Kaleb Smith podcast

Lots of incredible insight in this interview. If you step back and realize Smith is a Virginia kid who wanted to play for VT bad enough that he walked in, you can easily see how winning back sentiment in this state can be a recipe for success at VT. Two big takeaways:

Fuente definitely lost the culture

Pry definitely is doing everything he can to rebuild the culture. I pray the on the field results are good because if they are, this could be a fun ride.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tales-from-the-transfer-portal/id1...

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Comments

The facilities closed at 6 amazes me. Coaches work like 16 hours a day minimum. It's one thing to think they're not good, but that's just maliciously not doing a job. Sure maybe the masters week when it's the dead period, but woe, just wow.

Listening to this today really helped me to fully understand the results on the field the last several years. Sounds like the old staff was there to collect a pay check and that's about it. Unbelievable things were allowed to run like this as long as they did.

Sure maybe the masters week when it's the dead period, but woe, just wow.

Except Fuente said himself that the most important time for a football team is in the spring and fall camps because they can actually learn stuff (which, that quote was kinda mind blowing on its own) so it's actually really egregious that during one time of year when he believes the most coaching is needed he would rather just drink beer and watch TV.

That Masters comment was revealing at the time. It's why I was so up in arms over it back then. It indicated to me that these coaches weren't serious. And this Kaleb Smith interview just proves it.

Onward and upward

Yes, but everyone needs a break, even college students. Also the contact the coaching staff can have at that time is limited, so I don't care if you want to take some time off in April. Closing at 6 every night no matter when is just unfathomable to me. Coaches, Stength and conditioning staff can all rotate to keep it open too.

I don't disagree that breaks are needed. For everyone. But Fuente has said that the Spring is one of the most important times of year to coach because, for some weird reason, coaching can't occur during the season. He also admitted, I believe in the same interview, that they (the coaches) had a lot of work to do to get the team ready. So in two different ways, Fuente said that the Spring is where the coaches earn their money, so to speak. And yet, he's treating his job as a regular 9-5. During the most important time of the year. He can take his break in January when the season is over. Not in the Spring when, by his own admission, there is a lot of work to be done to prepare for the upcoming season.

Onward and upward

And yet, he's treating his job as a regular 9-5.

This is P5 football. It's no where near a 9-5.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

More like 5-9 on a light day.

My friend coached in D3 as a position coach and he worked 12+ hour days year round. During the season he was 16 hour days usually and 7 days a week.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Doesn't pay like a regular 9 to 5, either. Don't think any other coach in P5 would think that either. Astounding revelation.

No coach should be taking a break in January, they should be out kissing babies and flipping recruits before signing day.

"Fu got paid millions to be home for dinner."
Damn this is nuts.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Are you quoting Don V?

Onward and upward

Yup. I am listening to the podcast now and it is insane.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

I was a big Fuente supporter when he was hired but now... I am not sure I could be any more down on a coach. Fuente and Corn. They both can go screw themselves.

Yeah I defended him a lot, I believe he needed to be given time to turn things around (by bringing in the right people under him) And I still believe firing a coaching staff during a pandemic isn't a good thing to do ... but these stories are challenging my belief in that

EDIT: typo

Hindsight is 20/20 but now we can see that he probably should have been fired after the ODU game and Foster made interim head coach. And that the whole uproar with Trevon Hill was a big sign that the Fuente experiment was a failure. Like, how did he lead the program at Memphis and not poison it?

At memphis, he had two SEC level coordinators on staff. One that became a HC of an SEC program a year after he left. So I am going to assume they pushed back and were good enough to do so. Smith talked about Wiggins vs Jafar. Wiggins could do things, say things that Jafar couldn't, or wouldn't.

This makes all of Fuente's snippy comments and throwing the players under the bus look even worse, which I didn't even know was possible. How can you blame them, when you aren't giving them as many chances to get better as you could?

The rot was obvious to all with a discerning nose. But we got a new guy who's putting in new foundations, and seems to be doing a hell of a job by all indications. Can't wait for the on field results to show up, even if it doesn't happen overnight

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

Big shocker that Corn had no personality or interactions with his players. How does Whit not step in and make immediate changes to the staff?

If anything this has also made me look at Whit a bit differently and now I really want the truth on that infamous press conference. If things were as bad as Smith and others have said, where the heck was Babcock in all of this as the University's flagship program was being run into the ground?

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

If anything, it makes me believe the theory that he wanted to fire Fuente but was overruled, by either Sands or the Board. I've always thought that his statement of 'they (fans) don't give enough for their opinions to matter' was a direct quote he heard from whoever it was that overruled those plans that he weaponized to rile up the base.

That whole presser was so out of character for him.

