PREMATURE: Who could VT (realistically) hire to replace Fuente

After today's loss to Liberty, it feels like Fuente's days in Blacksburg are numbered. Rather than just rant and call for replacing Fuente, I think it would be interesting to talk about realistic options.

To date, Justin Fuente is the 25th highest paid Head Coach (of schools who report coaching salaries) per USA Today. In 2019, our total salary pool for assistants was $3.67 million and ranked No. 37 nationally (again, of schools who report coaching salaries). Since then, our total assistant salary pool has fallen to just over $3M. Here's the breakdown by coach:

Coach Annual Salary
Justin Fuente $4,250,000.00
Brad Cornelson $490,000.00
Adam Lechtenberg $200,000.00
Jafar Williams $200,000.00
Vance Vice $280,000.00
Justin Hamilton $600,000.00
Tracey Claeys $500,000.00
Daryll Tapp $175,000.00
Ryan Smith $175,000.00
Bill Teerlinck $400,000.00
Total: $7,270,000.00

Per Football Scoop in 2019, Fuente's buy out as of December 16th 2019 is $12.5M. On December 16th 2020, his buyout will decrease to $10M, and continue to decrease by $2.5M each year thereafter. Per Andy Bitter's 10/4/19 mailbag in The Athletic (not linked due to paywall), the buy out would be paid out in quarterly installments through the life of the contract (which ends in December 2024) - that means if he's fired tomorrow, he's owed ~$3M/year. If Whit fires him on December 17th, he'll get paid out $2.5M/year

I say all of this because, as everyone knows, Virginia Tech is limited in who we can hire. Who knows exactly how bad the COVID revenue losses will be. Who knows if some extremely generous donor(s) will step up to support football. For the purposes of discussion, let's assume that some rich donor out there will pay Fuente's buy out, and the athletic department can/will continue to pay ~$7-7.5M/year for a football staff.

So who could Virginia Tech realistically hire? Here's 10 candidates, in no particular order, who (1) might listen to VT, (2) VT could afford, assuming no changes to football coaching salary budget (again, big assumption):

Coach Current School/Role Current Salary Comments
Brett Venables DC, Clemson $2,200,000.00 Not sure if he has any interest in being an HC. He's coaching his kid now and only has to coach 4/5-stars. He might have no interest in leaving Clemson.
Billy Napier HC, UL-Lafyatte $1,005,000.00 Has coached all over the south, including under both Saban and Dabo. In 2.5 years at UL-Lafyatte, he's gone 7-7, 11-3, and is currently 6-1
Joe Moorhead OC, Oregon $900,000.00 Former headcoach at FCS Fordham, inhereted a 1-10 team, took them 6-5, then to three straight FCS playoff appearences. OC for Penn State, crafting an offense around Trace Mcsorley and Saquon Barkley resulting in a B10 championship and win over OSU. Went 14-11 at Mississippi State before being fired. Current OC at Oregon.
Bryan Harsin HC, Boise $1,850,000.00 66-18 as a head coach at Boise over 6 seasons. 5 seasons with double digits wins, including two 12-win seasons. His one 'down' year included 9 wins.
Ken Niumatalolo HC, Navy $2,316,000.00 Yes, I know no one wants the triple option at VT, but it's often reported that Coach Ken would not run the triple option if he went elsewhere.
Bill Clark HC, UAB $1,500,000.00 Anyone who is unaware of what UAB football has gone through needs to spend sometime researching it. After the school cut the football, Bill Clark came in, and won 6 games in the (new) football team's first season. Since then, he's gone 38-22, including an 11-win season with a conference title and a 9-win season with a division title.
Lance Leipold HC, Buffalo $624,300.00 Went 109โ€“6 winning six DIII National TItles in 8 years. Has gone 32-32 at Buffalo, which includes consistant improvement from 2-10 to 10-4 in three years.
Will Healy HC, Charlotte $850,000.00 Started his head coaching career at Austin Peay, taking the team from 0-8 to 7-1 in the FCS in one year. Landed two top 5 FCS recruiting classes there. Since going to Charlotte, he's 9-9 after inhereting a team that went 1-11
Todd Grantham DC, Florida $1,801,500.00 VT Alum, played 2 years under beamer. Coached here from 1990-95 (DE, DL, ILB).
Justin Wilcox HC, Cal $3,350,000.00 Defensive coach who has coached all over the country (Wiscy, USC, Tennessee, etc). Has steadily improved Cal's record each year.

Some notable people I (intentionally) did not include:

  • Shane Beamer - Rumors are that he wants to be at a program bigger than VT, and that he upset some high school coaches when coaching here. Probably not a fit.
  • Luke Fickell - He's a stereotypical midwestern catholic who spent his whole life in Ohio; went to high school in Columbus, played at OSU, coached at Akron, OSU, and now Cincinnati. The media mostly agrees he's not leaving Cincy for any place other than OSU or Notre Dame. He turned down $6M from MSU last year.
  • Matt Campbell only makes $3.5M, but he's spent his whole career in the midwest. I don't see him moving to a completely new part of the country for an extra $750k, but I could be wrong.
  • Nick Saban/Urban Meyer/Dabo/Art Briles/etc
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

Me.

Pros: More legs than anyone

Cons: Zero experience in football, I'd be more of a "CEO coach"

Pros: I'd be cheap

Tony Elliot,

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Tony Elliot is interesting, because he literally hasn't coached anywhere in P5 other than Clemson. Not a red flag per se, but definitely makes me wonder if he could make the jump. Venables on the other hand has coached at OU and KSU, has recruited 5-stars, but also coached up 3-stars.

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Brent isn't leaving Clemson with his current paycheck, kids there to coach VT.

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I tend to agree with you, but I think VT is interesting enough of an opportunity that he might listen. Maybe I'm wrong though.

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Venables wouldn't come here if you doubled his salary

I'm not so sure about that... But, we're not gonna have to worry about that anyways.

Go for it

That would worry me. I could OC Clemson to 8-9 wins.

Nelsonia Hokie

So what you're saying is, he has been exposed to, and helped lead, a culture that knows how to recruit well?

Sign me up!!

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

he has been exposed to, and helped lead, a culture that knows how to recruit well?

If he came to VT, he'd have to not just lead that culture, but build it. It's a different skillset. Some people have both, others have one of the two, some have neither.

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He's been with Clemson since 2011. People need to quit splitting hairs like this because we will have to compromise somewhere.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

we will have to compromise somewhere.

I hear ya - Id rather compromise on the P5 resume than the program builder part.

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So... you do agree that Fuente is a terrible coach and has to be fired ASAP?

Finally.

Another name that is going to be a hot commodity this year is Jamey Chadwell, head coach at Coastal Carolina. In just his first full year as head coach at CCU, he has them off to a 6-0 start and already a top 15 ranking. They are facing South Alabama right now and are up 17-6 at halftime. All signs point to an end of year showdown with Liberty for a top 10 ranking and undefeated regular season.

Yep - that was a miss by me. I've been following CCU but haven't had a chance to watch one of their games yet. Going to be interesting to see how much interest he gets.

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Do. It.

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

Originally from Tennessee so somewhat local ties.

So we want to give another "lower level" coach a shot here?

You know most P5 coaches are either G5 or P5 coordinators prior to coaching in P5 right?

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If we were winning the coastal regularly, putting ourselves in the mix for NY6 bowls more often than not, and and generally looked like a well-run team, then I'd want a new HC to have to have a track record of success at this level, for obvious reasons.

But that's not where we are. We're getting average on-field results from a team that too often looks like it doesn't want to be there. The rate of head-scratching losses is increasing. Recruiting is not good and is getting worse. Every year there seems to be some kind of counterproductive offseason drama, that sometimes spills into the season. Not to mention that the fans & media have been pretty much alienated by CJF. At best, we're an average ACC team, and we're trending in the wrong direction.

Given that, I'm willing to cast a wide net and include candidates that we might not consider in other circumstances. I posted in another thread about tOSU hiring Ryan Day. I don't want to over-index on one data point, but one of the top-3 richest programs in the country chose to hire an unknown with no head coaching experience anywhere, and only a little over a year at tOSU as an assistant. That's the kind of risk we need to be willing to take.

I don't think our next HC is on the staff now, but we need to look further than just the short list of up-and-coming head coaches who are having success right now. That's not to say that Healy, Chadwell, or Napier might not be the best option. But we need to be willing to take a risk on the next one of those guys, the one who just hasn't had his opportunity yet. If nothing else, it would give us budget to address other areas of concern, such as assistants, recruiting, etc.

And for the love of all things holy, do NOT immediately reward a successful season or two with a wildly generous contract extension.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

You know most P5 coaches are either G5 or P5 coordinators prior to coaching in P5 right?

Unless you come to Virginia Tech, where you'll get to coach RBs, DBs or even run the defensive show with little to no FBS experience.

Fuente isn't failing because he was a G5 coach, he's failing because he's not recruiting well (this week we got outcoached, but IMO that doesn't happen often). There are plenty of coaches who come from the G5 ranks and recruit well at the P5 level (Chris Peterson, PJ Fleck, come to mind immediately).

I think Joe said it best - Two of VT's biggest competitive advantages are the fan base and the media, and Fuente has failed to capitalize on that. Just because Fuente couldn't do that doesn't mean that all G5 coaches can't.

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This ^

HTHokie93

Years ago, I caught some flack from site when I noted Fuente was not achieving the recruiting "bump" that recently hired head coaches seem to get. To me, it seems that bump is one (of a few, I admit) indicator that a coach can sell the program and can be a good recruiter. That bump (that we didn't get) can springboard a program as well and translate to a few W's.

I agree, while Fuente may be a good X&O's guy, and probably a good person and ambassador for the university, I think he has and continues to fall woefully short in the recruiting dept

If you look at most of the top programs in the country, ones that have made the playoffs recently (Oklahoma, OSU, Clemson, UGA, LSU) other than Alabama, they all hired assistants. Only Orgeron had previous head coaching experience, and he burned out dramatically at his previous program. There are many different paths to success, what really matters is the individual and the situation they're given.

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

Ideally we would have free reign to hire the best of the best but I dont see us in that position at the moment, so I do want someone hungry that knows how to get the best out of his players, which we all know isnt happening right now.

Someone with a vision they can sell

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Look at the state of the program. We're not drawing any P5 HC coach away from their current teams

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

I think after taking a chance on a non-P5 head coach, Whit would probably be more likely to hire a coordinator from one of the blue bloods and promote him to HC. Would probably be a safer bet, can maybe get a better idea if they can bring in top talent, would have a track record of getting players drafted (good indicator of recruiting potential). Top tier recruits may not be as enamored of good coaching records at non-P5 schools. Just my guess for direction Whit will take.

The problem is not that Fuente was a non-P5 coach. The problem is that Fuente couldn't sell the program - to recruits or donors. Whit will hire someone who CAN sell the program. In fact, I think the Fuente experiment proves that VT needs a 'CEO' type coach. I expect the next coach to

  • Be more people focused, so they can sell the program to fans and recruits alike
  • Have a detailed plan around how to put together a staff (something more than just bringing 'his guys' with him)
  • Have experience (or have prominent members of the staff with experience) in the Mid-Atlantic/Carolinas
  • Have a record of doing more with less

The easiest place to find someone like this is a G5 headcoach, ideally someone who has some experience as an assistant (though not necessarily a coordinator) at the P5 level.

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I've said it before, but I really want Will Healy out of UNCC. He isn't the greatest football mind in the country but he's young and has a much better view of branding than Fuente. There's a great article on how he made UNCC more visible by using social media and just by having fun. I know some of the older Hokies won't like his style but as a younger guy it seems like an absolute blast to play for him. He checks out all the bullets that you've listed, but personally I just want a players coach that we all can get behind and feel good about again.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/28283431/how-charlotte-...

I like Healy but he's an awful big risk. It's a huge jump from Charlotte to VT. That would be a concern. Also, if Healy checks all your boxes then why not have a look at the row boatin PJ Fleck? Basically the same guy. All he cares about is 'crootin and we've basically already had the self promoting type coach here at VT with Buzz.

PJ fleck loves the Midwest. He has no interest in being here. Not to mention he's out of our pay range anyways.

What makes you think Healy is a bigger risk than any other coach we would realistically be able to land?

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He's had one winning regular season as a head coach and it was FCS. He's had two years of FBS coaching experience (at all, and it's as a HC). If you say "idc, I just want a good recruiter" he's definitely shown he can get some higher end G5 talent but what about 4 and 5 stars when the competition is so much higher? Will he recruit that much better than other options to make a difference? I don't think we have enough information to say that definitively.

Also the caliber of athlete and coaching staffs he'll be coaching against will be way higher than anything he's seen. I am intruiged, but he's so young if he ends up being our guy we gotta give him time to succeed or fail (5 maybe 6 years) which if he fails could set the program way back.

But anyone we can realistically hire will have the same risk. If you look at the list of ***REALISTIC*** hires listed in my OP, you'll notice that all of them have some risk. Unless Whit can find $10m for a new staff, or get Justin Wilcox to make a lateral move (and that's pushing the boundaries of what I consider realistic), I don't see any way to avoid risk in this hiring cycle; rather, it's about minimizing risk and maximizing possible upside.

I think you do this by getting a young headcoach, and surrounding him with experienced coordinators. Healy is someone who could play the CEO role (I hate that term, but I digress...), get donors, fans, and players excited.

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Of course it's a huge risk, but at this point there's not a whole lot of options. The biggest reason I'd like Healy is his local ties. From TN, played at Richmond (under Clawson and London), and now coaches in Charlotte. We can't take anything for granted but I feel that's a good background for what we need in a recruiting coach. PJ isn't going to have any of that background, and as we're seeing now Blacksburg can be a hard place to make connections.

I'm also trying to have tempered expections. We're not a crazy good destination. No way will Mike Tomlin leave his Steelers for VT after this season, nor will Luke Fickell, or Venables. Healy is going to be cheap, available, young, and seemingly not a jackass. Seems to me in a similar mold to CMY with those traits - he seems like a good hire even from Wofford up to ACC basketball. I'm hoping we can get lucky this time around.

I get what you're saying about selling the program, but I think the challenge is identifying what you're selling. If we want to pull in 4 and 5 star recruits, why are they selling? In some previous comments of mine, I said I didn't understand why kids wouldn't want to be coached by Teerlinck - he just coached in the NFL. The response was that the kids want to know that he can develop talent, not just coach it, and want a track record of placing guys in the NFL. If we go with a G5 coach instead of a P5 coordinator, I think you have the same issue. Maybe they had a winning record, but conversely, the question will be whether they have what it takes to succeed in the P5, along with getting the kids in the league. It's easier to sell something when the coach can say they've coached and won in the P5, placed x number of guys in the pros, etc. otherwise, what is the coach selling? Great fans? Great facilities? The top two things the recruits we want are going to be interested in is winning and going pro. I think we gotta get someone that can say they've done that, and for what we can pay, I think it would be more likely to be a P5 coordinator than a G5 HC.

The funny thing about sales is you can give 2 guys the same tools, territory, goals and one knocks it out of the park and the other doesn't.

What he is selling is himself. Sure the fancy locker rooms and facilities help but at the end of the day that's all a sales role is. Relationships and the ability to sell your self.

Good point. The challenge is if we're looking at someone who can hit it out of the park in recruiting, and presumably coming from a G5 head coaching position, they should be bringing in a decent amount of 4 stars (maybe look at best recruiting classes in G5?), but then also what they're getting out of it, which would presumably be destroying all G5 competition with that talent. So we would be looking for someone like Scott Frost who is going pretty much undefeated.

In my opinion we have to get lucky. We can do all of the due diligence in the world but if we don't get a little bit lucky that we got the right guy at the right time then I foresee us back in the same boat. The next hire needs to be able to inject excitement back into the program almost day 1. The first "win" needs to absolutely be on the recruiting trail. Everything else is a distant second.

I think we all understand we aren't going to win football games in the next couple years. If he is able to string together a couple of solid recruiting classes in years 1-3 the buzz around town will be back and Hokie football will show signs of life.

I agree - just think people are going to want to see what looks like a really good resume on paper. Maybe I'm wrong. Guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.

This is the stuff I love this site for. Good in depth info for those like myself who don't know exactly who's who anymore, solid work op.

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

I hate this post. It gets my hopes up which I resent because I know that we're stuck with Fuente for a few more years

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I humbly withdraw my name from any pot that may have my name in there. Very big of me to do so.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Excellent write-up upon short notice, or did you already have this drafted up after the Wake game?

Where is Les Miles' name? /s

Nope, threw it together while watching ND/Clemson.

