Doug Gottlieb Podcast interview with Fuente about what went wrong at VT.

About to listen on my drive this afternoon. Thought I'd share for everyone's thoughts.

Go to 1:36ish for VT stuff.

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I'm pumped to listen to this, thank you for sharing!

Edit: Okay, after listening, here is my summary/highlights for those who don't want to listen:

On Virginia Tech/Blacksburg:

  • First impressions of Virginia Tech: 'Beautiful indoor practice facility, beautiful stadium, and beautiful part of the country - the most beautiful place I've ever lived', but 'behind facilities-wise and behind staffing-wise.' Says facilities were just 'old and outdated', and listed all of the things that were renovated when he was there (Lobby, locker room, players' lounge, new dorm, etc). He does go into some detail on staffing, saying there were only 2 people focused on recruiting when he got there.
  • VT "has a great fanbase" - "Some fanbases show up to be entertained. These people show up and say 'how can we help you win?' They are there to actively participate in the game, and that's really cool."
  • Beamer was great, lived in their neighborhood. Mrs. Beamer was also wonderful.
  • It's hard to 'change regions' - had no familiarity with roster before showing up (whereas if he had wound up at Ole Miss, he probably would've seen the recruits there before). Virginia Tech was 'more northern' than he thought - he assumed going in that it would be a lot of Charlotte/Atlanta, but learned that it's mix of north, south, and midwest. Not a bad thing, but unexpected. He later alludes to some cultural/political differences between VT and Memphis vaguely mentioning issues communicating to players and higher ups.

On Staffing/Personnel:

  • Fuente made it clear that Foster was not foisted upon him. He had control over the hires and made a decision to keep Foster.
  • Of improving facilities and staff, his initial plan was to push for facilities improvements from the get-go, and slowly build recruiting staff.
  • When he got there, the "team was awesome" - older players were "studs; talented, hard working, great character." Younger kids were less talented and had character problems.

On his career/achievements/record at VT:

  • Met with Whit in 2017 and said 'the program is not in good shape' because the good players on offense left after 2016, the good players on defense were about to leave in 2017, the young people in program weren't dependable, and the recruiting staff was small so recruiting was going to take a hit. This was when the infamous 'you didn't hire me for the last two years, you hired me for the next 2 years' comment was made
  • 2019 team was much improved, despite the bad record. Calls Hendon 'the savior of the football team'
  • Thought the team was in good shape headed into 2020 - roster improved, support staff improved, facilities improved - Fuente was clearly excited for this season, and said they couldn't handle COVID. Said the team's medical people were incredible, but the team got no support from the university during this time. Also mentioned that some players' attitudes changed. Also noted the team played some games that they shouldn't have because the team was too thin.
  • Q: "what's the mistake you wish you had back?" A: "I made a lot of staffing mistakes - and for anyone who cares I am NOT talking about Bud Foster - there were a lot of things I could've done to help us in recruit that I didn't do until it was too late, that would've really helped us out."
  • Admits he could've handled the media better, admits he could've handle the Baylor situation better, had some frustrations/inability to manage up.

My personal takeaways (no surprises whatsoever here):

  • Despite repeatedly citing that he made mistakes with staffing, he doesn't go into any specifics, other than saying the recruiting dept was understaffed, and Bud was (emphatically) not part of the problem.
  • Multiple times he tip-toes around cultural/political differences - My interpretation is that he was a my-way-or-the-highway guy, figured out that it wouldn't work at VT, knew he had to change, but didn't know how to.
  • Similarly, he knew he was closing himself off and it was bad for PR, but he didn't know how to fix it or who to ask for help.

I'm not sympathetic for Fuente, but not I'm not team 'fuck Fuente' either. The guy tried his hardest, failed, and got fired. That's how this profession works. I personally want to see him coach somewhere else, just out of curiosity. Memphis was one of the most impressive turnarounds in modern college football history, I really want to find out if that was a fluke or if he's actually a good coach.

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As someone else who listened to the full pod, this is a great summation.

Additionally, we are in the same boat here. I am not particularly sympathetic towards Fuente, but I never hated the man. Even in the worst/lowest moments I never lashed out at him or his character. I wish for all of our sakes his initial tenure had worked out better. However, this really shed a lot of light and provided some interesting insights on why it did not. While I think he will end up coaching again, and much like you, I am interested to see the results, after listening to that podcast I'm not totally sure he will. If he doesn't it will be by his choice.