This is my school
This is home

I think Whit's biggest mistake was the way-too-early contract extension. That turned into a 10 million dollar mistake, which is no small thing. I think he realized, by the time of that press conference, that these coaches were ruining the program. But he also had to swallow that huge, expensive mistake that he made and that's a tough pill to swallow. I imagine that there was tremendous internal conflict for Whit. He didn't seem to believe any of what he was saying in that infamous presser which is part of why it landed so poorly with us. He knew. He just didn't know the best way out of a shitty situation. I'll bet good money that he won't make that mistake again. I've said dozens of times by now that I think after 3 full seasons you have a pretty good idea of where the program is heading. I'd be surprised if Whit offers up any contract extensions before 3 seasons are in the books.

Onward and upward

On one hand, yes that extension was a mistake. On the other hand, you don't call a press conference to announce that you're not firing someone. I fully believe he had made the decision to let Fuente go, only to be overruled after the press conference was scheduled.

This is my school
This is home

you might be right. The whole thing was bizarre. I think this take is a little bit tin-foil-hat-ish but I suppose it is plausible. We'll never know for sure, unless Whit publishes a memoire after he retires and addresses this saga. I think he knew that Fuente had screwed him. I'm glad that we're finally rid of a deadbeat coach. I just hope Pry knows what TF he's doing.

Onward and upward

on the other hand, could you imagine how angry we'd have been in the moment if he jumped ship for fsu immediately after a 10 win debut season in blacksburg? he had a bunch of leverage and his agent knew it

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

oh I'm sure we would have been livid. But I'm also sure Whit would do his due diligence and find the next coach to coach the VT Hokies.

At the end of the day, I think we're angrier at the mess Fuente created than we would have been at him leaving for another gig. Though it's not ideal, I think many here would agree that if coaches come in and get hired away by big-name programs after a year or two that would mean they are at least performing at a pretty high level while they're here. Coaches aren't going to get hired away from VT for dragging it into the dump. Coaches are going to get hired away for elevating VT. And if Whit is able to continue bringing in those types of coaches, one of them may stick and turn VT into the big-name place that doesn't get it's coaches poached.

We're always going to find reasons to be mad. That's what we do. But I'd rather be mad that a coach came in and won 10 or 11 games and then got hired away than be mad that a coach who isn't winning very much is just torpedo-ing our program while he gets a paycheck.

Onward and upward

Well, that's certainly with the benefit of hindsight.

We'd have been absolutely livid if that had happened. Now we know they'd have been doing us a favor.

I'm not saying we wouldn't have been livid....

Onward and upward

Looking over that thread, this image definitely deserves to be posted again under current circumstances.....

This is my school
This is home

Man, that entire event reads like a parody now....

This is my school
This is home

Sounds like he slept a little too well...like 10 hours each night

I said back then that the press conference was reflective of the old mysoginistic divorce adage "it is cheaper to keep her." Fuente wasn't getting another contract the moment he pursued the Baylor job and started leaking the details about the competative disadvantages he was facing from a funding and staffing perspective to key mouthpieces in the Hokieverse. Whit made a sizeable investment in Fuente, and the moment Fuente threw Whit under the bus (and make no mistake, those revelations were Fuente trying to deflect blame for the on the field performance), Fuente was persona-non-grata. And Whit, to his credit, didn't want to derail positive momentum in other sports by cutting their budget to pay for his mistake. So, he hoped to ride things out. Then the pandemic happened, and taking on that much dead weight in a budget already strapped by significant decreases in revenue just wasn't tolerable (I will go to my grave believing Fuente's retention and that press conference were the result of budget constraints, not "being passed over by a top candidate.)

The off-the-field machinations will forever make me miserable, and I hate that it impacts the on the field product. But, money and resources have never made a bigger difference in college athletics.

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

Yeah, my biggest rub was Fu's assertion that VT wasn't giving him the resources to compete. I completely agreed we needed more for football for a long time and am glad the administration bought in and provided. But I agree with you that it was weaponized against VT and the fan base by Fu to deflect for his poor performance more than anything. TSL's huge piece on that being "a shot across the bow of VT athletics" just didn't sit well with me. I knew the intentions of Fu we're not genuine, it was just to make excuses for how bad of a coach he was. Fu was trying to jump ship before he was exposed, and it didn't work.

TL;DR I don't agree with those who say Fu big picture was great for VT because he fought for more resources. That was serendipitous at best. If he got those resources the next day, he wouldn't have known what to do with them. Closing up the facility at 5 every day to go home and watch golf ain't gonna cut it.

I agree on the fallacy of the "he fought for resources" argument. He may have asked for more resources, but he never put himself out in front of the fanbase to sell a vision and give them a reason to provide them. As my beautiful wife says, if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem. And Fuente's refusal to do much of anything outside of his comfort zone, particularly being the face of the program, was a significant part of why he didn't have those resources to begin with.