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Would coach for a bag of Skittles and a new ps2

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French would be my Assistant with Alum being the DC and Fireman my OC with DCWilson being my jerry kill and Gobble Gobble as emotional support

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Someday somebody's gonna get run down

who is your recruiter?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Hmmm Wasknick

My lips are moving but there's no sound
Someday somebody's gonna get run down

bro I would NEED the emotional support if I was associated with that staff

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

Don't worry I'll find someone to give you emotional support๐Ÿ˜‚

My lips are moving but there's no sound
Someday somebody's gonna get run down

Don't use university property to find that support, though.

Click here to destroy wall.

Or volleyball players. Don't use them for emotional support (or other things) either. Don't know why I'm taking shots at Louisville former coaches (wrong week for hatin' on Louisville).

The best days to hate on loserville are those that end in 'y'.

Fuck them forever.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

I can get behind this philosophy.

Assume from your username that you were probably here for the Metro conference mess, too... I'll never forgive them for that.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Apparently I was, but didn't pay any attention to it at the time. I've always been an ACC fan (I've had tons of family go to ACC schools before I went to Tech). Also, how the hell does Louisville end up in the Atlantic COAST conference??? I guess money grubbing?

When it comes to conference realignment:

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

Better go recruit some Canadians then

Had to downvote you just for putting alum on there, he would totally break all the rules in recruiticorning just to get more legs

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KCCO

Do you hire DC as DC?

He can be Co DC๐Ÿ˜‚

My lips are moving but there's no sound
Someday somebody's gonna get run down

And does he get a pass in his first year??

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

I think Grantham, Napier, and Healy are intriguing for varying reasons. Grantham has been a DC at major SEC schools for years, is a VT alum and former assistant, and is from the NRV. The idea of him and potentially bringing Torrian Gray with him from Florida to rebuild the defense is interesting.

Napier has been an assistant at Bama and Clemson and is doing a great job at UL-Lafayette. Also from Tennessee and played at Furman, so has familiarity with the area and has likely recruited the area before with stints at Bama and Clemson.

Healy doesn't have major coaching experience but I think has a ton of upside if we went that route. Seems like a dynamic personality and could be a great recruiter. All indications are he's a name to watch for.

All things considered, Healy would probably be my top choice. UNCC has consistent improvement and they're having a lot of fun at the same time. Having a coach with recruiting ties to the Charlotte area would be beneficial to go against Mack and co. Getting a young and cheap coach would allow us to go after better coordinators instead of settling for someone as inexperienced as JHam.

Call me crazy but I think Harbaugh would an amazing hire for us. Doubt we can afford him but if we were able to think about the national recognition would could get from that hire. He can also recruit very very well. And I believe fans would pack Lane stadium to see him coach. Yes his Michigan tenure hasn't panned out but I think it would def shake things up in Blacksburg. We could possibly land a number one recruit and have a top ten class year in and year out.

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He has failed at a place like Michigan and all its resources why would he succeed at Tech?

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He failed at Michigan because he can't beat Ohio state, and has lost occasionally to MSU. If he can just keep us from losing to liberty and odu, I would consider him a success at tech

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3,3,5, 3, 4 and already 1-2 this season.

His losses are from: Utah, MSU 3, anOSU 5, Iowa, FSU, South Carolina, PSU, ND, UF, Wisconsin, Bama, Indiana.

Your telling me we want a coach with a losing record to his rivals. Who can't manage to not lose at least 3 games a season with the resources, recruiting and money that Michigan has? At the cost it will take to get him and his staff to Blacksburg?

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His losses are from: Utah, MSU 3, anOSU 5, Iowa, FSU, South Carolina, PSU, ND, UF, Wisconsin, Bama, Indiana.

Now do Fuente!

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I thought we wanted Fuente gone? The VT fan base is just getting used to the fire the coach after Beamer long term career and they just want to latch on to a name brand instead of someone who A) would actually be a legit chance to get to Blacksburg B) might actually move the team forward. We are so stuck on "making it back to '99" we don't seem to understand Tech hit a goldmine there and isn't getting back.

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We do, and Harbaugh's results are better than Fuente's lol. Everything you weaponize against other coaches is a bigger strike against Fuente.

We are so stuck on "making it back to '99" we don't seem to understand Tech hit a goldmine there and isn't getting back.

I think people just want to beat Liberty lol.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Based on what? Harbaugh has a much better team both recruit wise and resource wise at Michigan and has failed to Beat anOSU at all and has lost multiple times to an in state rival. All while losing at least 3 games a year. Now you want him in Blacksburg at a bigger salary than Fuente with a lower recruiting and resource ceiling to do what?

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To beat teams like Liberty lol. What about this don't you understand?

Also, the anOSU schtick is so old. No one here cares about what they're called man. We have played them twice. Time to move on.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I don't really care what you think of it. I lived in Ohio for six years that's what I type when talking about them. Again tell me you want Harbaugh at 4 million a year to come to Blacksburg and lose to UVA 2/3 times, not improve on anything but beating Lowe teams. Or we could hire someone like Tony Elliot who could move the program up while actually paying him what Tech can afford. 2-3 million.

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Lol petty mindset I guess. Oh well you do you.

Also, I never said I wanted Harbaugh. I just want to point out his results are far better than Fuente's.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Do you call UVA "LOLUVA"? If I thought people on here would know what TTUN meant I would use that for Michigan because that's how I text and type about it with my Ohio friends.

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I do not because that's goofy too.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

just checking, because ya never know these days, but you don't honestly think that losing to UVA and losing to Ohio State are actually comparable, do you?

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

When you recruit like Michigan and have their resources YES. It is very comparable to Tech and LOLUVA. People too damn focused on the names. Michigan with the recruits he has and resources he has should have beat anOSU once in last 5 seasons.

8th,5th,22nd,8th, and 14th ranked classes and those are his results.

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Let's hire Urban Meyer then if you just want to look at beating rivals lol.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I tend to agree with you a bit here, Fireman. Harbaugh has all the resources in the world at Michigan and has been very underwhelming. I also think it's just foolish to envision him ever coming to VT. First of all, horrible fit, and frankly the guy is half nuts. Secondly, it would cost a fortune. And I don't even think he would be that great at the end of the day.

We need to think realistically as to who we could attract to VT. Throwing out Franklin, Harbaugh, and Urban Meyer is just insane. The absolute best I think we could go for is a guy like Fickell, but if he turned down MSU last year for far more than we could pay, no way in hell he's coming here. I think a coordinator at a good program (Elliot, Grantham) or a high ceiling but unproven guy (Healy, Shane) are really where we would be aiming.

Which is why the only name I threw out at the start of this thread was Elliot. I think Tech needs to get away from its roots and go in a Completely new direction.

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Elliot would be a good candidate. I'm not completely against someone with previous connections to the program or from the Beamer tree just because I think it would unify the donors and fan base somewhat and we could get back to the DNA of the program which is strong defense first and foremost. But if there are other options outside of that circle I would be ok with it. I just think we need someone either with some understanding of the school/area or who has been an assistant at a big program and at least knows the ropes of the modern recruiting game and building a top tier P5 staff. Too much high risk/high reward likelihood with the G5 route again I think.

I think it's time to cut ties to Beamer coaching tree. Not as part of history but as how we should expect the teams and staff to act and look. The Beamer tree is pretty limited in terms of people with experience, use Bud and Beamer on the PR side.

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Hiring an established coach is a new direction

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Harbaughs tenure has Michigan as the second best team in the East with winning record over penn state, a team that eats our lunch in recruiting and that our fan base had already chalked up to a loss for this season. Harbaughs results at Stanford are more impressive than Fuente at Memphis and his work at Michigan is more impressive than Fuente at VT. I understand you like the guy, but harbaughs>Fuente

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Again this isn't comparing Fuente and Harbaugh it's saying Harbaugh with the resources he has at Michigan hasn't taken the program to where it should be and why do we think he would be better than Fuente costing more money at Tech?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Harbaugh ain't coming to tech, Pawwwlllll.

Okay, now do the Buckeyes recruiting rankings in that timeframe. I'm not sure how Michigan's recruiting under Harbaugh has anything to do with the claim that Ohio St and UVA are on a comparable level of program, or that VT is to UVA what Michigan is to Ohio St. Nonsense.

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

I think Fireman isn't explaining his point as well as he could be. He's saying Michigan is getting better recruits than us, I'm pretty sure has more money than us, but loses to MSU (their UVA). They also lose to Ohio State. Plus, they lose 1 or 2 other games (3-4 per year, and not just to top ten teams, they lose to the caliber of programs we'd want/expect to beat regularly, but with better recruits than what we have now).

So let's unpack some of that. If Michigan is losing that many games per year, with better recruits, if Harbaugh came here and had a much more poorly funded recruiting budget/staff, would he be able to recruit as well, and even if he did, he's still losing 3-4 games per year with better recruits than we've had. WAY better recruits. As in, since he was hired, these are the recruiting classes he's had: 2015 - 37, 2016 -8, 2017 - 5, 2018 - 22, 2019 - 8, 2020 - 14. So 3 top-ten recruiting classes, but he's still losing 3 games per season. Those are the recruits we want but not the results we want. We want to be challenging for the ACC championship. With those recruiting classes, Harbaugh has not beaten Ohio State once. I'd hope that if we had multiple top ten recruiting classes, we could beat Clemson once. And realizing that they're in the same division as Ohio State, they'd have to beat them to be in the conference championship. But they can't get past Ohio State.

So if we did get Harbaugh, we'd hope he'd be bringing in those same type of recruiting classes (but would he really be able to with less resources?). We made it to the ACCCG in 2016 with 20-something recruiting classes, and yes, we lost, but would we be okay with having multiple top-ten recruiting classes, getting to the ACCCG every year, but losing every year. I think we'd expect to win once in 5 years with that type of recruiting class. So if we got Harbaugh, we'd have to be okay with making it to the ACCCG and good recruits, but not really anything beyond that. For a LOT more money (he gets more than $7.5M/year, good for 4th highest paid HC in college football, compared to Fuente's $4.2M), I'd hope to be splitting championships with Clemson.

Fireman did a great job of explaining his position, because I asked a specific question to clarify if he was comparing a loss to UVA to a loss of OSU and he said "yes" lol

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

Well, fair point - I missed that when I was reading through. I still don't like the idea of hiring Harbaugh for the reasons I listed.

Yeah if coaching success were to be calibrated on the SP+ system, I am not sure which one would be ranked higher. Both are likely good coaches that just haven't worked out.

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

Honestly for me Harbaugh is just like Franklin yes to Tech fans they look highly successful but when you compare their recruiting classes and resources they have and what they have done with them they have both fallen far below what they should.

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I see the downvote brigade has arrived. Please give us your total rational take on why Harbaugh and Franklin have been successful at their current schools.

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The interesting thing about Franklin and Harbaugh is that they both over achieved at lesser programs (Vandy and Stanford, respectively), but plateaued too low at their current programs.

Given that Harbaugh's refusal to modernize his offense, he's a hard no for me. I'd be interested in Franklin, but I don't think it's a culture fit.

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Harbaugh attempted to modernize his offense, that's where all the hype was coming from last year, it just didn't work out well. Mediocre QB play being the biggest resason IMO, but could certainly be a point against him in coaching talent evaluation. Both plateaus involved being a few lucky bounces from the playoffs, with sustained recruiting success, so by any measure that's not "win national championships" I'd say they are doing pretty well.

I would agree with you until this year... PSU is 0-3 and Michigan is 1-2 with a loss to a year-zero Michigan State team. I know this year is weird, but those coaches have not just plateaued, but getting worse. PSU recruiting is down as well, so Franklin is not in a good spot.

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The interesting thing about Franklin and Harbaugh is that they both over achieved at lesser programs (Vandy and Stanford, respectively), but plateaued too low at their current programs.

This is likely just reversion to the mean.

HokieSpider

Except we're looking for someone that doesn't revert to the mean. Dabo certainly hasn't. We want to hire a coach that will do more with the recruits he gets, not less.

Edit: autocorrect doesn't like Dabo's name.

Nothing would tickle me more than to squander 4and 5 star talent and knowing each year could actually be the year we do something meaningful. Hoping we identify good 3 star athletes and can coach them up is how we never beat Clemson ever again.

Recruit Prosim

Tennessee
Syracuse
Georgia Tech (3)
Clemson (2)
Mami (2)
Oklahoma St
Old Dominion
Notre Dame (2)
Boston College (2)
Pittsburgh
Cincinatti
Duke
Virginia
Kentucky
North Carolina
Wake Forest
Liberty

17 different teams, 5 repeat offenders, 2 G5s, 2 complete head scratchers, 1 major in-state rival.

Harbaugh has one extra year than Fuente does in terms of duration, and 3 fewer losses. There have been consistent losses to top-10 teams (at the time) and his "bad" losses are getting blown-out by highly ranked Ohio St. teams, and a loss against Utah St. in '15 (to a team that ended up 10-3). Fuente's performance is faaaaaar worse.

Harbaugh is dealing with the Big 10, and has perennial national title contender in the same division. Fuente has a weaker conference, with no consistent top-tier team in division. Things would be impossible to be held equal, but just for the argument lets say he had the same level of recruiting and coaching success at VT during the same time period as Fuente was coach. His teams would have been consistently cranking-out 10+ win seasons.

To clarify you think Harbaugh or anyone really is going to get multiple top 15 classes to Blacksburg?

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Not what I was trying to say, but I certainly do not believe he can do worse than our recruiting performance to date under Fuente.

All I was pointing out was 1) Fuente has more losses, 2) with less time, 3) to lesser opponents.

Given the same conference landscape that Fuente has in the ACC I think Harbaugh would have more success.

If mike London can get 5 stars to go to LOLUVA, someone can recruit talent to VT. We just gotta find that guy.

This ^

HTHokie93

I see a list of respectable P5 programs

Recruit Prosim

I mean he completely turned Stanford around, which is pretty impressive considering they're a pretty small school,, have higher academic requirement than maybe every other FBS school, and he did it in a pretty short time, including upsetting USC in his first year there.

The expectation s at Michigan were absolutely unreal for him since day one. The day of the press conference they literally called him the savior of Michigan football team. He said he wasn't. He def has not gotten the best of the rivalry but Ohio state isn't exactly a pushover. I guarantee he could win here w his recruiting.

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

What exactly are you giving that guarantee on? Just having the good recruits here? Michigan has losses to teams they should beat every year. If we are wanting to get a coach who wins the games we should and wins a few we might not expect to win, that's better. Why in the world would we pay top dollar to win 9 games a season? If you want a big name coach, get one that's going to get us at LEAST 10 wins a season, preferably 11 or more.

Khaki and Maroon is solid

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

Someone who WILL be available after this season who we should avoid at all costs is Bo Pelini. My son is an LSU grad and he has complained all season about how Pelini (currently LSU's DC) has destroyed the LSU defense in short order.

Lol I came.here to sarcastically say

"... hear me out.... Bo pelini"

I don't think he'd be good but he's got experience. LSU tanked because half the team left for NFL, not just bc Bo started coaching there

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

I think at this stage, shane would have to at least be on the list. Personally, I hate the thought of him succeeding elsewhere and also hate the thought of him failing here.

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

Penn St is freaking the eff out after starting 0-3. Maybe they'll panic, fire James Franklin, and we can pick him up.

*wakes up*

Oh, damn it. I'm back in the real world

I wish. Dude can recruit like no ones business.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Yeah but the whole coaching thing needs some work. We need someone who can do both and after watching penn state the last few years I'm not confident Franklin is that good of a coach.

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

Then you bring in bomb ass coordinator to run their units. A CEO doesn't need to be a technical expert nor a financial expert. They pay people to be those experts.

Recruit Prosim

Horse on treadmill sounding better all the time!

โค

Atta girl!

And doesn't appear to be as great on the gameday/Xs and Os part.

Guy goes to 3 NY6 bowls in 4 years and we're like "nah."

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Good point, at least PSU lost to Indiana and Maryland, and not Liberty and ODU. Let's hire him now.

They are now one of 4 p5 teams Mike Locksley has beaten! Cuse, Rutgers, Minnesota and Penn State. Add Wyoming and Colorado State for all D1 wins by Locksley.

Not sure if sarcastic? So maybe not aimed at you but for the record, both of those teams are legitimately good this year. Taulia looks like his brother slinging the ball around. Plus, Penn State is down their best pass rusher, top 3 (!) running backs and several other starters for the year. It's been a rough year so far, but if our main issues are recruiting talent and hiring good coaches, Franklin has done that.

I don't think it's premature at all. That seat has to be hot. I'll also add, in case Whit checks the boards, that as a head coach I'd lose to Liberty for a fraction of what they're paying Fuente.

Call 1 will be a blank check to Fickell
2nd call should be to Grantham
3rd call TG
4th call Healy

I love the enthusiasm, but VT isn't a place that can hand out a blank check lol. It would be almost comical for us to even try that.

Fickell turned down a blank check from MSU. TG is an interesting choice, but would be a budget hire, which no seems to be interested in.

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I disagree that Torian is a budget hire. I think he should be in legit consideration if he has head coaching aspirations. He has the experience in our program, relationships with both donors and high schools, and a coaching pedigree that's very impressive.