Interesting listen and I understood him to admit that he made mistakes and fell into a "give a shit" attitude, however vague the mistakes. Mentioned several times about hiring and coaching mistakes.....no names, of course. Very interesting that some old players from Memphis questioned his "new" coaching style or the lack of.............maybe the job was too big for him......certainly it seems that he wasn't experienced enough for this job. Things started spiraling and he just let it or didn't know how to stop it.

Very interesting that he didn't like someone or more than one that was above him in the food chain and, imo, blames them for his attitude.

Imo, he let his friends on the staff get him fired........should've made staffing changes and determined to go down with the ship instead.

Very interesting that he didn't like someone or more than one that was above him in the food chain and, imo, blames them for his attitude.

He said the opposite about this. Said he wasn't good at managing up and let disagreements get to him, and admitted he shouldn't have let that happen.

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Not to argue.......we'll let others chime in, if they wish.........but he said he didn't like someone or more than one and got an attitude.....yes, Doug got him to say he didn't manage "up" very well. It still sounds like blaming someone up the ladder for his attitude. All of this is opinion and conversation......we can listen to the same thing and hear something different.

Yeah, as Chris on here has said about Saban, he needed to be the tip of the spear. He needed to make changes and demand/push for more support from the AD office. Also needed to be comfortable being himself and being the face of the program even if there was friction with some people above him. Instead he just found himself a man on an island, like the Roanoke Times article said. Will be interesting to see how differently Pry manages things. I know he's got some buddies in the admin and program, but will he choose to chum it up with them and let the program slide, or not be afraid to navigate the hurdles and lead the program? We shall see.

Thank you for the summary, I am not ready to listen to that man speak just yet.

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

This. This is how I feel.

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

Despite repeatedly citing that he made mistakes with staffing, he doesn't go into any specifics, other than saying the recruiting dept was understaffed, and Bud was (emphatically) not part of the problem.

I think this was his way of saying he held onto Corn too long but didn't want to throw him under the bus publically.

yeah, its speculation though. We'll never know for sure what he really means by that. But I would really be interested to see Fuente get another shot somewhere (assuming he'd want to try again) and see who he brings with him. It would be fascinating to me to see who he goes after for OC.

Onward and upward

I mean honestly I wouldn't necessarily say that. He could be referring to Hamilton too, or any number of positional coaches.

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He could've been force into Hamilton by Ballein....who knows. We know now that Hamilton wasn't ready for the job.

Actually we don't know that. At all.

That's why I said....who knows

i think marc is saying we don't know that "hamilton wasn't ready" at all ?

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

Correct. I think he got dealt a tough hand with covid and new asst coaches. By the time he (and the coaches) got his sea legs in 2021 (Maryland game aside), he actually had the defense looking respectable - not great, but respectable - with quite a bit of the same personnel as this yrs roster and similar or worse injury issues.

Maybe he wouldn't have been a fit with what Pry wants to do or maybe Pry felt he simply needed to cut ties with as many people as possible from the Fuente era. I don't know. But I'm inclined think this years Defense (and by extension the entire team - while also allowing Pry to focus on being a 1st time head coach) would have been better if Pry had kept Hamilton and allowed him to tweek his scheme and personnel philosophy to meld with Pry's.

Maybe this part is just confirmation bias since I thought the Marve hire was generally a misguided move. But regardless I think it's quite a stretch to say "we" know Hamilton wasn't ready.

Hamilton will get another shot somewhere and he will probably succeed.

I hope Hamilton does succeed, I really do. I've always been of the mind that he was put into that role before he was really ready....that is purely my opinion. Additionally he was screwed by COVID and being tied to a coach on the hot seat without question.

As far as Marve, I can't even say if that was a bad hire or not because we really don't know what he actually does with regards to preparing the D. We know Pry calls the plays still (which I'm not a fan of), so I feel like we may not be getting our money's worth out of Marve as of now.

I refuse to take any criticism from a man that blasted Dave Matthews Band at practices.

Calls Hendon 'the savior of the football team'

Who believes this and benches the person? He's either completely full of shit or insane.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

well, in fairness to Fuente, it was probably Corn who benched him, not Fuente

/s

Onward and upward

Whelp I'm 7 minutes in and I've found first o shit moment. "Extremely talented older players but younger players were not very good and low character" talking about roster day he started.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Is it an oh shit moment? Yeah I'm surprised he said it so directly. But reading between the lines it was clear that that's what Fuente thought of the roster, living through that period of time. Also sooo many rumors of toxic things being said in the locker room by players.

