruiter that makes you want to play for him. I want to give him a shot. I was against it due to wanting new blood to change the atmosphere but if players are saying they want to play for a guy. I want that guy!

So there has been some scuttlebutt the last couple of days that a.) Fuente was gone and also b.) the buyout isn't an issue.

That would mean either Fuente would be fired with cause OR someone else wanted him.

Any chance he backdoors himself into that USC job? Because Fuente being fired for cause seems very unlikely to me.

So there has been some scuttlebutt the last couple of days that a.) Fuente was gone and also b.) the buyout isn't an issue.

That would mean either Fuente would be fired with cause OR someone else wanted him.

OR buy out money was raised.

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For VT we need someone that exudes confidence and care. For me this is the single most personality difference with our successful coaches (Beamer, Bud, Buzz and Young at least up to now) over those that have not worked. Despite what some fans think VT is a sales job to get recruits there. It is. But it just needs someone that exudes confidence and care. With Fuente he exudes confidence to a fault, and the care never translated to fans, media or players in large part.

The second thing I want is accountability with friends. I like most/all of you have LOVE for Beamer but he definitely had his faults with this. Not holding his coaches accountable was an issue though arguably exasperated by Weaver's pennypinching. With Fuente we see the same. Play calling is abysmal. Stories of a reverred football mind getting into an altercation with said play caller was gutwrenching. The writing that was on the wall was now a giant neon sign atop the roof. HCs need to bring people in that they trust know their system/style but they must hold those people accountable and fire them when necessary.

If we have those, and assuming all candidates come in with good football skills, then I think we see success. It will translate to recruiting, alumni, fans game execution, etc

One thing I think will be more difficult for VT than people are expecting is to find a GM/CEO type. These types rely heavily on name power on OC/DC positions and while I am in support of this I don't think VT has the budget to support a HC, OC and DC on the salary level they need to be for this to be as successful as we need it to be.

These types rely heavily on name power on OC/DC positions and while I am in support of this I don't think VT has the budget to support a HC, OC and DC on the salary level they need to be for this to be as successful as we need it to be.

Even more reason for me to be head coach. I'll take a lower salary and pay my assistants the bulk of the budget! #HOAT4Coach

I think my top three options, in no particular order, are Fickell, Shane, and Elliot. Healy shows a ton of potential and can definitely win the interview. Dynamic personality. Unfortunately, I think that's all that might be there at this point. Way too small a coaching career and way too much risk IMO for a job like VT at this juncture. Also never coached anywhere with any real expectations before. Potential rising star, but not quite there yet.

Fickell would be a home fun and has big time experience. Has built Cincy into a power. However, as we have noted, would he want to leave Ohio? He will also likely have offers from every major open job thrown his way, and he turned down a big opportunity last year at Mich St.

Shane I think just checks a ton of boxes. Dynamic personality, CEO type, strong recruiter, experience under a ton of big time coaches and programs, plus with the added bonus of familiarity with VT. He also has a huge network of coaching contacts and I think could build a tremendous staff. Potential negatives from part of the fan base would be connection to the Beamer name and if he failed, potential tarnishing of the Beamer legacy at VT. I'm not too terribly concerned about those, but I know some are. I also think he would really reenergize donors and help unify the fan base.

Elliot would also be a big time hire. Would completely revamp recruiting and bring a very successful offensive mind to Blacksburg. Great experience under one of the best programs and coaches in the country. I think he could do a lot of similar things at VT as Clemson has accomplished with respect to growing donations and building recruiting, as I think there are a lot of similarities. Potential concerns, his only real experience is at Clemson. It's great experience, but it's the only experience. Also would he have a big enough coaching network to assemble a great staff?

I would be ecstatic with any of these three honestly.

1. Hates UVA and all they stand for- like Bud Foster does. 2. Doesn't need to inherit Bamas roster to beat Wake Forest or GT. 3. Can beat shit coastal teams and shit BC regularly. 4. Willing to recruit Virginia and it's HS players that go make plays for other P5 teams aggressively. 5. Sniper recruiter- guy that will work at it tirelessly and make no excuses.

Nailed it.

I think Whit should put this into the official job description and contract.

Essential duties:
Beat shit teams
Always be closin' on those 'croots

Completely agree but your first requirement eliminates nearly every candidate who couldn't give a shit about UVA unless perhaps they are VT coach.

Fuente in deadpan Eeyore voice: "Transfers are dead to me"

The head coach when approached about transferring or just any challenge really should be exactly like Bronco Mendenhall below:

"I love Jowon," said Mendenhall. "He's an amazing person, first of all. Holy smokes is he a good football player, but then he has all these other interests that he's so skilled at in terms of instruments and the music, and then the social kind of influences or interest that he has. And that part is never going to change. I mean, he's an amazing person, and I feel really lucky to have had the chance to coach him or try to help him through the time that I've had.

"Any reasons at this point will be private and personal. For, for him, right. And if he ever chooses to share those, that's completely his call. But for me, there'll be nothing other than in my conversation, where can I help you go? What exactly is it you're looking for? How can I help you just continue to be or become what you're really looking for.

"And part of that is just really trying to understand. And so I'm still working on that part. But I really want every person in our program to have an amazing experience. I've also learned, it hurts, right? I've learned just since being a head coach, is you cannot please everybody. And I'm not sure it should be your intent, right? I have really core guiding principles that I think are for the benefit of young people.

"And maybe, maybe sometimes it's just like, I don't know, maybe all the things that you do as a parent, your kids don't like, but you think it will help them. And so in this case, I hope that Jowon can find a place and I can help him find a place that will match exactly what he's looking for. And, and that's my commitment to him. And that's what I shared with him today. And so, at this point, and I moved my current team, right and we fill in, we match up. and adjust because it will be a challenge now. Man, is he a good player, and a great person and just so solid in character"

Fuente hasn't answered any question with that many words. But, lets not pretend he is turning his back on transfers either.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

What I want in a new head coach is a real Tony Elliot, someone whose departure could potentially destabilize the top team in our conference, and perhaps bring a few key assistants (Streeter, for example) with him.

Young, runs a relatively simple, QB friendly offense that is attractive to all skill talent, and has almost a decade of experience in a program both as they rose through the tiers of college football AND maintained that level at the top.

The last time we went through this my heart wanted Bud, but once it was clear we wouldn't hire him as the HC, my brain wanted Mullen. I think if we had pulled off Mullen back then we would be winning the Coastal 3 or 4 out of 5 years.

Whatever College Football's version of this guy is. Thats what we are looking for in a coach.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Lance Leopold?

I want to add to this :

1. Ability to self-scout

2. Ability to develop coaching staff, if the new coach does his job right our assistants will get poached. Need to have coaches ready to step up

ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.

Whenever I see these I immediately think - Welp, now we've lost any chance with that coach. Because if this is getting out there from 'Fickell's reps' then we are either

  • Not in the running
  • Being used by the rep to get an extension and better buyout for his client

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

If guys like this are so passionate about VT football, why are they not included? I can't believe VT football can't find a better way to take advantage of their loyalty.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

I'm glad you linked this. I watched it this morning and thought it was incredibly insightful. I recall listening to Sons of Saturday recently and finding out that all of us fans who want to see Shane at the helm are idiots who don't know what we're talking about. Well, if DHall is an idiot, I'll also wear that badge with pride.

Wherever Shane lands, he's going to be successful. Lucky for me, I went to USCe for law school so I've got more than one shot at landing him. That being said, I would rather see him in Blacksburg than Columbia.

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

Big upside to Tony Elliot he has no buyout if he leaves for a HC job.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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