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

I think it was Chris Coleman on TSL that said that Torian really doesn't like recruiting. I like Torian a lot, but he would be a first time HC who has never even been a coordinator who doesn't like to recruit. That is a big risk to drop a lot of money into.

2-4 are all significant steps down from Fuente

I don't mean to be rude but you literally have no idea if this is true or not.

Don't know 100% but there is definitely a low probability.

2 and 3 would be first year head coaches, and given their track record it would be absurd to think that they would do any aspect of the job significantly better than Fuente there is just no proof.

4 has one year of FBS experience and that team isn't a winner yet. If Fuente didn't prove enough turning Memphis into a winner, this not even half as impressive. Where are his ties to other coaches, how will he recruit?

So yeah anyone that pays attention has a pretty good idea, even if we don't know for certain.

Torrian Gray would be a hell of a stock buy. I might even donate more to the Hokie Club.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Fickell jumped up my list tonight not that I think he would leave Cincinnati to come to Tech.

I know it was ECU, but watching Cincinnati tonight execute almost flawlessly in every facet of the game

QB going 24/31 for 327 yards and 3 tds,
running game combined for 299 yards and 4 tds,
defense gave up a late td drive with their third strings in, but still only allowed 17 points, three interceptions with a pick 6, only two hiccups was the kicker going 7 for 8 on extra points and some over-aggressive penalties.

I met James Franklin at Penn State back in 2014. He talked shit on my Tech shirt. My understanding is the guy has no love for VT.

Power. Five. That's all I want to hear. We went the G5 up and comer route and it didn't work. We went the FCS intern route at DC and that doesn't appear to be working seven games in. Get someone who has done it before at a similar level. That's all I care about.

And again, please don't give the job to the James Johnson of this staff, Justin Hamilton.

I'd agree fully but financial circumstances may influence if we even get a coaching change at all and if we do it'll be on the cheap side most likely.

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

What current P5 coach is going to be on the market and Tech can afford?

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And even wants to come here if we had the cash?

Oh if we had the cash, I am sure there are lots and lots of top coaches that would want to come here.

Yes, I know what you are saying and agree, just pointing out that if we could offer $8,000,000 a year to a head coach (which we can't), there are a lot of real good ones that would jump ship.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

What did James Franklin say?

Not a direct response to you, but I agree that he has made questionable in-game decisions. During the MD game today, MD was punting and it was clear that they intentionally took a delay of game 5yd penalty. As a HC, you need to decline that and not let the other team get what they want. Next thing you know, MD pinned PSU deep.

Buds not doing anything

Always wanted to see Bud get his chance, still do! Ironically the fan base wouldn't go for it when we fired Fuente and they won't go for it now. But hey, I can still dream!

He would be such an obvious choice I've been under the impression he isn't mentioned because of health issues. Heart problems were obviously a thing, but is it anything more than that? Seems like he would be the go to.

According to a friend of his that I spoke to, the health problems are serious. Unless they've been resolved there is no chance he's able to coach.

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

I would seriously think about Billy Napier. He has recruited well at ULL and is a good game day coach. Both things I think we need and are currently lacking. And I think he would be in our price range.

He is a very hot commodity. Already turned down SEC schools last cycle. Granted, they were mississippi schools so maybe we would have a chance, but he's extremely high on the list for SEC athletic directors already. He can take his time and be picky.

Which of these candidates will have a fun spring game, allow media access, smile once in while, show emotion during games, not disenfranchise most teenagers, and would generally be fun to have a beer with?

"Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.โ€ -Einstein

Uh that's Mike Young, and at this point I'd let him take a crack at football

Funny....the same thought crossed my mind......

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Shit I forgot about Mike Young. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

Don't go small time again. This is what it gets you. Get a coordinator from a popular SEC school. If we just take a flyer on another small team coach, we may as well just keep Fuente

Recruit Prosim

I actually disagree with this notion. We need to get someone who has a history of doing more with less - maybe that means recruiting great players with less resources, or scheming to do more with less talent. I do not want another saban disciple, I want someone creative.

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This is the exact wrong mindset to take. All kinds of hires work out, all kinds don't. Locking in to doing the opposite just means we're limiting our options. If we're talking about Fuente not working out, it's not because he was a G5 coach, it's because he just didn't work out. It happens. Make the best decision possible next time.

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Bingo, correlation does not imply causality. You could just as well say we shouldn't hire another coach with Oklahoma ties or a name that starts with "J" since those didn't work out this time. Also, we can't afford a proven, successful P5 coach. If he's successful at another P5 school, why would he come to VT?

I seem to remember him not showing a whole lot of loyalty last time he was in town.

He got an offer to be the OL coach for LSU, it's not like he left us to be the manager at Waffle House.

He was the OL coach at VT, who hadn't fully developed our OL yet.

So if he turned out to be a decent head coach, why wouldn't he also leave before finishing the job?

I'm not seeing how his ties to VT would be any stronger a second time.

But if Whit decided to go that direction, he'd have my full support.

So if he turned out to be a decent head coach, why wouldn't he also leave before finishing the job?

Because he got a better offer. If you're trying to become a head coach, I'm sorry but LSU is a better launching pad than Virginia Tech from an overall standpoint.

I'm more of a realist than most - we're probably never going to get another Frank Beamer again. Even if we get a guy like Shane, there's still a good chance he bolts after a few years if he A) has as much success as his dad and B) a program with greater resources than ours reaches out.

All I'm saying is that if he had some element of success at VT, he'd get "better offers" then, too.

He's got no real ties to the program, and didn't stay very long last time. For me it's a little bit of a negative, but not necessarily a showstopper.

I don't think Shane's the answer, either.

I think we need to understand that the days of coaches staying long term anywhere are pretty well in the past. I think it's naive to expect any coach to be here longer than 6 years or so. If they elevate this program to a point where other programs with more resources want to poach them away then I'm okay with that. That would mean that said coach made us good enough to warrant the interest. I like that option a lot more than being stuck with a lame duck coach for 7 years because "money"

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I don't think this is necessarily true. Basically you have to find a REALLY good coach that most likely was an alum. Or have a coach be so successful that going anywhere else is a step down. It's possible. I think there's a lot to like about Blacksburg and the surrounding area. If the coach is successful, the fans are great. Basically we want someone probably with roots nearby or isn't looking for their dream job at another school and just using Tech as a stepping stone. So, someone that wants to win, is capable of winning, and either has or is willing to put down roots in the burg.

I think our fanbase was spoiled by Frank Beamer. He basically checks off all the boxes you laid out (and, although he ultimately stayed, he did flirt with UNC). Is it possible? Yeah, sure. But as fans who have direct experience with such a coach (Beamer) I think it's really important to get it through our heads that it's not likely we're going to find another Frank. Frank was rare for his time and that sort of thing is even more rare now. I'm not denying that it can happen. But the odds are so low that we as a fanbase need to really understand that we're just not going to get another Frank Beamer in our lifetimes. I could win the lottery tomorrow. But it's not likely to happen and I understand that. That is the point I'm trying to make.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I think we should be ready for the reality that we will have a new coach every 3-6 years. Some will be excellent and make us look great only to be hired away and others will be just okay and get replaced. Just like every other school in the country. The excellent ones will probably be here less time than the others.

The average tenure for a coach in FBS is 3.8 years (or was in 2017). Frank Beamer was an anomaly at a time when the tenures were much longer than today. The chances of us catching lightning in a bottle a second time are low.

Yes, precisely. All of this.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I get that, but after the reaction to Fuente meeting with Baylor (however it went down and whatever his intentions), people seem to think we should be getting someone who is going to stay 20-30 years. I was just laying out the kind of things necessary for it to happen. And for the record, I'd really like for it to happen, just don't think it will. I had hoped that Fuente could be that guy, but it's looking more and more like he's not. I think he's put a very solid offense on the field this year, and can probably put a good offense on the field the next couple years (using the portal). But I think he's missed too much on the recruiting trail (unless this year's recruits have a LOT of diamonds in the rough and he sticks around long enough (if Whit keeps him) to develop it). And it's looking like JHam might need a couple years - it's hard to tell. The defense has had it rough this year, granted a lot of it due to COVID (Farley opting out, players not being able to practice because of all the sitting out due to testing or tracing), and probably not having the players to succeed with what they want to do - but then you get back to recruiting misses, and how much of that is due to the unproven record of the defensive coaching staff and how much is due to them not being good recruiters? But even if all of the losses this year wouldn't have happened absent COVID, Fuente was already dealing with frustration from the fans, and now with more losses, especially to programs like Liberty, it just feels like we do need someone else. I still think Fuente is capable of doing things at Tech, but it's more that he hasn't been able to adapt to things like recruiting during COVID.

The big problem with the Baylor meeting was never that Fuente was expected to stay for 20 years, it was that it happened long after the entire coaching carousel window had closed for that year. If it happened in November or December way more people would have been okay with him leaving, but when it happened we would have been forced into hiring a crappy interim coach on-staff and spending an entire year in limbo trying to set up a new coach.

You're speaking on behalf of everyone, but when people make comments like "he's got one foot out the door," that's not about timing, that's about having met with them at all. Also, people may not have liked the timing, but Fuente had zero control over when Baylor came calling, Rhule left when he did and they did their coaching search when they did. Also, if the motive was just to get resources as some believe, the timing maybe mattered as it would have given him maybe more leverage if he was going to leave during bad timing.

Also, people may not have liked the timing, but Fuente had zero control over when Baylor came calling, Rhule left when he did and they did their coaching search when they did.

So this part I agree with; I'll never fault anyone for taking an interview/job offer in an effort to improve life for them or their family.

My complaint is around how terrible it was handled from a PR perspective. There was about 48 hours between when it was reported and when Fuente 'returned to work.' Ty Sanders (new recruit at the time) was tweeting Tre asking what was going on, and Tre was said (paraphrasing) 'I have no idea.'

It was perceived as Fuente trying to leave, not getting the job, then returning with tail between his legs. Then it was followed up with an awkward tweet.

It could've been handled so much better all around.

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I mostly agree, but think the actual thing was less than 24 hours. I remember rumors that the meeting was in Texas, his wife was going, they were going to look at houses, etc. The reality was they came to Blacksburg and met with him in the afternoon and by the next morning he'd told Whit he was staying. It's difficult to respond to rumors (as a coach and university) when I'm sure Whit and Fuente probably would have preferred it not being public and them just being able to say Fuente was staying. Considering how many other names came out in the Baylor thing, I think they didn't care to make their search all that private. From there, I'm not sure where the rumor shit show started, but it got ugly FAST without any substantiation. I mean, Whit was able to arrange the deal with hiring Fuente, Fuente meeting with Bud and getting Bud to agree to stay without anybody knowing anything - maybe Fuente thought there'd be that level of discretion when he agreed to meet with Baylor?

He has control over publicly meeting with them to discuss their offer.

Recruit Prosim

He didn't meet "publicly" it was in his house. That's fairly private. Or do you mean mean something else, because Fuente didn't announce it (which is why there were so many rumors without any fact). Or do you mean even meeting with them at all, because if we start putting clauses in people's contracts that they can't meet with other prospective employers without getting fired, nobody will ever want to be our head coach.

I still think Fuente is capable of doing things at Tech, but it's more that he hasn't been able to adapt to things like recruiting during COVID.

Recruiting has trended in the wrong direction with Fuente. It's not just a one-year thing. We haven't recruited any better with him than we did before him. If recruiting had jumped up several spots each of his 4 years before COVID and then took a dip then I'd see your point. But that's just not the case. Recruiting was pretty 'meh' before COVID and hasn't gotten any better. Most of the people calling for Fuente to be fired aren't doing so because of "flash in the pan" one-time occurrences, like losing to Liberty (haha). Most of the people calling for Fuente to be fired are doing so because everything is trending in the wrong direction (except, arguably, the offense - but that's a whole other story)

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I'm not disagreeing that recruiting has been bad, but we've had some pretty good pick-ups in the portal (Herbert), and we're putting a lot of points on the board this year. I think we would be doing a lot better if we had been able to play Farley and our D had gotten to practice together more and we hadn't had so many guys (especially on D) have to sit out from COVID. So even though recruiting hasn't been good (okay, it's been bad), if Fuente can pick up the pieces he needs through the portal and could get a couple 10 win seasons together (or better), the mantra "winning fixes recruiting" may have come to pass. And even though I can't prove it, I think having Farley would be making a huge freaking difference in our games. I mean people don't like him, and they REALLY don't like Cornelson, but we are putting up a LOT of points this year. But this website has him at #7 on the hot seat rankings. Another article I saw questioned whether performance or economics would be the deciding factor on coaching changes this year (costing too much to get rid of people, especially given loss in ticket revenue).

It's hard to get to 10 wins losing to Duke, wake, liberty, uva, BC, etc, etc.

Do you think we would have lost to UNC, Wake, Miami, and Liberty if Farley were playing? And any other starters we were missing during those games, but especially Farley. None of those games was a blowout and we were missing our best (by far?) player on defense.

The more I watch our defense the more I can't help but wonder if Farley's opt out was strictly limited to COVID. He saw the writing on the wall. Just look at Waller.

But to answer your questions, I don't think he'd make that big of a difference.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

If our losses were all by one score or less, that means he might be able to make 4 plays that could affect the outcome of the games? Stopping long runs, preventing pass plays - I think he could have had a major affect on the outcomes. Plus, weren't we playing 3rd stringers/walk-ons against UNC? Plus, if you don't think it was COVID related, what do you think changed between when he decided to come back and when he opted out? Very little football related stuff happened between then, but COVID sure did.

If it helps you feel better about this team then yes he could have.

As far opting out, with some of the stuff coming out (I.e. Dax's statement today), I think he likely saw the defense would take a step back. Plus with COVID it just makes sense to not risk it.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

It is hard to believe that Farley, healthy Waller, and Hunter wouldn't have at least made a difference in a couple close games. But, it is also unreasonable to expect a team to not have attrition in some form or fashion, which is why we need better recruiting and better depth.

I also do not think Farley had some premonition about how the defense was going to be worse. My guess is that he had lingering regrets for not declaring last year and saw this season as a hopeless mess. At the time of his opt out, most people were betting that the season would be cancelled or moved to spring. Who knows for sure.

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

What was Dax's statement?

"It's always great to beat UVA, that makes us all smarter and better looking for a couple days".

The gist was that the defense mixed in some of bud's scheme

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

UNC? yes, absolutely - Mack Brown being classy is the only reason they didn't score 70 points. Wake? Yes- Unless Farley was in the game as a game breaking WR. Liberty? maybe not- Farley may have not played 20 yards of their WR with the game FG on the line- I'll give you this one. Miami? Yes Farley does not play offense.

Miami scored the game winning TD on a 30yd pass to their #1 WR. This is the only game that I believe Farley definitely affects. UNC scored the backbreaker to Dyami right before half. Maybe Farley gives us a chance by eliminating the TD. But I'm reaching on that game.. ๐Ÿ˜‚
How much does not having Payoute hurt our O? From what I've seen we don't have a WR that can take the top off a D and from what I was reading it seemed that was going to be Payoute's role. I know all of our QBs have had struggles connecting beyond 10yds.....

Re: UNC game - we were playing with a handful of walk ons in the secondary. Farley definitely has an impact there. Better coverage in the secondary = more time that the OL has to stop the pass rush = more sacks.

It's tough to quantify the butterfly effect - If Farley plays, maybe it's easier for individual players to trust their teammates, so each player can focus on their own jobs, resulting in a more stout defense that build confidence and doesn't lose to Liberty or Miami.

We'll never know Farley's true impact.

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You bring up an interesting point regarding the portal. I just don't think it's wise to rely on the portal and I definitely don't think it's sustainable. At some point Fuente has to be able to recruit kids out of high school and he just hasn't been able to. That's honestly one of the biggest reasons I can't support him being in Blacksburg any longer. The second reason being his stubborn insistence to keep Cornelson on staff when I truly believe Cornelson is dragging him down. I think our offense is decent this year in spite of Cornelson. Not because of him. And I suspect Fuente has been guiding Cornelson with a fairly heavy hand this year.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

French about to have a heartattack lol

Virginia Tech Class of 2013
Mining and Minerals Engineering

Sailing the Eastern Seas....on a ship filled with sand....

I know French hates Searles but I didn't think he had a problem with Grimes

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I thought French liked Grimes?

This is correct, I got them confused.

Virginia Tech Class of 2013
Mining and Minerals Engineering

Sailing the Eastern Seas....on a ship filled with sand....

Honestly it's a fuck no to everyone on that list except Leipold and Matt Campbell. I'd take Fickell too obviously but people are convinced we couldn't poach him from an AAC school... Harsin would be good but he'd never come. Napier not horrible either but I definitely think he's a downgrade from Fu. Everyone else on that list I'd be pretty upset with as the new hire.