I hate talking about him. But, I think it is a needed exercise because I don't think most of the fanbase understands what a massive rebuild Pry faces. Even if he aces every test and has every resource that Babcock can provide, he is going to need a long runway. There are bright spots, but the cupboard is real close to being bare.

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

I think it's worse that being part of the problem. Unless Whit had money just lying around not being spent, he was the entire problem. It's the Head coaches job to sell the program to the fans and take their money. He wanted resources then he should have gone and taken them. But that means then fans are the number one resource and that isn't something Fuente seemed to ever want to acknowledge.

I prefer to say "You're either part of the solution, or a victim of it." I know this comment is probably a non-sequitur to the topic thread but I do think it is worthwhile enough to share with the class. I know someone will find a situation that fits to use this themselves.

I agree that Fuente used it as an excuse/crutch, but I do think it was a come-to-jesus moment for the VT Fanbase.

Stager/Weaver/Beamer had this idea that VT is so great, you should be willing to take a paycut to be here - this idea became ingrained in the culture - you saw it in sports, and you saw the fans buy in and believe it, and you even saw it on the academic side of campus where professors were being paid up to 25% less than they would at peer instutions.

I believe we can (and should) hold a variety of mildly conflicting views around this:

  • Fuente used resources as an excuse for poor recruiting/performance
  • VT was a bit behind in resources/spending
  • VT fans (mostly) unaware of our competitive standing (from a spending/revenue standpoint), but now many are, and this is a good thing.
  • Fuente's complaining was not 'great' for the program, but it did help donors/the fanbase become more realistic
  • Fuente probably would not have done much better had he been given Alabama-level resources.

Twitter me

Completely agree with you here. I also think Whit delayed rollout of a lot of these resources until now because he knew Fu wouldn't be able to take advantage of them. Pry coming in and hiring a massive support staff shows his alignment with Whit on how a modern P5 program should operate. Fu had some funding for additional support positions that was unused because he didn't know how to utilize them.

I do agree about the previous administration (Steger/Weaver/Beamer) and how they really had us playing catch up in so many regards. Once we were admitted to the ACC, and especially winning it year one, I feel our 'Mission Accomplished' banner went up and we went on autopilot as a program. As you said, it was thought that top talent would just flock to VT without much effort to recruit them there. I absolutely love CFB, but him hanging on probably 4 years longer than he should have set us back in terms of catching up with the evolution of the sport.

Our fundraising was terrible, as was our spending. All issues went back to a shittily run Hokie Club that very much got entrenched in a very lazy approach that emphasized giving to maintain the status quo rather than any semblance of looking to and building a future.

Babcock has very much changed this for the better, and we should be better off in the end. But 20+ years of lackadaisical funding that was not at all prepared to withstand a downturn in football very much put us in a precarious state by 2015. I am not fully convinced things were as bad as were being said publicly, as I do think some of those numbers might have been exaggerated a bit to kick our donors into action, but they weren't good.

All that being said, Fuente wasn't maximizing the funding he was getting. We very much could have been doing more with what he had to work with, and instead we were run like a low end mid major.

This is my school
This is home

Fuente took the extra money and gave raises to his friends vastly overpaying them compared to their worth when he could have hired a couple more department recruiting aides and staff positions.

This is a bad take to me. Cornelson wasn't in the top 200 highest paid assistants. In 2021, every ACC team* paid their OC more than Cornelson (*unsure about Miami as they don't release their info). At least 19 position coaches in the ACC earned more than Cornelson.

We underpaid our coaching staff so much that he might have been the best we could have gotten.

An addition to this: if we sacked up and paid Corny a lot more (and we could have), it would not have made him a better coach.

There's no bonus to paying guys above market. Just use the money to hire the best.

Agreed paying him more doesn't make him better, but I've seen lots of people in business not want to spend money to make money, so underpayment a underperformer happens a lot no one does anything because they are saving money. If we paid him 1 million dollars then pitch forks come out and demand better production. The expectation are higher the more you pay.

Based on production, we overpaid

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

But this is untrue, we didn't have the worst offense in the ACC. Our staff was paid in the bottom 1/3rd of power 5 teams, and if you look at the record a lower 1/3rd P5 team should be 6-6. Our coaches performed almost exactly to their pay.

In the last 3 season VT has as many ACC wins as NC State. Yet NC State paid more to every position the last 3 years. NC State paid Wiles a lot more money than we paid him.

This bothers me to this day, Wiles gave his heart and soul to Virginia Tech football and we fired him, he goes somewhere else get a pay raise and is cranking out NFL level talent right off the bat. The man would have loved to retire in Blacksburg and is arguably one of the reasons Bud Foster was as good as he was. Everyone has a game they point to when the lost faith in Fue, mine was that day.

He said give to me Roscoe

We also lost the soul of Tech when that happened. We lost VT football. Thankfully Pry gets that.

Great take, that I completely agree with. We got what we paid for.