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More like "o shit" he really just came out and said it.

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Also sooo many rumors of toxic things being said in the locker room by players.

What actually happened with Hill during that odu game? Heard lots of rumors...

I been here since day 0.

My source on the team (who wasn't on the team at the time) didn't tell me what exactly was done/said to start it but he did tell me that it ended with Dalton Keene basically beating the crap out of Trevon Hill lol. Which makes perfect sense, because then the next time they played against each other and Hill was on Miami, Keene had a couple of nasty blocks against him and they really seemed to be going after each other.

I mean, who would fuck with Rambo? Hill needs to go rewatch all of the movies. Dude never loses

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

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

I don't think Fuente really wants to get into a discussion of whose recruits were of low character and did unsavory things. I'm pretty sure he wins that going away compared to the kids he inherited.

what went wrong at VT

You mean like hiring Justin Fuente?

Yeah I don't really care to listen to the guy who killed our football program wax poetic about all the lessons he learned in the process

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It's actually been pretty good. Talking about how great Frank and Bud were, how bad staffing and facilities were. Says Blacksburg is best place he has lived.

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Poor Fuente. The best indoor facility in the ACC, a multi million nutrition room and brand new weight room are shitty. Also Lane is a shit hole. Poor fuente. Facilities. LOL. The lamest excuse I have ever heard. Bama's indoor facility is a glorified lean-to.

yeah, absolutely awful excuse. anyone who pays even remote attention to the sport can see through that. The facilities at Memphis were better?

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

If you listen to it, DC's and your response aren't really valid to what Fuente actually said.

He raved about the indoor and Lane. He said a lot of things were in progress to being updated when he arrived or updated while he was there. Didn't call it a barrier or even relate it to Memphis.

Thank you for giving more context than "talks about how bad staffing and facilities were" with respect to what went wrong

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

The only thing on your list that was built when he started was the Beamer barn. Let me guess you haven't listened but feel like you have to chime in?

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The only facility that really matters to accountable people and winners has been at VT since the late 60's. Lane was here- complete with modern luxury suits and the ever critical larger jumbotron was here when he got here. So were 25 straight bowl games.

And apparently Fuente agrees with your take on Lane, it's one of the few facilities (including the indoor practice facility) that he spoke favorably of in the interview.

A guy is a poor grad student and meets a girl and they start dating. He grinds and finishes his doctorate and gets a postdoc for a year and then a good, well-paying industrial job at the top of the market in their area. She lets things erode in the relationship and he dumps her.

A year later, she says "well he was poor when i met him".

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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

Wow, dcwilson40 with a surprisingly negative take....

Ooh pot and kettle here lmao

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

Most of my negativity here is and has been regarding the fan base's delusions about what it takes to put a consistently winning program on the field in the 21st century. That includes things like facilities. But I'm not critical of the facilities per se; I'm critical of the lack of support from the fan base et al to build them or pretending the problems don't exist.

I'd say I'm generally (but not always) positive or agnostic about the players, the coaches, recruiting classes, etc. than most people here - because I realize how tough it is when you're swimming upstream.

So perhaps the better phase is "oooh, the black kettle hates being told it's black".

We have upgraded facilities again and again, so I don't buy the bad facilities excuse.

As for staffing, that was his responsibility as head coach.

Yep. When he got here, our facilities were absolutely NOT a limiting factor in what we were trying to do. Our indoor facility was top notch. The locker room had just been completely gutted and expanded. The weight room was top of the line. The football offices were showing their age a bit, but they were absolutely not in any desperate need of overhaul, and really only needed a fresh coat of paint, as we recently saw. There's no excuse on why that was holding us back from being a team who could recruit with the likes of a North Carolina or NC State.

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The weight room was done while he was coach, the locker room still hasn't been done. In 2016 we had 1990's players lounge, early 2000's dining area, no athlete dorms planned, nutrient area was a closet off the weight room.

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Beamer had the locker room expanded 20 fold with the largest lockers in CFB at the time and an entire re-build ..... way way back in 2010. 5 whole fucking years before Fu was hired.