Just for god's sake lets not become the new Nebraska and fire a less than mediocre coach every 4 years.

Your last comment is exactly what's going to happen.

Fuck it. I'm going hunting for a week. Life's never been less stressful since I quit caring so much about football.

I'd take Fickell too obviously but people are convinced we couldn't poach him from an AAC school..

He turned down $6m/year from michigan state.

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Maybe he didn't want to move late in the cycle to be at a program trending down in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Indiana

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

Or something else. People turn down jobs for other reasons besides money. Maybe the MSU AD is an ass?

Any coach that can walk the walk after talking the talk. Dude just pulled a stunt to get the football team a raise and now looks like a complete clown. Hopefully the donors who pledged money for resources change their mind and pony it up for a buy out.

Records are one thing, but increasingly, you need a head coach who is a charmer and not an X's and O's wonk. Both is better, but if I had to pick one, I want the charismatic guy who relates to recruits and has a vision that makes people want to run through walls for him.

This was what makes Dabo great and I think it's why Fuente is capped. Dabo was in real estate before he came to football and folks who knew him there thought he was going to be massively successful. We don't need a coach who can sell houses, but charm is charm and really likable people just have a special something. Fuente has his fans, but I think it takes time to warm to him and that's hard to compensate for through assistant coaches - you need to know the big man is special to go play for a school. As a recruit, you just don't get enough reps in recruiting for a 'warm-up-to-him' guy to win you over. I think our recruiting results reflect that.

Beamer had it for sure. He was a legend and a father figure to the guys that played for him. We need to get that back, so find me a winning coach, but then the interviews better surface someone who is winning because they are wildly motivating, not simply because they can draw up plays better than other FCS competition or non-P5 conference teams. Charm will determine whether they can make the leap to the big boys by backing up on-field strengths with great recruiting.

To all saying Matt Campbell - no. no, no, no, please God no! I've lost almost all interest in almost all sports. There are only 2 teams I pay attention to in a positive way. Fuente has just about killed/crossed VT off the list. VT hiring Campbell away from Iowa State and killing the one other team in the entire world I still actively pay attention to a root for would be the ultimate VT or year 2020 thing to do, so it will probably happen.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

The one thing I do know about Whit - there's no way he fires Fuente unless he already has a new coach already lined up.

Regardless of what happens, the one thing that amuses me the most right now is this notion some are throwing around that we are being completely unreasonable for wanting Fuente gone. There are very, very few schools who would keep around a coach who had the quantity of outright bad or unacceptable losses over the past 26 months that Fuente does. Especially when you have no big statement wins over that span to counteract. And add in things like the SI article and the comments that Farley made on the way out, and the vast majority of schools out there would pull the plug and go with an interim coach the rest of the way.

Justin Fuente is actively harming the Virginia Tech brand at this point. Every week he continues to be here erodes the trust that the majority of fans and boosters have in the decision making process at the top of the program. The absolute bungling by Fuente at the end of the game that directly led to us losing to Liberty 2 weeks after losing to Wake, a season after snapping a 15 year winning streak against UVa, which happened a month after getting shit housed by Duke in Lane Stadium, which happened a season after losing to Old Dominion? Yeah that moment should have been the final straw.

I'm not going to lie, if Fuente is still the coach on Monday morning, I'll be incredibly disappointed in Whit Babcock. It's time to pull the plug. There is no salvaging the Fuente Era anymore. Keeping him on staff only delays the inevitable, and a lame duck head coach can do a lot of damage before he's dismissed.

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

I'm not going to lie, if Fuente is still the coach on Monday morning, I'll be incredibly disappointed in Whit Babcock.

Pretty confident you're going to be disappointed, sadly.

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city.

I honestly would bet a decent amount of money on Fuente remaining coach for another full season. I don't think there is any realistic way to fire him.

Get Angry, Bud!

if Fuente is still the coach on Monday morning, I'll be incredibly disappointed in Whit Babcock.

Hard disagree. Start the search today. Find a coach and agree in principle on a contract. Wait until 12/16, which this year is very near the start of the carousel season, and fire Fuente then, saving $2.5 million. "Sending a message" is not worth all that cash.

His buyout drops by 2.5 million in about a month....I'd suggest you be prepared to be disappointed

Why don't we move JF to OC, fire corn, and hire a new head coach? If JF doesn't like the demotion he can quit. Buyout problem solved. Not sure we can do this contractually but it could be an option

Because then you have to convince a new coach to come on and not bring his guys with him.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Fuente's days are numbered. I will be upset to see Vice and Teerlink go as it seems we are finally starting to see some progress on the lines. Hard to judge Hamilton, Claeys, and Lechty so far, but CornFu is dead to me.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

This may be the best offense we've had since 2010 though. Definitely a more complete unit than 2016 even though we don't have as many good skill players. The defense is losing us games right now.

I'm not so much concerned about this season as I am the upcoming seasons. Teams can win the Coastal with the 4th best recruits in the ACC and decent coaching. We cannot win the coastal with back-to-back 11th best classes in the conference.

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The 2020 class was bad, but I'm not sure 2021 is in the same boat. DJ Harvey, Kenji Christian, J Stro, and Jaylen Jones will all likely be really good players. The OL and DE class looks to be pretty good and athletes like Keli Lawson and Isi Etute have a lot of potential at LB.

It could have been a lot better, but the 21 class going player by player isn't really bottom of the league status, and a lot of these guys could become good contributors.

I can't wrap my head around this sentiment. The 2021 class is a FULL (large) recruiting class ranked 41st nationally by an aggregate system (which favors more numbers) with an ACC bottom tier average of .8529 compromised entirely of reach and development talent and not a single blue-chip player. It's bad, unless you consider 6- and 7-win talent good.

Oof. I don't follow recruiting that closely but I went and took a look after reading this and it...is...bad. It's a direct result of the past 2-3 years of mediocrity and getting pushed around in our state.

Now that we have a good deal of data to work with, do you think this staff has failed by being bad recruiters or we just sank back to a place that was previously propped up by a pair of hall of fame coaches?

I ask because I remember in the heyday, fans were screaming about Beamer not being able to get over the hump. Recruiting disadvantages were argued about routinely and ultimately dismissed as fans thought Beamer just didnt have what it takes to step up into the big leagues. Fuente was brought in and suddenly there was an expectation not only that we wouldnt have a drop off but that he would elevate the program. That was probably a laughable expectation in hindsight. I guess through all this rambling my point is that my biggest fear is that Beamer was actually batting well above his weight class and now, without luck, we are seeing the new expected outcome.

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

I think its likely some of both. Fu has not shown that he is interested in recruiting by his coaching hires. VT is not a school that sells well to the highest-level recruits (as has been shown multiple times over 2 coaching staffs). I think a high-level recruiter could increase our recruiting to around a top 25 class, but not much further. I don't think VT is ever going to recruit in the top 10, or even consistently in the top 15. However, recruiting in the top 25 will get you occasional 10 win seasons (maybe 1 every 3-4 years) and likely no worse than 7-8 win seasons. That is a respectable place to be for most football programs. I would be really happy with that.

Get Angry, Bud!

Now that we have a good deal of data to work with, do you think this staff has failed by being bad recruiters or we just sank back to a place that was previously propped up by a pair of hall of fame coaches?

I think it's more about the college football landscape than anything else.

There are a lot of people (including Bud Elliott) who think VT is basically NC State, but happened to capitalize on (1) market inefficiencies that no longer exist, and (2) a down ACC/mid-Atlantic (eg, PSU, MD, UVA, etc all being down).

Whatever the case, the level of our conference and geographic rivals (on the field and in recruiting) is increasing. Clemson/PSU can take any recruit from PA to SC. UNC is picking up some talented leftovers (and stealing some players who are much better than leftovers). GT is about to start getting top 25 recruiting classes each year. GA and SCar are going to further pinch NC/SC.

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Truth. Facts. Love it. The 2021 class is squarely mediocre at best. Just because hokie fans think a kid can be a stud in 3 years, doesn't make the class stack up against the better teams in the ACC.

Another reason it will be hard to get a coach to come here. Fuente double fucked us

Recruit Prosim

This may be the best offense we've had since 2000 though.

FTFY.

Though, it's also easily our 2nd worst defense since at least 1992, and probably well before that, only a little better than the 2018 squad. And that is going to make for a highly volatile season.

Though, it's also easily our 2nd worst defense since at least 1992, and probably well before that, only a little better than the 2018 squad.

SP+ has our defense at 39th, and that includes the liberty game. in 2018, our defense finished 77th overall. In 2010, our defense was 31st. This defense isn't terrible, but it is below standards for Virginia Tech. Frankly, this is the level of defense I was expecting during a scheme change in COVID.

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I'm fairly certain that 39th place ranking still includes a lot of preseason projection. If we don't improve over the rest of the season, I expect we'll finish well outside the top 50 again.

Going off memory, I believe preseason projection is removed after the 6th game for each team. But I need to confirm.

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Connelly made a change a few years back, making it so that the influence of the preseason projections drop off a bit after each game is played, but they are still included in every release except the final one, after bowls are played.

Sure, but at least one quarter of every game seems to be a throw away to "set up" some plays and another quarter seems to be spent trying to figure out the other teams adjustments. Corny does fine when he has all kinds of time to get a game plan together but short weeks an in-game is always a mess. This year he has been able to lean on the OL and run game, but the times that has struggled he hasn't been able to put together a passing game to get anything going this with players 3-4 years in the system. This is why I give Vice more credit than Corny.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

The list of awful losses is bad, and even while Beamer had his later year losses, fans supported him because of his legacy of equally great seasons. Fuente doesn't have that legacy here, clearly, so I agree it's time to cut the cord.

Sadly, Fuente could have been a successful coach here, but it didn't break right. It would not surprise me if he resurfaces at another program in several years as a successful head coach. That said, he's in a hole here and I don't see him digging himself out. Good recruiting classes might point to a stronger future than we see today if we had them, but the trend line there is in the wrong direction. At best, we're hoping for a heavy crop of seniors to bail him out next year or the year after, with not much hope after that.

The problem with playing a waiting game to reduce the buyout is everyone can see the writing on the wall, including recruits and coaches. I'm a fan of take the heat and cut the cord on Dec 19. Hopefully, Whit is starting the search even now.

A couple of things...

1. Hard no on Grantham. Period.

2. I like the Shane Beamer thought. We could afford him. I love his energy. Players love him. And whatever issues he had with Va. high school coaches I'm sure could be mended (maybe).

3. Some dude on TSL supposedly knows one of the largest donors at Virginia Tech and is in regular communication with some of the higher ups at the university (I have no idea if its valid). He said that those donors and those higher ups are in no way interested in parting ways with Fuente - Not today - not tomorrow - not next season. There are other, more important things everyone is concerned about (just the messenger here on this one) right now. And as long as Fuente and Co. are not a public embarrassment to the institution they are fine.

Is coronavirus over yet?

If that's truly the mindset of the donors and admin, my Hokie Club donation will be gone and they never get another dime from me. What the hell other more important things athletically do we have to worry about other than the success of the football program? This school just seems clueless to me at this point.

Guess we will see what the mind set of the donors are. On the free side over at 24/7 Mehul posted he has a meeting/presentation with some large donors this week and is now nervous about it with the timing of the loss to the power house that is Liberty.

Totally agree. If this is acceptable to the big donors, why would I waste my money? This makes me want to never donate again, and unfortunately if that mindset sets in for our fanbase (if it hasn't already), then we're going to be the laughingstock of P5 football for the foreseeable future.

Regarding Shane, we can't recruit the state now so nothing to lose there

Did the TSL guy clarify if the big time donor mindset is more along the lines of "eh, it's not worth firing Fuente" or "we really like this guy"? If it is the latter, then they need to pony up and support Fuente with more $.

With more money, he either raises the tide or he sinks the boat faster (8-5 seasons and losing to "lesser opponents" is considered to be sinking the boat in my view).

I should add that if the big money comes in and we see some encouraging results, I'm much more inclined to open my wallet. Tech has a lot of alumni that are somewhat well-off, something has to spark the keg.

It came across as more like, "the football team isn't the most important thing here. Mediocrity is OK so long as the coach isn't embarrassing the institution."

Is coronavirus over yet?

I really have to wonder what the most important thing with VT Athletics is if it isn't the football program. That statement honestly infuriates me. And I would argue losing to an in-state school just a few years removed from being FCS with no history of football success is pretty embarrassing to the institution.

Again... from a guy on a message board who claims to know one of the biggest donors. Time will tell if he is accurate or not.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Most of the VT alums I know are big football fans and I'm sure that applies to most other alums as well.

Somebody or a group of somebodies (unfortunately I'm not the kind of personality) needs to start a VT movement that gets our alum base to fight for VT football. I'm sure the VT AD is already trying, but its not enough. I don't recall being approached individually about donations.

This is where it would be nice to have much more visibility in to the planning for the department. A strategic roadmap of what they want to accomplish and the activities that will drive those accomplishments. If there is a plan I would like to see it.

I've gone to plenty of non-sports discussions in the wake of yesterday's loss, and I still can't escape people mentioning that VT lost to Liberty. It was that bad and infamous, in the wide world of things.

We keep CJF around much longer, and I wonder if VT Football will ever be enjoyable again?

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

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

Romanes Eunt Domus

You need another trip to Chucktown to get your mind off things...

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

Maybe Miami, this time around. Binging on Boats n Hoes.

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

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

Romanes Eunt Domus

I hear Uncle Rico is ready to get back in the game

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

Haven't read any of the comments yet, but Bill Bedenbaugh, OL coach at Oklahoma and one of the best recruiters in the country. This would be in the Sam Pittman mold.

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

Is there anyone in the NFL, maybe at the coordinator level, that we see as potentially that being a move for?

Eric Bieniemy

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

He's going to get an NFL head coaching job this offseason or the next.

James Franklin might be looking for a new job soon. At least we know he can recruit in VA.

If Fuente does get fired can we at least keep Vice??

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

I saw this article earlier and have seen a few similar sentiments. My thought is, what is that realistically going to fix at this point? It all starts at the top. As frustrating and inconsistent as our offense is, it's still the best we have had since 2016. I keep seeing some people saying we need to can Corny as the sacrificial lamb of sorts. One, if Fu hasn't let him go by now, he never will. Second, it literally solves nothing and just smacks of desperation. Third, we just revamped the staff on one entire side of the ball - what gives anyone the confidence that Fu could even bring in better people than we have now? Kill basically told Fu he needed to replace Corny and he refused. If he won't listen to Kill, he won't listen to anyone. Any hopes and winning and recruiting at a remotely high level are done at VT until a new staff is onboard. Any thoughts to the contrary are delaying the inevitable.

Kill basically told Fu he needed to replace Corny and he refused.

Is there any truth to this?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

It's been strongly hinted at by insiders that he told him Corn was dead weight and he needed to replace him, along with ZB. There's been enough smoke on that from several places, combined with the alleged near brawl story, that it seems like there's at least some truth to it.

Thanks for the insight.

alleged near brawl story

What is this?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Somebody on here told a version of it, can't remember who. But essentially Kill was breaking down film with Corn and some other coaches and he told them he had no idea what he was doing. Tempers flared and everyone broke for dinner. Kill went his separate way and when they returned there was almost a confrontation.

For what it's worth, I've heard rumors that Fuente wanted to replace Corny this offseason but didn't have the funding.

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I keep hearing this but the logic doesn't add up when our entire on field staff payroll dropped because of the defensive side. Unless all that money went to support staff.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Or unless the school brought in less revenue than the previous year.

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It solves two obvious problems for me:

1. Getting rid of a playcaller with absolutely zero strategic awareness
2. Anything and I mean ANYTHING Corny's replacement could offer in Recruiting would be an improvement. Even if his only responsibility was licking envelope seals he would still be contributing 100% more than Corny has to any of our recruiting efforts

Corny is dead weight. Shibest isn't much better.

We can moan and complain about VT not having enough resources or money devoted to football, but when your head coach keeps guys on his staff that don't make you better, the problem begins with the HC.

It's fairly normal these days for the head coach to do what he's really good at. Fuente should be running the offense and calling plays. Reallocate Corny's salary towards the "recruiting budget."

Fuente can go a long way in helping himself out here.

BTW, that isn't a referendum on the offense in general, but Corny specifically.

Is coronavirus over yet?

What if we promoted Vice? Obviously the man can recruit, look at our line. I have no clue his play calling ability, but he's got to have some. Also the man is probably the best culture fit in Blacksburg since bud. I'm willing to give him a chance at OC at least

He said give to me Roscoe

I'd rather throw money at Jeff Grimes to be the OC, he was a great OL coach, can definitely recruit and is doing pretty well calling plays at BYU. He was only here for a year, but atleast there are some ties to BBurg

Can he recruit? He did great at LSU and Auburn, but who doesn't? Looking at 247, he hasn't landed a single recruit in VA, NC, or MD. Recruiting at BYU is a completely different animal, so you can't really judge him on his performance there.