Twitter me

Generally ADs don't fire staff members, that is up to the coach. Doing so would be a bad look to future coaching candidates. Navy's AD tried to do this past season with their OC and it blew up in his face and he had to back pedal and rehire the OC.

This might explain why our S&C was so lackluster.

I'm glad we have a new staff. Sadly, it's gonna be awhile before we completely wash off the stench of the old staff.

One more month til new football, and less than 45 days til Hokie football.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed the piece of podcast interview concerning the former coaching staff. Its infuriating that we kept the S&C coach considering this was a person who also got into it with some players and those players eventually left the program. I mean, WTF was going on with Fuente and his coaches?

Go Hokies!

The guy doing this interview was hard to listen to. I'm no Fuente fan, but every little thing they did was absolutely horrible in his eyes. He hated the hardhats being given out? Come on man.

Lots of players, current and former, hated it. Dwight Vick has talked about it a lot. We were UVA level soft and not "smart" at all. The hard hats were corny theater for a mediocre football team. No different than the turnover chain, or Tennessee players dunking a ball into a trash can.

"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.

The "corny theater" stuff is awesome, and it's what makes college sports great, it's just people hate it when the team isn't good. People loved the turnover chain when Miami was actually good that first year it came out. People love the "home run hammer" we started doing for baseball, I bet they wouldn't if the team was losing every series they played. People would have been all over the hard hats if it didn't come in the midst of Fuente driving the program into the ground.

Agree to disagree-I ALWAYS hated the idea of 'turnover chain' or any similar gimmick from the beginning. From the days of true Beamerball, to me it was "expected" that we would force turnovers- not a surprise when we did. (Some forget that Beamerball wasn't just blocking kicks-it was the idea that ALL THREE units of the team(offense, defense AND special teams) were expected to contribute points. Kinda like the Vince Lombardi Jr quote- "When you go into the end zone, act like you've been there before.")

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

So did you hate the Lunch Pail too? It's the same thing

Not really, not the same at all. The Lunch Pail was/is a symbol, not a gimmick. It was more like an award that was earned over a season of hard work. The person that kept it was someone that exemplified the values of the VT defense, and they usually held it all year. It held the teams goals for the year and turf trophies of fields of fallen foes. It wasn't something that got passed around multiple times during a game like a cheap turnover chain for hype and tv exposure.

The Lunch Pail D was the OG and these others are just cheap gimmicky imitations.

The lunch pail was handed out for hard work at practice, not changing hands during the game. Similar to the weekly wearing of #25. Both were about showing up when the cameras are off.

2022 Season Challenge: Wrasslin'
Previous Challenges: Star Wars (2019), Marvel (2020), Batman (2021)

The kids like that kind of thing though so you have to get somewhat creative. FSU's backpack was stupid as fuck though

I got it.... for every forced fumble you get the "Pry" Bar /s

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

What if the player is too young to drink?

This is going to be great for the ACC.

I'll volunteer.

.... this is the most perfectly written thing I've ever seen on this site
-8300A_Hokie'12

I really only ever liked the turnover chain because it was so perfectly Miami and you just wanted to hate it so much, it was beautiful.

And now it is no longer...

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

So what you're saying is that the turnover chain is not "bak" yet?

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

I heard they changed it to a Christo Ball

the numbers dont lie and they spell disaster

I heard they plan to hand out a bedazzled g-string this year

I get what you mean about the guy interviewing (Joe Rogers?). He's clearly biased and his line of questioning is going to influence the answers to paint Fuente in the worst possible light. That's a legitimate gripe. But to disagree with him hating a stupid gimmick is weird.

Onward and upward

Dude is also absolutely toxic on Twitter. Huge troll, really goes in on people, some nice medium-grade homophobia. Took me not very long to hit "unfollow".

There are some excellent Hokie follows on the tweet machine. That guy is not one of them. It makes me cringe that he reps VT.

the numbers dont lie and they spell disaster

I've listened to other episodes after listening to the Smith one. The Mook episode is not a great look for the previous regime. I don't know that any of them are.

I enjoy the players having a platform, but I really dislike the podcast. I'm still listening, because I want to hear what the players have to say.

The biggest thing I'm getting from it is, the people telling us to move on may be right. That may be the best path forward. But the fan base, in general, doesn't know how bad things were. And Smith gives us a look at how things compare now. Obviously, smith isn't going to say much bad about his current coaches. But, he still paints a much more favorable picture.

I think a lot of people just don't want to believe that a coaching staff and program that they were emotionally invested in for the past 6 years could be legitimately broken with people who were bad at their jobs running the show. There was a lot of pushback over the last couple years in here with people just outright refusing to admit that things were just not good with the program and lashing out at anyone who suggested that might be the case.