The locker room, when Fuente was hired, was 5 years old, opened in November, 2010. This is the blurb about it on VT's website

The $18 million building is nearly 42,000 square feet, with the 14,800-square-foot locker room on the first floor of the building. The lockers, which are 42 inches and made of wood, include a ventilation system to keep football pads and helmets dry, as well as individual safes for players to store valuables. Each locker also has electrical outlets for cell phone chargers and other electrical equipment. The locker room also includes showers, a cold tub, a hot tub, a steam room and a sauna that is used extensively to help players recover from injuries. The coaches also have their own locker room. The second floor of the building is 12,900 square feet and includes a players' lounge and a study room. Adjacent to the lounge area is a 2,900 square-foot balcony that overlooks the Steve Johnson Practice Field. The building contains a third floor, constructed for the wrestling program, which uses it as a wrestling room for practices. The floor also holds the wrestling team's locker room and coaches' offices.

It was state of the art when it was opened. It was very much ahead of the curve when Fuente took over. To call it old and outdated at that time is complete and utter bullshit.

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Who called it old and outdated? I didn't I said it still is yet to be updated with newer meeting room, dining area, weight room upgrades. I was in the locker room in 2016 it looked dark, the carpets were stained and worn out, the drop tile ceiling was missing tiles and was discolored in spots.

This is what Clemson was looking at building around that same time period. We didn't even have a plan or the money yet. This is the hole Tech is still staring at still today. If the facilities were good enough to win games in the 90's and early 2000's why should we change them.

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Clemson also has a mini golf course for the players and a sliding board they can use instead of the stairs. Damn justin fuente was coaching with one hand behind his back I tell ya.

Again you whine about not competing with Clemson in the conference then claim the things they do don't matter in the grand scheme of modern college football. Like it or not upgraded and fancy and ostentatious facilities work.

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1. I 100% whine about not being close to getting consecutive first downs against Clemson. Yep- guilty. 2. I have been very very consistent in that carpet and paint are not the reason we can't score on them. 3. Its their fucking players that are a lot fucking better than ours- and no, It's not because their carpet is newer. Its a lame excuse. If we had ODU's stadium or maryland's 40 yard practice field and empty stadium, come talk to me.

If you think facilities aren't an important part of recruitment and retention in modern college football then your being left behind. There is a reason UVA, Wake, UCF, Miami, Southern Cal, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, UNC etc etc etc have recently spent or are drawing up plans to spend tens of millions or even hundreds of millions to upgrade stadiums, locker rooms, overall athletic facilities. Sitting back and saying yep we are good is what our Frank and Fuente behind in the mid 2010's we are just now catching up and if we sit still again and wait another 5-10 years before we even look at fundraising and planning for upgrades to Lane, outdoor practice fields, etc we will be stuck behind again. Big boy football is a game of making sure your leading or riding the crest not trying like hell to catch-up to everyone else. That doesn't even talk about other sports that need upgrades, need endowed coaching positions.

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If you think VT's facilities are shit, you are wrong. Simple. You are wrong. It is what it is. Dabo went out and got Watkins and Boyd to build a program instead of bitching about carpet and he won 2 natty's. We should try that.

There is a wide gulf between shit and keeping up with peers and you just don't seem to understand that. Dabo signed them when? You think Clemson is just spending tens of millions on upgrades because it's fun? No it's to keep up with the level of teams they want to keep up with.

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Facilities are a part of recruitment, but they aren't everything. It's all about how they (a) fit into your broader sales pitch and (b) show the program's dedication to football. For example, you look at Clemson, and Dabo's whole pitch is that Clemson is the 'fun' program, whereas Alabama, OSU, etc are the 'this is a job' program. Their facilities are another way to convey that message.

We didn't lose recruits because of outdated facilities. We lost recruits because we tried to tell them we cared about football, but they didn't perceive it that way when they came to campus (due in part to staffing, facilities, etc)

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lol it was just built in 2010! FFS we shouldn't have been planning to gut it just 5 years later for a few million, make good with what you have. Oh, there were tiles missing? Fuente, get someone to fix that shit. Oh, it was dark? Get brighter lights or throw a different shade of paint on the walls, or replace the carpeting. You're the coach, those low budget quick fixes are easy to implement.

You don't have to go through a multimillion dollar renovation every few years just to keep up. When the bones are there and the foundation is solid, small improvements go a long way. And seriously, I honestly say that even going through the $5m renovation that we're about to do is overkill given what we invested in 12 years ago.

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C'mon man.

You have to keep up with the Clemsons. Or at least the Wakes.

Everyone is doing it.

It's an arms race with everything today...you don't keep up or stay ahead, you get left behind.

He actually admits that. Says he made really bad staffing hires and decisions. But when he started Tech had 2 total staffers working in recruiting. He also talks about athletic department and school staffing which he can't control didn't support football team

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I just have trouble believing that the athletic department didn't support the team. Football has been the big driver at the school for as long as I can remember.