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I guess thats fair, but no one else on our offensive staff, at least I don't think, has any experience at blue blood programs. That could be valuable in and of it self, but I guess there's no hard science really behind X coach working at Y program.

We haven't really recruited well in VA, NC or MD recently have we? Having Grimes' ties to recruiting Texas and other parts of the country probably counts for something. But idk, I'm just throwing out ideas and playing fantasy AD. I guess at the end of the day I think we can do better than Corny, but I think he and Fu are a package deal unfortunately

The problem is loss of confidence by the fan base. No assistant coach will fix that. Defense is the problem at the moment but I do not think it has as much to do with coaching as talent, which was brought on by mistakes on the recruiting trail for years. There is no easy fix. It will take time and the worst has yet to come. I hope we are ready to live like the other half of college football for a while.

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

I hope we are ready to live like the other half of college football for a while.

Some of us are already on the way there. I'm basically numb to the dumb losses now. And I know I'm not the only one. We're kidding ourselves if we think those dumb losses are going to get any fewer and further between. They're going to become so normal that they won't be dumb losses anymore. They'll be expected. We're only about two years away from that. In my estimation Fuente will still be on staff when that time comes. If Whit doesn't make some major changes (whether that's hiring a new coach or giving Fuente what he needs to hire necessary support staff) I think we're headed for Uva levels of suck in the next 5 years. And I don't think Whit will make those changes. So buckle up folks. We're about to become little brother for the first time in over 2 decades. The sting will hurt.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

The whole thing with Kill coming here, the ship being righted and suddenly he bailed just struck me as strange. You come in as Superman saving the planet, the players love you to death, and at the end of the season you pack and leave? Why? I didn't like it that he left, wanted him to stay. Would love to know the real backstory but also afraid of what it might have been at this point. But bottom line on Kill, it worked once and Houston, we have a problem.
Edit: gotta love TKP...backstory posted before I got my comment in.
Edit #2: Having read all that, my opinion of Kill just keeps rising. I believe we have found our one man head coach search committee. "Coach Kill, your mission should you choose to accept it, it to find the next head coach for Virginia Tech. Choose wisely as you will be an assistant coach. We would like to keep Vice Tapp Lechtenberg and anyone else you recommend if that should be workable. You must report back before December 16th. This message will self destruct after you have listened to it"

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

Kill isn't some saviour. The side he supposedly improved (he didn't) is the side putting up record numbers with a legitimate running threat. Don't believe the rumors.

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

LOL...this is a laughable take.

Is Kill some savant or savior? probably not. Did he help our coaches get better? I think you can absolutely make that argument. To say he didn't help the offense improve (it did) is just ridiculous. But as evidenced by Herbert being out on Saturday, maybe Herbert improved this offense more than anyone else. Without him in the game we pretty much had to rely on Hooker playing hero-ball. And it almost worked. But the coaches managed to get in the way and f*** it all up. This offense is good. But offenses all over the country are having a great year this year. COVID seems to have had more of an impact on defenses this season. So take this year's offensive performances with a grain of salt. Even with the improvements this offense is still inconsistent and unreliable. It really only looks great when Herbert and Hooker both play well. If you take those two guys off the field this offense is butts. That's not a good sign. These coaches shouldn't be relying on two phenomenal talents for this offense to go. There doesn't appear to be any real development outside of the OLine. That's not good.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Is Kill some savant or savior? probably not

How is it laughable if you agree? I hope Kill improved some things or else it was a waste of resources. Did the coincidental drastic team improvement result directly from Kill, hell no. The praise some folks want to give him should result in him wearing a cape.

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

The side he supposedly improved (he didn't) is the side putting up record numbers

It's laughable because you're suggesting Kill had no hand in helping our offense get better. It's pretty clear that the offense improved when he was here. He was brought in to help the offense. The offense immediately improved. There's no way of knowing what really happened behind closed doors but it's pretty fair and reasonable to assume that Kill did help the offense get better. The offense did improve. You have to at least agree to that, right?

It's also laughable because you're implying that our offense is some record-breaking machine unlike anything we've ever seen. Granted, they have improved this year relative to recent years but it's not hard to break records these days. The game is evolving in a way that favors the offense. You're seeing teams all over the country have offensive booms. Offense is in at the moment. It's also not that surprising because VT was so far behind the trend with offense that it was never going to be terribly difficult to make VT's specific offense a lot better.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I mean, even considering the boom across the country, our boom is bigger since we're all the way up in the top 10 in offensive SP+ and #16 in offensive FEI, both of which would probably be at their highest point since 2000 if they were to calculate such things for past seasons.

But, yes, it is laughable to claim that Kill had no influence over our offensive improvements, even if he isn't still in the coaching room today. He was brought in to help lead the offensive staff in the right direction, and by all accounts it sounds like he did exactly that.

He was credited mostly with improving the running game. One very essential thing happened to improve the running game last year, Willis was removed from behind center. This year, specifically in the running game, we have looked even better with a legitimate running back in Herbert. Again, I am not slamming Kill. But Nick Saban couldn't have single handedly made some of the improvements people were crediting Kill for.

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

I'm not the people you're talking about. I think Kill helped the offense. I don't think he wears a cape (or should)

I do think that our coaches are failing to do their jobs adequately. I like Fuente. Seems like a nice enough guy. I don't like how he has performed at his job. I don't think Cornelson is doing him any favors. I feel for the defensive staff because they've been dealt a pretty piss-poor hand and they're doing what they can with what they've got. It's ugly and our defense is pretty bad but it's hard to really blame them. They're still not getting the job done, though. Special teams is average. Shibest is probably a fine coach but he's not worth what he's getting paid IMO.

And none of that even touches recruiting and fan engagement. Those two things are critically important for the success of the VT program and these coaches are absolutely awful at both.

We can argue all day and night about whether we should blame the offense or the defense for any given loss. But the fact of the matter is that we're losing lots of games that we shouldn't be losing. That is squarely on the coaches. They need to be changed. Full stop.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

That article seemed to be a somewhat plausible path forward, but based on some of the other responses, it seems like there were issues with this approach the first time that Whit tried it and unless he and Fu come to an understanding, it will likely have the same outcome the second time around. The other problem that Whit will have to deal with is...the buyout. What's to stop Fuente from telling Whit to shove it up his ass and he'll run the program like he wants and if Whit/VT AD doesn't like it they can buy him out? I run into the same thing everyday dealing with subcontractors on my project site. It's a delicate dance between directing and managing and I don't envy Whit's position over the next month or two.

Yeah, I'm gonna say it.

Rich Rodriguez.

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

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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I look forward to this every time. Thanks.

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

You should use that Hologram this time around.

I wish my workplace wanted me gone so bad they'd pay me $12.5 million to leave.

I could easily get onboard with being fired in style like that.

A CFB coach, every time they get fired:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Mark Richt?

Go Hokies!

(add if applicable) /s

Great movie!

I am definitely missing something though. What sort of baggage does he have? Other than being tied to Miami. I'm not in the know.

Go Hokies!

I mean... have you watched a single ACCN broadcast this season? Dude is totally checked out at this point.

that is what I was thinking as well. He didn't have the energy at Miami, and he looks out of it every time he's on the air. Its like he's constantly being woken up from a nap and told "OK, you're on in 5, 4, 3..."

I'm told by everyone who's met him that he's a really nice guy. I assume he's enjoying retirement and probably not as jazzed about being an ACCN commentator as some of the younger guys on the network.

As far as him being the head coach in Blacksburg: that's a no for me.

Don't forget he also had a heart attack. I'd be the same way. He's def not coaching again

Hokie Club member since 2017

Is coronavirus over yet?

KILL IT WITH FIRE

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

With our budget? Bryan Steinspring

I'd rather keep JF or offer to a GA at Clemson. Just hearing Stinespring's name can upset my stomach.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

Less of a real suggestion and more of a commentary on VT's football coach budget

Got it. Thanks for the clarification - and the laugh of 100th or worse ranked offenses of days gone by. Can you imagine what VT could have been if we had even an average offense in those years?

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I spent years saying exactly that. A mediocre offense would've made us a great team.

Hard, smart, tough.

Don't just walk in here, with a semi-plausible possibility that may actually work, if only because he wouldn't be an OC.

For starters, he won't have Beamer to over rule him and go conservative on big time decisions. The players loved playing for him, and he could recruit. He can focus on what he's good at, and let the rest of it go from there.

Not saying, just saying.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

The question is, can he STILL recruit? He's been doing his FCS world tour and hasn't had to recruit against the "big dogs" in a while. And I'd say the recruiting and social media climate has changed significantly since his time at VT (even without the pandemic)

Stiney could actually work if we went worth the Clemson model. Stiney is personable and a great recruiter but horrible OC. Surround him with a good OC and DC and support staff I bet he would fare well better Fu has.

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

I think Whit could sell this to fans if Stiney had stayed in the Power 5. But since leaving VT he's been at JMU, UMD, ODU, and Delaware. That's a tough sell to fans - you'd have to hire Mike Vick as QB coach to sell that one (and no, that's not remotely realistic).

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You can talk to any recruit and the family, kids we landed and kids we lost, and the overwhelming majority say they absolutely loved Stiney. He's a home run recruiter, and amazing OL and TE coach, and a horrible OC.

It would certainly be a HUGE gamble, but if he could build a staff, and I'm convinced we could start getting talent back to Blacksburg, VT could certainly benefit.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Shocked I had to scroll this far down before someone said it. Thanks for restoring my faith in the power of humor.

Dave Clawson. Not sure if he'd come, but he has a great eye for talent, he does a great job developing his players, and he rarely gets out coached.

I think he could identify and recruit VT type players (mid to upper 3* kids with a few blue chippers sprinkled in) and develop those guys.

Is coronavirus over yet?

This is going to be the peak of our recruiting and I think we can win with this model if you are capable of developing your players to be contributors when they are juniors and seniors.

I agree with this comment but it's sad that this is what VT recruiting is now. If you look back to 20162018-- 7 of our 23 enrollees were 4* recruits. That was the promise of Fuente...the future was bright. I think Fuente could definitely do a lot more if we had a bigger recruiting budget but even at the current $ he is underperforming as the classes just keep getting worse from an immediate difference maker perspective.

Edit: Fixed year

Hokie Club member since 2017

And let's take a look at those 4 stars, shall we?

Devon Hunter- Never made an impact and won't play at VT again. Bud didn't coach him up or find a spot for him, and Fu couldn't keep him from being arrested and charged with a felony

Nation Proctor- Never contributed, gone from VT

Dylan Rivers- Special teams player prior to nagging injuries. Wasn't going to unseat Rayshard Ashby

Ty Garbutt- Up and down- did become a starter his Jr. year. Left the team earlier this year for personal reasons, is back now. Decent ACC DE.

Hendon Hooker- Starting QB. Lived up to and was coached into his ranking. Good job here.

Dax Hollifield- Backup MLB 3 years into the program.

Tre Turner- better than average ACC receiver- can't call this a miss. Good Job here

Quincy Patterson- 3rd year in the program, 3rd string QB

Jeremey Webb- never contributed, critical injuries

Alan Tisdale- contributor

James Mitchell- one of the better tight ends/WRs in the ACC- great job here.

That's not a great hit %.... it's just not.

One correction:

Quincy Patterson- 3rd year in the program, 2nd string QB behind another (older and more experienced) 4*

As I see it, there are 4 complete busts (2 purely due to injuries) out of the 11 players you mentioned. 3 more have come up slightly short of expectations but are still key contributors on the team. And the other 4? One is a sure bet for inclusion on the all-ACC lists this year, and the other 3 have potential to do the same, if not this year then probably next.

I'm not an expert, but those sound like perfectly reasonable numbers to me, especially considering that they're all in their 3rd or 4th years with time left to grow, even without COVID making this year not count towards eligibility clocks.

I think the hit rate is fine, but the quantity needs to increase. Which is why these last two classes is/are so devistating.

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That much is absolutely true.

I think the hit rate on 4* is an interesting thing to look at but the bigger problem is that in 2020 and 2021 we have a hit rate sample size of N=1 to look at lol

Hokie Club member since 2017

I would say that Tre Turner has not lived up to his 4* billing. It could be because of nagging injuries, it could be because of a lack of creative passing attack, it could be because of the QB situation (HH isn't a traditional passing QB)... who knows. But Tre's production hasn't panned out in quite the way a 4* WR's production should pan out.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I agree and I think it is a little bit of all of those things. I think Tre would make an excellent number 2 receiver. I thought we were going to sorely miss Hazelton too but he isn't exactly lighting things up either. It would definitely help if we had a little more traditional passing attack but I don't know if Hooker would be up for it.

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

Fu couldn't keep him from being arrested and charged with a felony

It is unrealistic to think a head coach can control an adult's actions 100% of the time. Hunter being arrested is not on Fuente.

Clawson is one of those coaches that makes sense on paper, but doesn't get the fan base excited.

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OK... hear me out on this:

VT should hire...

Steve Bannon and Roger Stone to run the football program.

They would take over TKP, TSL, and all the internal Hokie football media to create an alternate reality for VT fans whereby VT wins the championship every year, and if they don't it's because the other team cheated and the refs stole the game (which is what we already want to believe anyway).

Who cares who the coach is? Or what actually happens on the field? Or if a game was even played?

Fans would be galvanized and rabid. Donations would quintuple. Hokie football would be the greatest brand ever. They'd win so much, fans would get sick of winning and say "No more winning. Please. It's too much winning."

**Added bonus: Steve's an alum so we'd get to hire someone already familiar with the culture and the program but who also has a proven track record elsewhere.

Hot take.

Go Hokies!

I found this funny, but may be a CG issue....

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

It's blatantly a CG issue

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Ditto... i see the humor, but it crossed the community guidelines.

Please don't. Thanks!

Thank you for actively getting downvoted into oblivion so I could chuckle at this.

But yeah, I agree that is is very much against CG.

False premise. Somebody had to hire Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, and Lincoln Riley for their first job. There could be a G5 coordinator out there that is a brilliant head coaching mind that would have VT competing with Clemson in 4 years. You don't know. Re-treads often DON'T work out, in fact. The real honest question is that can VT hire a head football coach that can beat Liberty, ODU and Kentucky - when they didn't have a real QB on the active roster? The answer to that is unequivocally, yes. Nobody expects multiple national championships or top 5 recruiting classes. What realistic VT fans DO expect is to not lose to G5 in state schools in embarrassing fashion and having more than one competent RB that can play in games. VT fans do expect an ACC level defensive line. The answer to those questions is : many coaches out there that can do better.

I don't always agree with dcwilson40 but when I do it's because they are absolutely correct.

And dc is clearly right here. VT can do better than Fuente. We don't have to get the next Dabo to do better than Fuente. Our fans want to compete for the ACC and, in really good years, maybe once or twice a decade, sneak into the playoff. We've gotten further and further from that in the last 3 years. We're not looking for a coach who will win 3 National Championships in 10 years. We're looking for a coach who can recruit with the rest of the ACC and get the most out of the players every weekend. A coach who can consistently beat the weaker teams on the schedule. Losing to a bad team once or twice a decade is forgivable. Losing to 5 inferior teams in 5 years is not. There are dozens of coaches out there that VT can afford who would do a better job than Fuente.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

VT will never sneak into the playoff - let's be realistic. You can compete for the coastal - but it would take Mike Vick like lightning in a bottle to make the playoff. Don't make it an expectation. That's the fundamental problem here - we think we should be competing for the playoff - we are not on that plane and never will be unless the playoff expands to 16 teams.

1 this is super defeatist. 2 in 2016 we were relatively close to beating Clemson in the ACC CG which would have gotten us to the playoff so it's not as unreasonable to think Tech could sneak in than you think. I definitely don't think we'll ever sniff the playoff with Fuente or if he's not fired after this season. But there's still enough opportunity right now for the right guy to come in, recruit well, build a competent staff, have the ball bounce the right way on a special night in the acccg and sneak into the playoffs. But the real expectation for this program is that we're even competing for ACC titles. We're not even close right now. Fuente must go.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

2 in 2016 we were relatively close to beating Clemson in the ACC CG which would have gotten us to the playoff so

Not even close to true.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Yeah we would have had to win the three games we lost before that. All of which were extremely winnable. Should've been a warning sign about the Fuente tenure

Being realistic doesn't make it defeatist...

I can say with good certainty, with a 4 team playoff: VT will never win a NCAA Football Championship, will probably never be in the CFB Playoff, and our program goal is to win the division and play in/win win the ACCCG.

If the playoff is moved to 16... I still don't think we would ever win it, we may win a game or two at most.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

our program goal is to win the division and play in/win win the ACCCG

Agreed. And with Fuente we're not even close to that right now. Beamer had us there, though, and I believe with the right coach VT can be back to competing for ACC titles... I think it is absolutely fair and reasonable to expect VT to contend for conference titles.