We haven't even played a game under the new staff. I don't have a problem with dirty laundry being aired, especially if it helps level set the extent of a rebuild that Pry has on his hands. And, hearing the things he's saying and what the players are saying and the reality that recruiting was under Fuente, there's probably a bigger rebuild ahead of us than we want to admit.

This is my school
This is home

I'll be happy if we get six wins this year. And if Pry isn't happy about six wins, I'll be even happier.

I like hearing what the players have to say, but I could only listen to about half the podcast.

We get it, Fuente sucked. Time to move on. We can acknowledge it, but wallowing in it doesn't make me feel any better. As far as the fan base goes, they know it was bad enough that VT was losing on the field, that we had a lot of attrition through the portal, and that that it was getting worse, not better.

If you're the interviewer, have your questions lined up, and engage the interviewee as if you're listening to what he is saying. Don't lead him to what YOU want to talk about. (Clearly bashing the prior regime.)

I'm interested in hearing from the players, but the podcast was torture.

If you're as high as the interviewer sounds, it might make the pod more tolerable.

You have a point.

We get it, Fuente sucked. Time to move on. We can acknowledge it, but wallowing in it doesn't make me feel any better.

We're not wallowing in it. We're exposing the rot for everyone to see. We haven't even played a game under the new staff, we're well within our window to keep shitting all over what we fired at the end of last season, especially as some of this new info keeps coming to light.

This is my school
This is home

Don't get me wrong, I'm OK with whatever information comes out. Maybe we do need some more therapy.

It may just be that the Wayne and Garth's raging-bile-duct-in-the-basement format isn't for me.

But yeah, I'm also more interested in "what's next?"

But what's the point? Is there anyone here who though getting rid of Fuente was the wrong move last year?

This is just crying (loudly) over spilled milk so everyone in the house knows that someone spilled milk.

Is there anyone here who though getting rid of Fuente was the wrong move last year?

perhaps not. But there are a healthy contingent of folks here who thought firing him after 2018 was too early. And that is kind of the point. We are screaming about all of this because it's important to remember this in the future. Next time someone spills milk in the house, it should be cleaned up immediately. Before it sours and spoils the rug. That's why we're screaming about it. It's not just spilled milk at this point. It's a ruined rug and some rotting floor boards.

Onward and upward

There were people who thought he just needed more time after 2019

Many of those same people are the same ones telling us to move on and not dwell on the past now.

This is my school
This is home

so? if we're all at the point where we recognize that letting Fu go was the right move, it's nothing more than smug self-indulgence to bring up how right one was about it years ago

don't understand what benefit there is to continually dunking on the previous staff

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

What's the point of being right if you can't rub it in people's faces?

And all this noise on a fan board is going to change exactly nothing in the future. Again, it just seems like people want to get upset about something or say I told you so.

Players airing their dirty laundry is one thing, but beating it into the ground like in this thread is tiring.

For me, any new information that comes out about jist how bad the coaching staff was at their jobs gives me hope that VT can turn around more quickly. Our copium the last few years was a lot of "VT just isnt good enough to compete with the big dogs", so seeing a quantifiable step change in coaching gets me excited that we were below our potential previously.

Danny is always open

+1 this. Pry can only improve our team. It sounds like he is laying the ground work for a sustained improvement in the team. He has hired better assistants, repairing instate relationships, charismatic, getting back to old school toughness, etc. He has a tall task in front of him and hopefully he is the man to get us back towards some ACC championships.

"Give me a fu瞽king beer", Anonymous Genius

Yeah I'm starting to think Pry and this team may surprise some people this fall. Not saying we are going undefeated or anything, but Kaleb's comments on everyone hitting new bests in the weight room and really taking their game to a new level is very exciting. He also stated Bowen came in for his first meeting with the offense and just led with saying there is enough talent right now in this room to compete for a championship. If this nucleus can be 6-7 with absolutely incompetent coaching and leadership, I want to see what they can do with this new staff.

If this nucleus can be 6-7 with absolutely incompetent coaching and leadership, I want to see what they can do with this new staff.

except it wasn't exactly "this nucleus" -- there has been a lot of turnover at several key position groups, and I don't think we net out positively personnell-wise, but i'm happy to be wrong about that.

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

I think generally you're right but one position I think we do net positively is qb. Arguably the most important position. So there's that.

I think it's foolish to expect much this season. I'm hopeful that these coaches are competent and will get the most out of the players we have. I really like and appreciate the message the coaches are using for the players to believe in themselves. I also think there will likely be some real growing pains. Hopefully we see flashes. But we're also going to see lapses. That's just part of picking up the pieces in a significant rebuild

Onward and upward

On the other hand, the players that were left may have had a lot of talent that was just not being utilized well (or not at all) by the previous staff. Maybe we'll get to see how much of recruiting was bad talent evaluation and how much was no player development, a bad S&C program, and bad coaching/game-calling. Or it could just be a coach working on the morale of some guys who'd lost a lot last season. I have zero expectations for this season, but really interested to see what the product the coaches put on the field will look like.

My only expectations are as follows:
1) Players Play Hard.
2) Team makes progress towards getting better through the season.

Fair - I meant number of wins, just wasn't clear on that.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to re-establish the bowl streak this year. But honestly, if the team plays better ball in November than September I will be happy. No meltdowns, players speaking out, etc. That is what I want for the program this year.

I can think of 2. One hasn't commented since Fu got fired, when he left with a passive aggressive parting shot (he may have actually been a member of the staff now that I think about it...). The other vanished for about 3 months after the firing, and hasn't really commented much on football-related things since returning. Both of them were pretty over the line and/or dismissive and belittling of those they disagreed with, and I understand wanting to feed them their own medicine till they choke on it retroactively.

But there is a limit to how productive that sort of thing is, and though they were a loud 2, they're still just 2. Your point stands.

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

Don't be afraid to drop usernames

Gobble Till You Wobble

I feel like that goes against the unwritten CGs.

Don't call out users unless you know they've had the banhammer dropped on them. Otherwise, they're still members of this community.

Older users can make in-jokes about Shockwave, because we know he's banned from this site.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Haha only said it because I assumed I was being referred to. A Walter White "say my name" gif would have been more fitting

Gobble Till You Wobble

It feels wrong to speak of other users, but at the same time I got a spreadsheet to maintain! /s

Oh hey,I don't think you've guessed my height yet

.... this is the most perfectly written thing I've ever seen on this site
-8300A_Hokie'12

I interpreted Vtkey's comment to be directed at the interviewer, not TKP. I haven't listened to it, but it sounds like multiple people agree he could have done better.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

We really should have cut the cord in 2018 or 2019. Like everyone else (maybe not literally everyone), I was high on Fuente after 2016. I felt okay after 2017, but as I have mentioned several times, the offense started to show its issues in a major way in that season. That was the beginning of our "offensive stats against P5 comp..." discussions. It sucks to think of it this way, but Hendon Hooker + Bud Foster saved Fuente's job in 2019. It should have ended after the Duke game, full stop. Bud as interim HC as we find our new one. Instead, we got a dead cat bounce from Hooker revitalizing the offense and Bud gave us his last run of coordinating prowess that made him one of, if not the best DC in the history of college football. The offense from Miami onward (the Hooker offense) was the best run of offensive play we got since 2016, and the Notre Dame through Pitt run was the final revelation of classic Bud Foster defense since 2017. You can argue that the next season Fuente got a similar lifeline from Khalil Herbert + COVID (well.. it wasn't really a real season (it absolutely was), so we gotta just throw it out, right? (we shouldn't))

Additionally, to this day, the 2017 GT game is the single most horrendous series of coaching decisions I've ever seen made in a game from start to finish. Every time the coaching staff, or probably just Fuente, was given a choice on how to handle a situation (going for it, going for 2, taking the xp, etc.) they/he made the wrong one and then continued to make wrong ones until it was a giant snowball that ended in us throwing back to back low% passes on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 in a game where we should have needed only a field goal instead of a touchdown (due to earlier decisions).

Fu very smartly worked to get that extension and huge buyout after 2017. I think by then he was realizing he was in over his head and needed some job security, so his agent threw his name in the FSU coaching search rumors among others and forced Whit to very prematurely award that new deal. That really hamstrung the program. We might have been able to make a move after 2018 or 2019 but the buyout made that extremely cost prohibitive for a few more years.

I didn't put any extra stock in that GT game at the time, I guess because I'm used to staggering offensive ineptitude? But you're absolutely right, it was a massive harbinger

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

Sort of reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. In that game (and during sections of others) it's like they did the opposite of what they should have done. As if every instinct they had was wrong. Or were they doing the opposite of what they thought they should do? It was as if they did it to mix up the other team, but they did it EVERY PLAY, for entire sections of games.

George: It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat... It's all been wrong.

...

Jerry: If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.

...

George: I will do the opposite.

Hi, my name is George. I'm unemployed, and I live with my parents

The Liberty game was when I was done. In hindsight I feel dumb for taking so long, but that was my nail in the coffin.

Yeah, that was some bitter, bitter medicine.

Right there with ya man. Ive wasted a lot of hours watching bad Hokie games, but that one was an all time stinker. A little pink thinking back and seeing I was a fool...A FOOL!

Go Hokies!

This!!^^^^^^
That game was it for me
The coaching ineptitude came to a massive visual head. Sorry for the bad visual, but:
Pop that sucker!

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

Khalil Herbert is 100% the reason we won as many games as we did that season. Every time someone mentions Herbert I remember how long it took the coaching staff to realize how good he was. After Herbert an Blackshear transferred in all they could talk about was how good Blackshear was. We never heard a peep about Herbert, except a quote about not realizing how fast he was. But when he was on the field it was clear to even novice fans that everything should have been running through him. Unfortunately, the OC routinely forgot this.