That being said....

I can say with good certainty, with a 4 team playoff: VT will never win a NCAA Football Championship

I never said that fans should expect to win the whole damn thing but I do think it is reasonable to get into the Playoff with a really good year. If we win 10 to 12 regular season games and win the ACC CG (which Beamer proved we could do) that should be enough to land us a spot in the Playoff.

If you think a reasonable program goal is to play in and occasionally win the ACCCG then you're essentially saying that the program goal is to compete for the ACCCG and occasionally sneak into the playoff. The ACC Champion has been in the 4 team more often than not.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

If we win 10 to 12 regular season games and win the ACC CG (which Beamer proved we could do) that should be enough to land us a spot in the Playoff.

The program has never won more than 11 games in a single season, so I'd say 12 regular season wins would require us to break our glass ceiling. To that end, only one team to make the playoff had less than 12 wins (2015 OU at 11-1 b/c the B12 didn't play a championship game), and there's never been a 2 loss of playoff team.

If you think a reasonable program goal is to play in and occasionally win the ACCCG then you're essentially saying that the program goal is to compete for the ACCCG and occasionally sneak into the playoff.

Not really - each year at least one conference champion is left out of the playoff.

TL;DR - For now, let's shoot for winning ACC. We can readjust expectations after we get back to that level.

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This is such BS reasoning

Clemson has demonstrated that if you win the ACC, even with a regular season loss, you can get into the playoff. I just don't understand how people can look at that and then say that the goal of this program is to compete for and occasionally win ACC championships but that we couldn't sniff the playoff. Like, what kind of mental gymnastics are you doing to reach those conclusions.

Look, I'm not saying that VT should be expected to get into the playoff every year. But I think VT is a program that can be reasonably expected to contend for ACC championships. And part of the deal with winning the conference is that you get a shot at the playoff. If VT goes 11-1 and wins the ACCCG they probably get in. It's not that far-fetched!

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Clemson has demonstrated that if you win the ACC, even with a regular season loss

I'm just saying that losing one game or less is a lot harder than winning the conference, and that's what will ultimately keep us out of the playoff. 1999 and 2000 were the only seasons we entered bowl season with 1 loss or less. In 2005 and 2011 we entered the ACCCG with one loss - both times we loss in the ACCCG.

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In 2005 and 2011 we entered the ACCCG with one loss - both times we loss in the ACCCG.

Win one of those, and we're likely in. What's your point? I'm not expecting VT to be in the playoff every year or even once every 5 years. But I think if this program is expected to be competing for ACC titles then it will be in position at least once a decade, with a great season, to get a shot at the playoff. Everyone seems to think it's equivalent to colonizing Jupiter. It really isn't that far out of the question.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Clemson is worlds above us... We only competed and won ACC Championships cuz our division has been trash for 10 years and we got lucky the Atlantic was just as bad mid to late 2000s into early 2010s.

Clemson dismantles everyone they play essentially, so to lose one close away game for them, they're given much more slack than a team like VT who used to win the non conference games easily but never really separated themselves from the in-conference teams.

If we ever win the ACC again, it'll probably be a 2 or 3 loss team getting lucky in the ACCCG, that won't be enough to get us into a playoff.

I would expect us to need to be a one (close) loss team, with the one loss being against a ranked team, and then winning the ACC against a Clemson type to ever go to the playoff. And as someone pointed out before, we've only had our surprised 11 regular season wins once.

Therefore, needing to be that one loss team, in this day in age will probably never happen. I'm my opinion, we have a much higher chance of winning the NCAA Basketball Championship than Football Championship going forward.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Clemson is worlds above us

Yes, yes they are. But to compete for ACC Championships (apparently a reasonable expectation) means getting up to their level and being able to beat them (and we didn't actually look too far away from that in 2016)

If we ever win the ACC again, it'll probably be a 2 or 3 loss team getting lucky in the ACCCG

If Clemson is so dominant it's not likely luck will help us beat them. Just sayin...

I would expect us to need to be a one (close) loss team, with the one loss being against a ranked team, and then winning the ACC against a Clemson type to ever go to the playoff

Yeah and my whole entire point is that if the expectation is to, essentially, do exactly that, then we'll be setting ourselves up for an outside shot at the Playoff. And yet, people seem to think that's completely unreasonable.

You can't expect this team to ever compete for ACC Championships against Clemson if you also think it's impossible that VT will ever sniff the playoff. If you think competing for conference titles is a reasonable expectation then you think it's reasonable to expect VT to beat a modern day Clemson. If you think it's impossible to even fathom that Tech could ever be in such a position then you don't think it's reasonable to expect VT to compete for ACC championships. The two are not mutually exclusive. If you win the ACC you have a very, very real shot at the playoff. If you don't think VT can ever reach the playoff then you don't think VT ever has a shot at winning the ACC. Pick your expectation.

Either

1. You think VT should be able to compete for the ACC (and thus, have a shot at the playoff)

OR

2. You think VT will never be on Clemson's level (and thus, will never compete for the ACC)

You can't have both, can't have neither. It's one, or the other. Right now, you're saying both. Or neither. I'm not sure, actually.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I definitely think we can compete to win the coastal and hopefully put up a fight with Clemson in the ACC championship year in and year out. But there's a difference between just winning the division and dominating the division like Clemson does. To run through teams each and every week to the point where you can have an off game or lose your starting quarterback and still be double digits better than the team you're playing is elite. To have a dog fight in the division and be the last man standing is a whole different deal and not one that puts you in the playoffs even if we do beat Clemson. Scenario number 2 there is where I want this program to get back to. Having a team like 2015 UNC (but actually beating Clemson) every 10 years might not be equal to colonizing Jupiter, but it's also just not realistic.

Gobble Till You Wobble

So, in worlds above us, how did 2016 happen? We played in the ACCCG and lost to Clemson by 7 points. We're not there now, but we weren't there the 2 years before 2016 either. We can get the right coach and be there again. The question is how likely is it? I have no idea, but it's certainly well within the realm of possibility.

How many conference championship teams did Beamer have that would also win it today with Clemson in the way? Yes if we win the ACC there is a good chance we go to the playoff.

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

Yes if we win the ACC there is a good chance we go to the playoff.

LOL. If you expect VT to contend for ACC titles and then admit that if VT wins the ACC they have a good shot at the playoff then you're agreeing with me

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I am. Why would you assume just because somebody replies to your comment that he/she is disagreeing? What I may not have clarified though is that I hear a lot of people say that if we get back to our ACC championship caliber teams of the Beamer years, we will be a playoff team. But we are still not likely going to be ACC Champions now even with those teams. We have never beaten the likes of a modern Clemson on our way to a conference championship. So, while I am agreeing with you, it is still a tough hill to climb.

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

We have never beaten the likes of a modern Clemson on our way to a conference championship. So, while I am agreeing with you, it is still a tough hill to climb.

Yes, this is true.

Sorry I got so defensive. It's just kind of mind boggling to me that people think it's reasonable to expect VT to compete for ACC championships but in the same breath will proclaim that VT will never have a shot at the Playoff when competing for ACC titles means competing with Clemson and therefore must be good enough to get past them in the ACC. A team that is good enough to do that is going to be in playoff contention.

I am not saying that I think VT can or will do those things. I'm just saying that if the expectation is to win the ACC (or put another way, beat Clemson), then a team that can do that will be sniffing the playoff. It's insane to me that someone can be okay with the expectation of winning the conference and then puff their chest out saying that the playoff is not, and absolutely never will be, in reach. Like, the two are not mutually exclusive. If you win the ACC you stand a pretty good shot at the playoff. Plain. And. Simple.

But thanks for clearing up your view...I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

You most definitely are not. It should be obvious after however many years of the playoff that teams that are contending for conference championships, especially those that do so consistently, are in the CFP conversation. Winning your conference pretty much puts you in the top 6. Sure, in order to actually get in you have to limit your losses, but the teams that consistently get to their CGs are the teams that don't lose very often.

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

Agree except for the RB comment. Blackshear is competent enough, he's just not getting his share of plays because 1) Herbert is killing it when he's in the game, and 2) our play calling seems unable to recognize a ball carrier not named "Herbert" or "Hooker".

Also not being utilized correctly (he's only had like 4 balls thrown to him in 7 games)

Virginia Tech Class of 2013
Mining and Minerals Engineering

Sailing the Eastern Seas....on a ship filled with sand....

As a great reviewer said if you want the QB to stop keeping on option plays you don't want an option offense.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

We run a LOT of QB powers though. Outside of the 5 yard line they seem desperate. It's near-guaranteed efficiency, but you just can't be running your qb 20 times a game. This is why Jerod Evans left.

No, Jerrod left because he decided before he even got here that he was a one and done because he thought he was going to be NFL ready after one year here. Seen that many many times. All the running may not have helped to try to change his mind, but his mind was made up and the world telling him he wasn't ready did nothing to change his mind either.

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

Yeah and worst part is he would've probably gone in rounds 2-4 had he stayed the extra year

the more I spend time around college football fans the more I'm convinced that college football fans don't understand what makes a player a good draft prospect lol

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

Preach!

You don't think he would have? I mean assuming he became better at seeing the field after the first read, which isn't that much of a stretch.

I'm not saying he deserved the pick but he's 6'4, huge an got a big arm. Hell even Thomas went in the 4th round for size and arm strength.

I think if one more year would have been enough to adequately prepare him for rounds 2-4 he would probably be playing in the NFL right now. I trust NFL scouts far more than message board posters.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

People pick bad QB's during those rounds all the time though. A good comparison is Bryce Petty, had absurd stats, mainly through quick short passes and Art Briles system. Probably wouldn't have been drafted his junior year and went 4th round after his senior season.

His career has been pretty comparable to Evans

The skill set the Jerod showed wasn't the same as the skill set Bryce Petty showed in college though.

One-read-and-run works in college, not in the league. It's harder to learn later on to boot.

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

It's somewhat apples to oranges because Petty wasn't a wrecking ball and Jerod didn't play his senior season. But Petty was very reliant on the first read his junior season in 2013 and improved as a passer senior year.

Sure, I should adjust "probably" to "possibly". But it really doesn't matter because we'll never know, and we agree he was drafted appropriately after 2016.

Of course not. One more year of college to develop, is a college football fans way of saying we want him to stay.

Develop what? Ram his head into the DL a little bit more? Under a head football coach that clearly isn't capable of developing players at VT. Do we need to get into the evidence or have you come to terms?

If he had the ability he would have been on a roster.

If VT runs an "option" offense - period, I guess it's just coincidence that hooker runs a lot more on designed plays when we are behind or in panic mode.

Totes malotes, and there are absolutely good coaches out there

Do have to disagree with the retreads part though. Spurrier had an amazing run at USCe, sabans return to cfb has been amazing, carroll was a retread too. I mean it can work albeit one thing all of these guys had in common: they were never fired from a cfb job just an nfl gig

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I wouldnt even call them retreads when they drop back from the NFL

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

If we hire Adam Gase after this year I am O-U-T.

(just kidding, I'd still be here, in denial as always)

Since we're in hypothetical land, if you could hire a defensive mind as head coach and keep Fuente (for Corn's salary) as Offensive Coordinator, would you?

ABSOLUTELY, our offense is great, but the play calling is mind numbing

I don't know if Fuente would agree to it, but may help us with recruits and keep what looks to be a promising (not great, but promising) recruiting class.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

My hot take: I have reversed on wanting to fire Fuente. I've calmed down and stepped back to take a look at it and unfortunately I think the damage has already been done. I don't think any coach can come into this mess of recruiting, perception, player attitude, and fan engagement and fix it so I finally agree that we shouldn't waste any money hastily firing Fuente. I think we are better off keeping him simply because I think he has already broken the program and the buyout is just a bigger hole. I think whit, if he holds such a power, should go around Fuente to fire Cornhole. I think we should treat J Ham as an interim DC and continue our search. I think we should negotiate with Fuente to see if he would come down on the buyout to avoid his perception being hurt more by being fired. But I don't think we should fire him anymore. We missed the window and just got delivered a kill shot. I also think bringing a second coach into this mess and allowing them to fail would dig the hole deeper. I think as long as Fuente is here, we can still point to him as scapegoat for the program status, two failed coaches puts it on the university. We need to raise our prestige capital back a little higher and wait for that buyout to come down, then ruthlessly replace when it makes the most sense

Recruit Prosim

The funny thing is because of COVID and "How Fuente handled the team", someone might actually want to lure him away from us and maybe someone will. I was as surprised about the Baylor Situation last year especially after the Duke loss and not so good ending to the season. In a way I hope this is the case, but that's very ideal and my dreams don't always come true so.....Here goes a few things.

Fuente loves blacksburg, he likes the fact that there aren't any major media outlets bugging him. Since he is so reserved from fans and media and having that small town setting, he thrives being here. Secondly if you hear him in press conferences, the man has got coach speak down and he owns every bad loss and gives credit to players and assistant coaches on every win. That bit of it while very good in terms of his character is not good enough to get us quality wins or win us the ACC or the national title. I believe that he was truly good for the Group of 5 at Memphis but he's not quite good for Power especially coaching an ACC coastal team which is in an unpredictable division.

The other thing is his offense is somewhat predictable midway through the season and any games with Plus-2 turnovers by us will end-up in a loss. Our defense is gotten worst since his arrival, maybe some of that is on Bud i was really surprised by the hiring of Hamilton who had very little experience in position coaching at the power 5 level.

As for hiring a coach if it comes to that, most likely we will a Group of 5 coach. Hey why not give Sonny Dykes another chance.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

someone might actually want to lure him away from us and maybe someone will

๐Ÿ™

Fuente loves blacksburg, he likes the fact that there aren't any major media outlets bugging him.

It's not good when the head coach doesn't see the value in media attention whether that's national, regional, or local.

re: the 2nd quote - isn't this the complete opposite of what any coach would want while trying to (re) build a brand?

100% yes, he hasn't demonstrated he understands the bigger picture nor does he get he has to sell his program.

re: the 2nd quote - isn't this the complete opposite of what any coach would want while trying to (re) build a brand?

Right on Hokirif, that's why I put that out there, I should have more more meat in the sentence - I started at VT in 1995, Beamer was already building the Brand with his special teams stamp and we clearly see a steady progress from 1995 to 2000 leading up to the National Championship. By Building the brand, you will get guys like Michael Vick, then eventually Kevin Jones, DeAngelo Hall, Tyrod Taylor and Macho Harris. Clemson was building up long before they got Trevor Lawrence and Reese

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Mack Brown has a weekly interview on GameDay and has completely embraced the media in the Raleigh region.

Justin Fuente limits media access and is thankful that he doesn't have national media pressure in Blacksburg.

UNC is using the media, regional and national, as another arm of their recruiting process that they don't have to pay for. We are limiting access and openly cold toward all of our regional media sites. And we're sitting here scratching out heads why UNC is kicking our ass on the recruiting trail.

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

I've seen you make this point a couple times now and you're right. The more I think about it the less sense it makes for the staff. Given the financial limitations at VT, even before COVID, why would you intentionally cut yourself off from what is essentially free marketing? Doesn't add up. Especially if the reason is just "I don't like media". At least when he came in Fuente made it appear that we had super secret plans that we didn't want anyone to know about. Now it seems like he's just like... nah.

I'll be the asshole here and tell the truth, it has been intentionally shrugging off some and leaning toward others.

@hokie_rd

This comment prompted a realization. I've lived in the DC area for getting close to 20 years now. Blacksburg is four hours away, but DC has a large VT alumni base. I recall that sometime during the late aughts, Frank Beamer called into one of the local radio programs before a big game (maybe Boise State) just to talk about things.

I was wondering: has that ever happened with FU? I haven't heard him on the radio here (though that may be my schedule). I see occasional articles, but not much that is interesting. DC area writers, even in the best of times, had little incentive to cover Tech. Now that we're not winning, why should they bother?

If we had a coach that was more media inclined, they could work things to get more attention.

Instead, I see the commercial with all the ACC coaches and out of all those coaches, Fuente comes across as the least personable and most monotone.

If I'm a kid, why would I want to play for a coach like that, particularly when he's not winning?

Fm 106.7 Tech Talk Live.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Be prepared, he is who he appears to be when talking on that show. Its pretty painful to listen to. Looking forward to them prioritizing CMY on the show going forward.

Bball can't come soon enough. I wanna feel the leather in my hands and forget about pigskins

Rock, Flag, and Eagle!

After my Graduation in 2000, I almost got all my VT news from the washington post and also coverage on local sports shows like 106.7. Beamer even came onto Eliott in the Morning on DC 101. Right now with FU it seems there is no DC presence at all. I guess Tech talk live is still on but I haven't listened to it lately.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

250+ comments in and no one brought up that Houston Nutt is recharged and ready to lead your football team to the Cotton Bowl

Tony Elliot pls

VT '17

What about DHall? He wanted to coach and actively tried to get on in Washington and VT. Maybe not HC but getting him on staff would help counteract the Dre Bly effect in the 757.