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

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

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

I was done with him after Duke in 2019. Not only was it a bad loss but he couldn't be bothered to have anything to do with the 1999 team. That told me he didn't care about the culture and didn't want to care.

I think giving up on him after 2018 was premature. After all they won 10 games in 2016 and were completely derailed by injuries at the end of 2017. The SI article was a huge red flag. By Duke it felt like a matter of time.

I remember that GT game. Not because I was there. Not because I watched it. But because that Saturday I spent the entire day in the lab writing my masters thesis.

I knew I was going to miss the game. I went to the lab to get work done. As gametime approached, a dear friend and fellow Hokie texted me whether I was watching. I said no. I'm in the lab. Gotta get this done and today is the time to do it. I have to sacrifice this one, which is fine, because I hate watching us play GT when Kyle Fuller isn't on the field.

He texts me constantly. He tells me how ugly it is. I stay focused on the work I have to do. He texts me more. He tells me I should be glad I'm not watching. He gives up sometime early in the second half.

To this day I still haven't watched that game and I have no intention of doing so. Thanks to BC for letting me know that my good-life-decision was also a good-Hokie-decision.

My moment like this came while I was in Athens on vacation. It was 2019 and I had to decide if I wanted to stay up basically all night to watch... The Duke game. After a long day, and with another full day planned with an early start the next day, I decided I would just get my sleep... I woke up and checked the score and thought there was some kind of error.

That game sucked but Laze and Burnop had a great moment that really captured the mood as they were signing off the postgame show that night.

MB: Who saw it coming?
JL(dazed like he's rethinking his whole life): Not me, Mike. Not me.

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

I will always think that Coach Cut did that to us intentionally to show us all Fu's backside. He knew Fu wasn't fit for Tech and he had too much respect for VT to let Fu ruin the program. He did what he could to show us the light. Respect.

if it's not clear, this is TIC

Onward and upward

Or he was just leading his team to victory like any coach would?

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Eh maybe or Duke is usually the doormat and he took the opportunity to make his perennial .500 football team feel like world beaters

Man, that was damning of the previous staff. But Pry has this man fired up. It's got me fired up! It feels like the classic VT vibe may be finally back!!

"The Big Ten is always using excuses to cancel games with us. First Wisconsin. Then Wisconsin. After that, Wisconsin. The subsequent cancellation with Wisconsin comes to mind too. Now Penn State. What's next? Wisconsin?" -HorseOnATreadmill

Going to listen to this later when I can. I read the Bitter article today and Kaleb had some pretty damning lines in there as well.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

These stood out to me (not exact quotes but close):
"GRIT was a joke. It was a joke for the team over the final year and a half."
- and -
"James (Mitchell) should have never been injured; that play was so unnecessary."

I had mixed feelings about that play, we had called it before, and in theory I liked getting the TE involved for more TDs, but it always felt like a cop out play because we should be able just to run it up the gut. So I 100% agree it wasn't necessary. Running it meant we weren't good enough. But running it once a season would have been a neat little misdirection score.

Making Jeremy Webb practice with a torn Achilles is probably the highest on my list. That's at best dereliction and at worst malicious

Webb should sue. I'm no lawyer, but making a kid do ladder drills with a bad Achilles that was reinjured not long after sounds like a lawsuit.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Would support this but I can imagine it would not be as straight forward as it appears and likely significant legal cost to do so. Plus, the main culprit here, Fuente, wouldn't be affected.

It was an interesting listen, but it was difficult to listen to. Was he making food in his kitchen while he was podcasting? Content-good, format-bad.

I hate rude behavior in a man. Won't tolerate it.

Listening to this is infuriating about the last staff. Good riddance to them and welcome to the Pry train.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

This thread summarizing Fuente's trashness makes me want to take a depression shower, take a shot of bourbon, then cuddle with my dog.

So here's a question. Have big support staffs always been a thing at the blue bloods, or were there modest staffs up until, what, like 10-20 years ago? I'm just curious since I want to say Fuente's entire coaching staff had never really been at other P5 schools, and if they had, it wasn't recent. I think Fuente realized he needed more (especially when your recruiting staff is one guy who has everything in his head (which, if I recall, was a holdover from Beamer, not someone Fuente hired)), but probably didn't understand just how MUCH more he needed.

I think one thing Pry did that was great (not sure if this was intentional for this reason or not) was hire guys that had experience at a number of other successful P5 programs. That helps get perspective on what they do that is or isn't successful/useful at those schools, the kinds of support staffs they have and how they use them. I've been at several places where poor leaders just bring their own experience that was successful at a previous place, without evaluating whether the same thing will be successful at the new place, and it winds up not working.

Hasn't always been like this. Saban started the enormous staff approach at Alabama being handed a blank check and win at all costs fanbase. Then the other blue bloods started trying to catch up to Bama.

That's the thing with Fu. He may have realized he needed more, but without any clear vision or plan, it's hard to tell if he knew how much more he needed or how to implement the resources.

To be fair, one of the most important parts of the Bama-blank-check for Saban wasn't that it was simply given to him... He made them give it to him.

Godfrey has gone on a few cool rants (not really the right word, but an excited and emphatically delivered speech) on how Saban forced the disorganized, warring factions of the Bama boosters into submission and made sure everyone knew they would be on the same page, his page, moving forward. He made sure everyone knew that he was the tip of the spear.

No doubt. Saban is the gold standard in the business because he commands the best and fights to get what he wants. How he got unconditional buy in from Bama admin and donors is impressive.

Some people dismiss Saban because they say anyone could do it if they had the player talent and money he has to work with. But if that were true why is Bama what they are and not anOSU, USC, Florida, etc?

It's also why when people get into these debates about "is it about Jimmies and Joes or X's and O's" my answer is that it's both, and always has been.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

and Texas! don't for get Texas. Saban is the GOAT and for good reason. He has the resources because he demanded them. He wasn't just handed a silver platter - he went out and took it and snapped everyone into line behind him

Onward and upward

Correct. I guess the longer he's been a HC the more often I've seen (usually younger people) question his x's and o's acumen, or just outrightly say things like "he's not an x's and o's guy," and every time it absolutely shocks me. He's the primary innovator of pattern matching in coverage. It's the biggest innovation of defensive football in my lifetime lol.

Saban continues to not only demand and get the most out of 4 & 5 star prospects, he does the same for his coaching staff. He's had a tremendous amount of turnover on his staff, but they continue to develop players and scheme the "X's & O's" better than almost anyone. He's got to be the greatest football coach of all time, in my opinion.

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

greatest college coach perhaps.

Yes. His pro career never took off. One wonders what would have happened if he had gotten Drew Brees in the draft like he wanted.

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

Minor fact check but it was free agency and miami team docs wouldnt clear brees's shoulder

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

Correction noted and appreciated.

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

Jim Mandich's comments about Nick Saban's tenure in Miami is always entertaining. He is really good at what he does. But, he is about as likeable as the IRS auditors knocking on your door.

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

I've definitely heard that he is hard to work for in terms of assistants, but his former players all ride hard for him. Odd dichotomy.

Not as odd as you might think. The president of the mortgage company I work for was the most likable, personable guy you could want to the lower 'ranked' personnel of the company, but had a reputation of bein a brutal taskmaster to his direct subordinates. Different skillsets/attributes for different situations/relationships.

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

I think he demands a lot from his players but realizes he's still coaching kids, he's likely demanding adults be good at their job or get out

Let's not be too hard on the boys from the IRS....

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

Have big support staffs always been a thing at the blue bloods, or were there modest staffs up until, what, like 10-20 years ago?

Echoing the response above - this is a Saban invention, and IMO the biggest advantage that SEC/B10 schools have.

I've said ad nausem that TV money will hurt lower level schools far more than NIL will - this is why - programs with Alabama-like resources can just be so much better at scouting opponents, doing self scouting, and doing due dilligence around recruiting. Additionally, they'll be able to outbid the mid-level schools for quality coaching talent.

Of course, you can have all of these resources and still under-achieve, but I don't think you can compete for a natty without these resources any more.

EDIT: Here's a piece from 2012(!) on how Saban revolutionized recruiting and staffing:

Certainly others, like Rich Rodriguez or Dana Holgorsen, fit into the "genius category" when it comes to their recent impact on the game. Personally, I think Bud Foster and Dick Bumpas also deserve credit for crafting innovative defensive schemes.

However, in the last decade-plus, there have been few who have had as far reaching an impact on the game as a whole as Saban. Teaching and schematically, Saban is certainly on the cutting edge, but his real impact comes before his teams ever take the field.

Teams are now starting to mimic Saban's approach to recruiting.

The manner with which his staff conducts business is quite intriguing. Much like he is looking for players to specialize in certain areas of footballnot "tweeners"so too is Saban a specialist in constructing his staffhis entire football support staff, not merely a coaching staff...

...Those in charge of cutting film cut film. Those responsible for mailings handle the mailings. Those who work the player tours know their roles and don't get outside of themselves. The system works, and as Saban's has expanded, so too have those at other locations in an effort to take work off the coaches' plates and allow them to focus on winning ballgames.

This is why I think TV Revenue matters so much. The best coach in the world can only scale himself so much without proper funding.

Twitter me

Saban is still light years ahead of everyone. The player development (not just S&C) department is way more advanced than any other college right now. It's an area I really think VT could excel in if they wanted, which would help VT immensely.

Oh I found the tweet he was referencing

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009