Give me Rex Ryan, I think he could do well but a pipe dream at best and his personality isn't the best fit, but I bet he could recruit he's got the personality and coaching experience. If we're going for realistic possibilities Shane is up there, and so is Kendall Briles.

Go for it

What makes you think Rex Ryan can recruit?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

He's been an NFL coach that is now seen on TV on Sunday's and he's got a personality. Let's not forget he's also one hell of a defensive coach. His personality would be a turn off from a lot of Tech fans though so no way I see it happening.

Go for it

There is a lot more to recruiting than being on TV sometimes. You have to want to put in that effort and a lot of NFL HCs havent had to do that.

Don't know if I'm the first to suggest this but lets buyout Fuente then lobby Whit to hire a coach but decisions are run through TKP

Pretty sure Willie Fritz would pay us to coach at a P5 school at this point. Let him take over for a couple years, he can bring the 4* qb he just recruited to freaking Tulane, save some money, and make a big splash in a couple of years. (sort of /s)

Hear me out:. Hugh Freeze.

Ducks. Kinda.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

We have enough Hookers around the program already.

I wouldn't hate it

I know he's a sleaze-bag but lots of coaches are these days. I just want to win

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I just want to win some high 4* and 5* recruiting battles.... Do that and winning will follow...

yeah I agree with you there. Fuente is not winning enough of those recruiting battles and, therefore, not winning enough games. I want a coach who can win more of those recruiting battles and translate those wins to wins on the field. Fuente has proven in his 5 years that he can build a better offense than the one we had. He's also proven that he can't recruit the type of talent necessary to compete in the ACC (which, quite frankly, is one of the weaker P5 conferences). At the end of the day, I don't care how good your scheme is, if the other side of the ball is much more talented you're only going to get so far against them. Talent is important and his scheme isn't enough to overcome talent deficits.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

If we're throwing names out, what about Aaron Morehead? I don't know what higher level experience he has other than being a wide receiver coach at Tech, A&M, and now with the Eagles. He seemed to be a pretty popular guy while he was here. Developed both Ford and Cam into great receivers and did a solid job recruiting at both Tech and A&M.

He's jumped around a bunch, but remained a WR coach at every spot. You'd like to see him either jump around to different offensive positions or at least have be an Assistant Head Coach somewhere.

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He also went nuts on twitter (over losing Tate Martell!!!) and lost another recruit in the process

Regarding Shane Beamer - would make a great story for him to be the head whistle and be successful. At the same time, the rumor he wants a bigger program to lead is believable and he's in a position to reach for it. And he's got a heck of good advisor in his old man as to if VT would be a good landing place for him one day. I'd love to know ol' Frank's appraisal of the VT football ceiling right now. He might surprise us.

Y'all can't deal with Fuente going 8-4 yet are throwing out names of guys who have never been a head coach to replace him? This makes zero sense lmao

The bigger issue is that we aren't recruiting well enough to sustain 8-4. We might win 6 games this year. Next year we probably win 6 or 7. After that we'll be lucky to win more than 4. We need a coach who is willing to recruit. We need a coach who is good at recruiting. Most of our standout players are from the portal and that is not the recipe for success

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I'd argue that that coach will also need to be able to develop at a high level and win close games. We don't have the budget or name recognition to get a ton of 4 and 5 stars. (Yes UNC is doing it and I don't really know how but I don't think there a clear path to replicated that.)

We need to get #15-25 classes in the country each year and develop the shit out of them. If we go for recruiting alone we may get one good class then drop off the map. Getting someone like a Mike Locksley would be the worst type of hire we could make.

We need to get #15-25 classes in the country each year and develop the shit out of them.

We are so far away from that happening at Tech under Fuente it is laughable to even think about.

Here is an observation- I see UVA going after bigger guys that are not high star recruits. Maybe that is their niche. We seem to go after small guys that are non OL recruits. UVA fields a big team, as do many of our competitors. Our guys look small and are getting pushed around, especially on defense.

I agree but I also see people here calling for hiring decisions that would almost certainly plunge us into total irrelevance (and believe me we are not even close to that right now).

I won't complain with Luke Fickell or Matt Campbell, but if the guy isn't there there's no reason to force the move.

I hate to break it to you, but Virginia Tech football is quite irrelevant. I'm pretty sure every game this season has been on a third-tier network/broadcast. Tech-Miami is a noon ESPN2 kickoff. Outside of the Tech faithful, no one cares about this team. The program has taken on the identity of its head coach, bland.

I don't want Fuente replaced for the sake of it either, but I am quite concerned at how deep the hole gets in 2021 if Fuente returns.

The hole in 21 is going to be about the same either way. The hole in 22, 23, etc could get way worse if Fuente stays unless he pulls off a miracle finish this year. The same future years could be bad if we can't build the program back with quality hires. We are not putting enough money into the program today and I have zero faith we will put enough into it on top of a buyout.

If I am Whit, I am sweating bullets. The odds of pulling out of this in the next five or six years are very low. The unlikely Fuente miracle may be a higher percentage play. Or, hope for Fuente to bail on his own so we can reset without the throw away money of the buyout. Regardless, we need to throw more money at the next try. Maybe even go into red on a leap of faith. I don't know, but this is how programs spiral into forever mediocrity. It is frightening to think about.

Additional thought: coaches can't win without talent and talent rarely picks schools that aren't winning (or have a huge name). The formula is not easy and it is why schools struggle to rise up from mediocrity. It takes a bit of luck. I always thought the Hokie faithful was enough to keep us a notch above other schools in our tier, but we have seen the faithful start to become faithless. I have no great solutions to offer.

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

Okay, it's debatable but the point still remains that we shouldn't make the move just to make it. There are a lot of coaches out there way less suited to continue the program than Fuente. In fact many would probably agree that's the vast majority of options. If we can't find someone better why would we spend $10 million to hire someone worse?

Also irrelevance as you describe it is not anywhere near the same thing as rock bottom. You want to see actual irrelevance wait till we get a Scottie Montgomery type, or if we go the recruiting only formula: Frank Wilson or Mike Locksley. There's a lot of ways this can go wrong and very few it can go right. If we're going to spend $10 million to do something there better be a damn good plan in place, otherwise everyone complaining now is going to be begging for Fuente to come back in 2-3 years.

Edit: I just realized you address this in your second paragraph, but I already typed out the whole post.

The answer to your question: UNC is in Raleigh/Durham and we are in Blacksburg.... I've been to both areas and if you have a legit offer from both, VT has to be the unquestioned better team.... IMO

I'd argue that that coach will also need to be able to develop at a high level and win close games. We don't have the budget or name recognition to get a ton of 4 and 5 stars. (Yes UNC is doing it and I don't really know how but I don't think there a clear path to replicated that.)

UNC is doing it by cheating. In 1995 and 1996, I can assure you that our presence in the BCS bowls resulted in better recruiter, better facilities on-campus, more student applications than ever before, and more construction on campus.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Most of us can handle 8-4. Most of us can't deal with losing to ODU, Liberty and getting blown out by Duke at home. What a joke of a program we have become.

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

If your goal is to be a middling ACC team for the foreseeable future, then yeah, I can see why we would stick with Fuente

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

If recruiting is the issue then I think we need to dump money into a good recruiting coordinator for the program. That's the obvious and most financially responsible thing to do. Whit needs to put money into the program on that aspect. JHam was a hire bc Whit wanted a cheap hire. JHam was it. I hope he develops and does well and I'm excited about TnT as coaches and recruiters. They really didn't get a chance to recruit this year due to covid.

I don't know that we can say "this person WILL do better than Fu." That's not proven. What I think we can say is "X person is a great recruiter, how do we get them on board here?"

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

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

It doesn't matter how good of a car salesman you have if the car's engine is shot. Regardless of whose fault it is, in the end no one will be able to sell our program when we're regressing and just lost to Liberty. The recruiters at every other school are having a field day with that and there won't be a way to get past it unless we move on from Fuente or we show multiple years of sustained success. At this point only one of those seems possible, even if we had the best recruiting staff in the country.

I don't fully agree with your analogy. I don't think the engine of the car is necessarily shot. I think the salesman knows which parts the mechanic needs to get the car going but doesn't know how to get those parts for the mechanic to use. And the mechanic isn't willing to be creative and work with the parts he has laying around. He's just tapping his foot waiting for the salesman to deliver the parts he needs/wants. Or something like that.

The real issue is that the head man isn't able to sell his vision to the recruits to close the deal.

Throwing money at a recruiting coordinator isn't going to change much unless part of that person's job description is coaching Fuente to be less of a robot. Ultimately Fuente has to sell a vision to the donors and the recruits. He's not able to do that (in fact, I don't even know what his vision is, if he has one). A recruiting coordinator isn't going to fix that. Fuente needs to define his vision clearly and start selling it convinceingly to recruits. We're able to identify talent. We're usually in the top 5 or so for big name recruits we need. We just can't close. And that's the job of the head man. He's not doing it.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

The Liberty game was the final Fuente straw for me. It's not a rebuilding year and we aren't even the best team in Virginia. No way we fire him before Dec. 16, and it wouldn't shock me if he lasts another season. But it's nevertheless time to look to (invent?) the future.

I'd like VT to prioritize hiring a Black head coach. The underrepresentation of Black coaches is well documented, particularly at the HC level, and I think VT should do its part to chip away at the problem. It'd be the right thing to do at any school, but I think it harmonizes particularly well with VT's football history. First Black QB drafted #1 overall? VT alum. First NFL coach with an all-Black coordinator staff? VT alum (Arians isn't Black, but still). And of course Tyrod has been a great Hokie representative in the NFL despite the pre-draft doubters and getting done dirty by the Bills (a white QB doesn't get benched for five-first-half-INTs Peterman, just saying). VT's elevation of Black quarterbacks is one of the program themes I'm proudest of, and I'd love to see similar themes embraced and grown throughout the entire athletic department.

Putting aside my "it's plain right and fits particularly well at VT" argument, hiring a Black head coach makes sense from a painfully pragmatic perspective. Underrepresentation means there are a lot of overlooked and underestimated Black coaches out there - the talent pool is shamefully under-tapped. Also, I see a lot of comments about wanting a coach who can recruit well and better connect with players. There's a ton that goes into that, but having a Black head coach can't hurt when most of the Hokies on the field are Black.

I apologize if I'm taking things outside of the community guidelines or anything like that, but I think this is important and something I'm not seeing others say. Hiring a Black head coach would make me prouder of our program, and it would help our proud program win.

Torrian Gray is holding on line 1

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

Meh

No suggestions Hoki Hy? Maybe Deion after 1 season at JackSt. If he is successful. And he can bring his 4* son....

I mean, name me the next great African-American head coach in college football that would be in our purview. Of the 14 current FBS African-American coaches, almost all of them are either not leaving their current job for Virginia Tech or are a clear downgrade from Fuente.

I would love to have David Shaw as the next HC at VT but that's never going to happen.

Who are the black coordinators at preeminent programs that have shown enough potential to be a head coach at a Power 5 school?

This is part of the problem or at least the narrative, Black coaches have not been promoted to those higher jobs that may lead to head coaching jobs.

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

That's pretty cool

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

David Shaw isn't doing to great at Stanford why would he excite you? Curious.

Mike Tomlin, as mentioned below, is really the only coach that I can think of that I would be excited to get. Other than him I don't know any coach that I'd be excited about right now (regardless of skin color)

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

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

David Shaw would be a homerun hire. Last year wasn't great, but he's been incredible for Stanford, several 11+ win seasons, consistently excellent teams, strong recruiting despite stringent academic requirements. One bad year is not a trend.

Jim Harbaugh turned Stanford from one of the worst programs in P5 football 15 years ago to very respectable program - David Shaw built off of Harbaugh's blueprint and turned Stanford into a legit "Tier 2" program (not at the level of Alabama, Clemson, OSU etc. but a team that competes for conference championships year in and year out and has an outside shot of the playoffs).

David Shaw is absolutely a home run hire. .717 winning percentage over nine seasons, four BCS bowl births, five division championships, and three conference championships - all with being a world-class individual, never having any compliance issues and dealing with Stanford's admission requirements.

He's Black Beamer.

Why in the hell would David Shaw leave Stanford for VT??

because he might be fired soon.

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It's tough to tout specific names when I have zero connections or firsthand knowledge. It's way easier to post on TKP than actually do the real work haha. I'm thankful we have a department to sift through interviews, references, and everything else that goes into finding a coach.

To appease you I did some quick Googling and had no trouble finding a wealth of interesting candidates: Tony Elliott, Ryan Walters, Jeff Nixon, Marcus Freeman, Larry Scott, etc. The point is there's no shortage of outstanding Black coaching candidates, and I hope VT tries to attract one.

The more I read about Tony Elliott the more I like him for our next coach. Not sure that would actually happen but he seems to be a great fit.

"Give me a fuยขking beer", Anonymous Genius

Either he or BV (doubt it) would be a solid get.

Tony Elliot, and bring his DL coach (Bates, i think?) as Def Coord, and keep TNT. Would easily get on board with that.

Love JHam...he was not ready to be a DC yet.

What has TNT accomplished that has you excited for the next staff to retain them?

This is a completely fair question

I will say, though, that TNT haven't been around long enough to really draw conclusions one way or the other. They might be great or they might not. I just don't think this question can be reasonably answered or even debated.

That said, if Fuente is shown the door I think it's in the best interest of everyone involved to do a clean sweep and give the next head coach complete control over who they pick for their staff. When Beamer retired it made some amount of sense to keep Foster and try to make a new HC come in and adopt Beamer's old D Staff. At this point, however, I want to give the next coach free reign to build their staff the way they want. I'm not giving them any prerequisites for who needs to go or who needs to stay.

That would mean that it is unlikely we retain TNT or anyone else on this staff. For some of the newer D coaches that's just a tough break. IMO they didn't get enough time to do their jobs adequately and COVID really messed things up for them but that's just a bad break. If they're good at what they do they'll land on their feet somewhere.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I will say, though, that TNT haven't been around long enough to really draw conclusions one way or the other.

I agree with that, but should a new staff come in, it shouldn't come with strings attached. (You said the same thing.)

For what it's worth Tapp is a Hokie through and through, and it would suck for him to get shown the door after a single season. I was very excited for him and J-Ham to get the opportunity they got.

yep, we're on the same page here. I hate it for Jham and Tapp but I just don't think it's fair to the next HC to force him to keep them around. If we hire a coordinator (someone like Tony Elliot) and they need to build a staff for the first time and they want to give Jham and/or Tapp a shot I'm fine with that. But that directive has to come from the incoming HC, not from the AD.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Part of me thinks it was a mistake to keep the defensive staff when Fuente took over. Hell it almost killed Foster not figuratively either.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Nothing. But Teerlinck sure seems to have a reputation as a great coach, and I am sure we all think Tapp would make a great recruiter. Unfortunately, we might not have a single player on the DL that they would've recruited. And due to covid, it is really difficult to grade any recruiting.

But they sure seemed like great hires when they were announced.

Teerlinck has a great reputation, but he is going to run his scheme up front or he isn't going to be here.

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

*bong rip

Mike Tomlin... He hates his job. No seriously. He hates it. He wants to coach in college, especially if it brings him back to Virginia.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Sticking to the long shot, you must be high, NFL theme, last year there were several reports that Eric Bieniemy of the Chiefs was frustrated with NFL hiring processes and joking about a move to the college level. <1% chance of this happening but holy hell would it be fun

Mike Tomlin could absolutely be one of the best coaches in college football. His ties to 757, being black, and above all being a super bowl winning coach, besides Dabo and Saban, I don't know who could really compete with his resume. It would never happen tho

Recruit Prosim

His ties to 757, being black, and above all being a super bowl winning coach

Yeah definitely, I think him being a big black coach would really help fill some big holes in our program

I've been thinking this too, especially since Devyn Ford's comments on why he wanted to play for Franklin. Outside of the names you posted above, Larry Johnson DL coach at Ohio State.

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

I can certainly appreciate the sentiment here (more than many i suspect). However, I simply want the best HC that VT can reasonably get regardless of skin color.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I second this. I want the best person for the job.

Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.

If being a Super Bowl champion, a consistent winner in the NFL despite a ton of turnover (exit Belk, Bryant and just keep winning), and being a native Virginian doesn't make you the best candidate on paper, I don't know what does. It is a pipe dream, but if he was a serious candidate, I would lay down in mud puddles so he could step on me as he walked to his interview. Come on now.

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

I was looking for this, as black man, there is truth to wanting to play for someone who can relate to you in that way. Obviously there is more to it than that as well but I'll throw you guys a name that I'm sure will get mixed reviews...Loren Johnson! Yes he's never coached in college but he took Highland Springs from the most talented 804 team that never got past regional championship to 4 straight state titles, national ranking, not to mention 4 current NFL players. Kids in the 804 were transferring in to play for him. He's got a great family oriented program and relates to kids! He's from Florida, sure he can recruit that area well. With his VT roots, I'm sure he'd be open to keeping Ham, Tapp around. If he just hires the right OC, I love him as a CEO/Recruiting coach! Leg it!

There's no glory in practice and lifting but without practice and lifting, there will be no glory!

Might be worth a spot on the staff, but I can't see a good reason to give him the head job with no college experience.

What if Penn State gets trigger happy and releases Franklin?

I dunno much, about anything, but is he on the naughty list?

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

No thank you.

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

Devil's advocate take on the buyout being cost-prohibitive...

He's not getting fired mid-season, and he's not getting fired before 12/16 (a little over a month from now). So we're down to $10M, with the buyout decreasing by $2.5M per year. Suppose he has another year like this next year and/or the year after: will we have really "saved" $2.5-5M by waiting to part ways? I'm not sure. I think the donations and ticket sales would decrease dramatically eating into a good bit of it, but you also have to look at the long-term. Another year or two of this and I'm not sure we ever recover. I wish that weren't the case, but I have zero confidence in Fuente's ability to right the ship, because he hasn't done anything to give me that confidence.

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

I see Leipold was mentioned on the OP.

This team looks good, and they've played a couple of B1G teams competitive the last couple of years. I'd be interested if I was Babcock and in need of a "budget" hire.

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BSME 2009

https://www.coacheshotseat.com/

#29 seems about right. I personally like Fuente a lot as man. I wish I could emulate his stoicism as I wear his emotions on my sleeves. As a coach I wish he did things differently but guess we'll see how it plays out.
I can tell you I watched TTL video on Facebook and he didn't look like a guy who was told his days are numbered.

Hokie Club member since 2017

Maybe it's just relief that he knows it will all be over soon and he can head back closer to home and take a different job at season's end. No way in hell he feels more secure in his job after last weekend. If he does, there are more issues in VT athletics than just the football coach.

Yeah very true

Hokie Club member since 2017

here are more issues in VT athletics

I think this is the biggest issue. He knows he's not getting fired after this year. If for nothing else COVID gave just about every coach a pass this year. They aren't gonna fire the head coach in a year that they had no spring ball, a limited fall camp, and have dealt with the gambit of roster management of available players for at least the first 4 weeks of the season.

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

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Give me Malzahn, Harbaugh, Shaw, or Babers

Recruit Prosim

I dont think I've agreed less with a take on this site. Why would you want to hire another schools's sloppy seconds? None of those coaches could cut it at schools where it's easier to win at than VT, why would you want them here?

As for Babers, he's had one good season at Syracuse. That program is plateauing at a worse place than VT.

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right? I saw the post and just ignored it. Figured it's probably some Wahoo's troll account or something. That is a dreadful list of coaches. Baber? Seriously??? LOL

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Aside from Grantham, I don't see any other desirable up and comers. Fickell is not coming here . So if you don't want sloppy seconds, what virgin coach do you want?

Recruit Prosim

I'd be excited about Chadwell, Healy, Wilcox (a Current P5 coach), Napier, Moorhead, Harsin, or Leipold.

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We're you excited when we hired Fuente?

Recruit Prosim

I was, yes. Keep Bud and a great defense, elevate the offense and resonate with offensive talent and recruits. The great defense never materialized, and he can't recruit. So my excitement is gone in year 5.

Yes I was. And Based on the information available at the time, it was the correct hire.

I've said it multiple times in this thread, but Fuente's lack of success has nothing to do with his G5 background. There are plenty of G5 coaches who did great at their first P5 job (Peterson, Fleck, Urban Meyer, Brian Kelley, etc)

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I would not say that Fleck is doing great. Peterson is fine. And Brian Kelly and Urban were both to well established schools.

I forgot that Urban went to Utah first, but he's also one of like the top 3 coaches in the modern era.

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At Washington Petersen won 3 division titles, 2 Pac-12 titles, one CFP berth, and three 10 win seasons in 6 years. Fleck has elevated Minnesota to national relevance, this year is strange, but their recruiting and play both have trended up in all of his years there.

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

I have nothing bad to say about Peterson. However, Minnesota is competing for 5th best maybe even 6th in the Big10.

Recruit Prosim

In the Big 10 West maybe

Meyer coached at Bowling Green and Utah (when they were still G5, before the Pac12 called them) before being hired at Florida. Prior to Florida, his ONLY P5 experience was as a WR coach at ND. He was never a coordinator either.

Brian Kelley coached at Central Michigan and Cincinnati before going to ND. Kelley didn't have ANY D1 COACHING EXPERIENCE prior to Central Michigan, and no P5 experience prior to ND.

If you don't think Fleck has done well at Minnesota, idk what to tell you. He's recruiting top 15 classes to MINNESOTA and won 11 games last year. He's having a down season because he lost guys to graduation, the draft, and lost his OC. Not sure how you don't consider that great.

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You clearly don't watch big 10 football much. Minnesota was the punching back of the league before he got their. Wisconsins win streak over them was 2nd longest in the country in a yearly rivalry game (2nd to us over uva) all of that has been reversed and he got a division championship. He has done a tremendous job there. Just because they're not Ohio state, doesn't mean he hasn't significantly improved the program

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I lived an hour from Kalamazoo when he was at western. I watch a ton of Big10 football and I'm still not impressed. They're the second or third best team in the weaker division. What bronco has done at UVA is more impressive than this. Flecks row the boat snake oil doesn't do it for me

Recruit Prosim

Very true. Fuente seemed like a solid hire in '15 and seemed like an absolute Homerun after '16.

But time has caught up to him and he simply doesn't have the skills to be successful here, personally I don't think he currently has P5 Head Coach skills anywhere right now.

But more to your point, the two "best" hires in recent years--Tom Herman and Scott Frost both have had limited success. Herman, in particular, looked like a no brainer, but with tons of resources at TX, he has been remarkably "meh."

There are no sure things...hiring a "name" guy that makes the fans happy is far from a guarantee of success.

I was neutral on CJF. I wanted to hire Bud for the HC. I felt like he earned the opportunity but I can admit that I don't remember if Bud wanted the job. I'm not in the fire CJF now group but I wouldn't be mad if we did. Ideally I want 1 more year and hopefully we can have a decent enough year for someone to come calling. That way we don't have to pay for him to leave and we may be more enticing to other coaches. I know its a pipe dream but don't wake me up.... lol

This is ideal

Recruit Prosim

He's moved up to #7 this morning.

Holy Sh*t that's quite the jump! And not the good kind we do during enter sandman

Hokie Club member since 2017

I just want coaches that preach (and teach)the fundamentals and game discipline. This team is sloppy and inconsistent at best. I don't know if there are restrictions this year limiting practice time or activities but it sure seems like practice is not focused.

Also what is up with the team conditioning this year? Lots of guys suckin wind. The trees in Blacksburg must be hell on the lungs.

I still want to see what Hamilton and D coaches can do in a normal season.

Tom Allen from the Hoosiers. He's from Indiana, but his track record is pretty great, and his pay's not great right now.

I think this would be a hard sell to make. He's from Indiana, already a HC and building something at Indiana. Coming to VT would be, at best, a lateral move for him and it doesn't make any sense to him personally.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Just read the article about Hugh Freeze getting a "lucrative contract extension"

I mean, on one hand he probably earned it, especially with the deep pockets Liberty apparently has. I can't imagine what could possibly go wrong with giving out a lucrative extension so soon after the initial deal was struck..... heeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavvvvvvvvvvvyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy /s

Freeze was on Paul Finebaum, saying the win was perhaps his biggest accomplishment, because of the disparities of the rosters between the schools. Said even bigger than beating Bama. Guess it was leverage for his contract for sure.

Dude is about to have higher quality escort services on call than he did during his Ole Miss days

Hokie Club member since 2017

This really hammers home the reason people are so angry about the loss. I know I've been hammering the recruiting failures all day but even if Fuente recruited the top 10 class every year there's no guarantee this coaching staff would translate that into wins. This loss wasn't about talent. It was about coaching. We were out coached. And it happens several times a season. Why aren't we more unified in the desire to move on from Fuente?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Didn't Fuente beat Freeze when the tables were turned and Freeze had paid for SEC talent?

Touche!

via GIPHY

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

This is part of the reason I just don't have faith in Fuente anymore at Tech. Compared to his stint at Memphis, Fuente has had significantly more financial and recruiting investment, greater roster talent, and more time here. However he hasn't elevated Tech to the same levels reached at Memphis.

I like Fuente as a man, I unfortunately don't think he can succeed as a VT coach.

Exactly... it just raises the question of why Fuente can punch up but not punch down. Everyone forgets that Furman was almost an epic disaster too. But maybe like 2019 he will go on a run now?

Hokie Club member since 2017

Yes, the recruiting has struggled but player development has also struggled. We haven't seen lots of improvements from when players get here minus OL.

Can't spell DBU without Bud

I lurk 99% of the time but I have a genuine comment. Many of the people pointed (emphasis on past tense) to the 10-win and 9-win season as evidence that Fuente can coach. But then the detractors say, "yeah well that was with Beamer recruits."

From my perspective, and let's be clear i think he has to go as well, he coached up Memphis and he seemed to be able to do well with the Beamer recruits, so it stands to reason he is a good coach. My biggest question is what has happened in Blacksburg that makes it impossible to replicate what he did at Memphis? He was widely considered a slam-dunk hire considering he took dumpster fire CUSA/AAC program to the top 25 and deservedly so.

I really want that question answered (not that I think anyone here has the inside info) because I am not sure any "good hire" is going to be able to right the ship if there is something systematically wrong with the FB program.

These are great points and questions

Many of the people pointed (emphasis on past tense) to the 10-win and 9-win season as evidence that Fuente can coach. But then the detractors say, "yeah well that was with Beamer recruits."

In the first 3-4 years I was on the "well he won at Memphis so give him time" side of this issue. So I know that contradicts the comment of mine you're replying to but quite frankly Memphis isn't in the ACC and Fuente hasn't been able to replicate the success he had at Memphis here at VT. I don't know for sure if it's a coaching issue or something else deeper.

From my perspective, and let's be clear I think he has to go as well, he coached up Memphis and he seemed to be able to do well with the Beamer recruits, so it stands to reason he is a good coach.

Another reason this is so maddening. He CAN coach. But he also gets outcoached more frequently than he should at this level. By lower level coaches (though, Freeze is in the position he's in for non-football related life choices...not because he's not a quality coach). That is super frustrating. He also had two offensive coordinators at Memphis. It's possible he brought the wrong one with him to Blacksburg. The recruiting part of it is also something to consider. With Beamer's recruits Fuente was able to field the best team he's had in Blacksburg. However, recruiting has been on a downward trend and as that talent has left the program the results on the field have gotten worse. Coaching only gets you so far. In this league you need to have talent to be successful. One of Fuente's big failures is that he hasn't been able to get the talent necessary to compete in the ACC.

My biggest question is what has happened in Blacksburg that makes it impossible to replicate what he did at Memphis?

This is a great question and its highly unlikely that anyone on the message board will have the answer. My guess: he's either not getting the support he needs from the rest of the institution or he's gotten complacent with his cushy new pension buy-out. If it's the former then it probably doesn't really matter who we hire next. If the top administrators aren't committed to building a successful football program it's not likely to happen. That is my biggest fear. If it's the latter, well, then there's a chance that cutting our losses now and moving in a new direction with a coach who can recruit could right the ship. As it is right now, though, it looks like the ship is sinking.

To that point, IF Whit does pull the trigger on Fuente and brings in a new coach who recruits better, then I think there is hope for the future. If we retain Fuente the message that sends me is that this administration isn't interested or invested in building a successful football program. That would make me really sad because if the football program falls by the wayside I'm not sure it will ever recover. Especially if the folks in charge don't really care.

He was widely considered a slam-dunk hire considering he took dumpster fire CUSA/AAC program to the top 25 and deservedly so.

Yes, he was. And I was excited about the hire at first and after the 2016 season I thought we were in terrific shape. Then 2017 and 2018 happened and, though I maintained my support of keeping Fuente around to finish what he started, my faith began to waiver. 2019 started off as a disaster but got better, which gave me hope. Then Wake and Liberty happened and I've given up hope that Fuente will ever deliver. The biggest reason I don't believe he can, though, isn't because of his ability to coach. It's because of his ability (lack thereof) to recruit.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Fair enough. I agree recruiting is not a good look. I don't think, with how much is being lost in revenue due to no attendance in sports, there is no way he goes at the end of the season. I could be wrong and possibly would like to be wrong. But I still fear there is something more than just Fuente which is holding this team back. At least for this season--beginning the transition to a new defense (spring game was cancelled mid-march) and then no more time to install has ruined this season. I didn't expect it to be a solid year but losing to liberty is about as painful as it gets.

If I break football down to its most basic, I would say to win, you need a good quarterback and a decent defense. (Extremely bad other groups can derail this philosophy of course). The closest we have been to pairing the two was 2016. For all the maddening bad offenses we had in the Beamer years, we had a defense and a quarterback you could trust. Coming into this season, I actually thought the defense would make enough of a stride to get back that winning combination. Would we have with Farley, Hunter, and healthy Waller? We will never know for sure. Hard to believe they wouldn't have been enough to make 2/3 of our losses Ws though.

I think when Fuente is out of here, we will be able to look back and see reasons why he didn't succeed, but that doesn't change the status quo and the perception he can't hide from. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if he has success again down the line.

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

I think when Fuente is out of here, we will be able to look back and see reasons why he didn't succeed, but that doesn't change the status quo and the perception he can't hide from. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if he has success again down the line

I wouldn't be shocked to see him succeed somewhere else either. I genuinely hope he does. I also hope that he learns from his experience here in Blacksburg. Something is not working. There are many opinions out there as to what it is that needs to be fixed (Fire Corny, hire a more experienced D staff, recruit better, etc.). Whatever it is, I hope he figures it out. I just don't know if VT is the place for him to do that right now. It hasn't worked out so far and with the mounting pressure I don't know if it's healthy for him to continue here.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

My biggest question is what has happened in Blacksburg that makes it impossible to replicate what he did at Memphis?

My $0.02: Memphis's talent level was similar to that of their opponents. We haven't gotten to that point at VT.

I think Fuente is a good coach. He rarely gets outcoached IMO (I know many disagree with this, but with the exception of Liberty, I think he often makes the right decision). His players who have transferred in/out of the program do their best here. But he isn't recruiting. Our roster from 2004-2011 was top 4 talent in the ACC. You can (could) be top of the conference with that type of talent. You cannot win the coastal (much less the conference) with the ACC's 12th best recruiting class.

Twitter me

"He who gets the best players usually wins." - Bobby Bowden

Hokie Club member since 2017

I think Fuente is a good coach. He rarely gets outcoached IMO (I know many disagree with this, but with the exception of Liberty, I think he often makes the right decision)

Yup. Most will disagree with this statement.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I agree with it. The narrative that he makes these terrible gameday decisions has only popped up suddenly after Liberty. And the occasional times people have been angriest Fuente was either right or at least had a good reason for what was 50/50 decision. I can't really think of any loss I would chalk up to poor decision making or being outcoached (we're not counting playcalling here).

I think Fuente himself is a good game day coach. He's had some very questionable time management moments this season outside of that Liberty FG fiasco. He comes across more and more like Mike London in that regard, IMO, as time moves on.

I think there are larger issues at play that present themselves in game situations.

Is coronavirus over yet?

If you count "letting Corny call the plays" as a bad gameday decision, he's sucked since he got here.

/s, kinda

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."
--unknown

My $0.02: Memphis's talent level was similar to that of their opponents. We haven't gotten to that point at VT.

I don't agree with this part. Those bad recruiting classes aren't playing. The team we have on the field is largely from top-30 recruiting classes which is still top-4ish in the ACC. We have more talent than the majority of teams on our schedule, and that includes most of the teams we lose to. Nobody is looking to fire Fuente for losing to Clemson or Notre Dame (though at some point we need to be competitive), it's constantly looking overmatched by teams with significantly lesser talent.

Every loss but Notre Dame last year was to teams with lesser-or-equal talent (Kentucky being roughly equivalent). Same story in 2018. 2016/17 we mostly held serve against lesser talent and lost to better teams, but we also lost just about every game to equal talent (Miami, Oklahoma State). 2016 was unquestionably his best year, and even then we overperformed exactly 0 times, and still lost to two teams with significantly less talent ('Cuse, GT). On paper, we have plenty of talent on the field. Either the players aren't as good as we thought (failure in identification, development) or the talent isn't being utilized correctly (failure in deployment, scheming). Either way, it's squarely on the coaching staff.

Not really. Many of the players that propped up those early classes are no longer here. That isn't a good thing either obviously.

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