They may have supported, but I believe Fireman is saying they were/are not supported enough. That's a bus he's been driving as long as I can remember on here

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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.

This sums up exactly why VT has been continuously behind aspirational peer programs with regard to facilities for at least 20 years...

Seriously, having started listening to this, it's worth listening to.

I haven't listened to all of it, and I'm sure there will be some excuses, but he does come across as a thoughtful guy. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say, and I'll edit after I've heard the entire interview.

It's a good listen. While he made many, many mistakes, I think there were several jabs made at the admin/AD office for a lot of errors as well and being slow with facilities and staffing improvements. Gives me an impression of a guy who didn't know what he was fully getting into, and an admin that doesn't know how to manage a P5 competitive football program.

I'd love to know who the person or persons were that he didn't align with. He never says them by name, and I wonder if it's Sands or Babcock.

Speculation that it may have been when Desiree Reed-Francois left and Whit promoted John Ballein. He's a good ol boy who has somehow managed to rise the ranks of the AD over the years.

When he talks about someone to share the "story" I wonder if he and Pete didn't see eye to eye either?

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I thought maybe he was talking about himself and he should have been more accessible to media and promoting the program. But I also gather it sounded like he didn't get a ton of support from the AD office either.

To me I kind of interpreted it the way Fireman did. He needed someone to help him communicate better, and then at the end he talks about regressing into a shell basically. Both things could be true.

That makes sense - he always spoke highly of Babcock, but I imagine having Frank Beamer's consigliere around wasn't too fun

Ballein was also one of the biggest supporters/people pushing to hire Pry.

I don't necessarily feel sorry for Fu, because it's apparent he didn't have the capability to navigate the political and administrative hurdles at VT and get everyone going in the same direction. He was also horribly loyal to bad assistants and basically had no recruiting strategy. But the part where he said something about former players from Memphis visiting and noting that he was different/acted different at VT, with him saying there were certain expectations there on how we was supposed to act or handle things. I think he just froze up into almost paralysis by the end of his tenure. Just a bad situation all around.

If anyone has ever been in a job where they feel like they were over their head and struggling, it's not fun. I was there once and I relate to him saying how he lost what made him successful.

completely unrelated, but when I took theory of org with Dr.Torgersen, John Ballein was one of the guest speakers, definitely seemed very loyal to CFB. Also remember how he said his daughters could only go on dates if the guys picking them up have a talk with him in his gun closet lol

I took that class when Torg was made president. He decided to finish out the semester teaching and used to bitch to our class about Burruss politics.

Torg was the man. Best class I've ever taken.

agreed definitely one of my favorite classes. probably didn't help that I wasn't a fan of my major lol, so always liked classes outside of it

Haha I was the same. I see you're a fellow ME, so that makes sense.

Isn't one of his daughters on staff now?

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Whit spoke to the media for Fuente (IIRC) after Fuente interviewed for Baylor on the sly, then the next year Whit embarrassed himself in his full-throated defense of Fuente at a press conference. If Fuente had a problem with Whit he's a complete idiot.

I'm really sick and tired of hearing Fuente blame others for his own shortcomings. Support from the VT administration was never an issue while he was here. If he wants to blame anyone for not knowing how to run a P5 program, all he has to do is look in the mirror.

By the time he was fired our fundraising was higher than its ever been. We poured money into facilities when asked. We have always been willing to increase budgets when necessary. If he didn't think he was getting the appropriate support all he had to do was ask. But given his inability to know his ass from a hole in the ground in the recruiting circles, and the high school coaching relationships he completely ghosted on throughout the commonwealth during his tenure, and knowing that we immediately increased budgets and announced facility upgrades the second Pry had a chance to assess the situation here, it paints the picture of a man who expected everyone else to do his job for him so that he never allowed accountability to fall on his own shoulders.

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Totally agree. He just couldn't navigate the demands of the job and successfully navigate the political hurdles to get things done. However it wasn't until after his Baylor thing that the AD announced the reach campaign. I feel like VT as always was a day late and dollar short too.

I mean the Drive for 25 program was announced in 2016 with a goal of increasing our Hokie Club membership by 150% by the time the 2021-22 academic year wrapped up. Not only did we accomplish that goal early, we ended up increasing our overall HC membership by 200% at the end of it.

Fuente had more resources at his disposal than Beamer ever had, and completely neglected and wasted it. The Baylor thing should have never happened, and it only did because he was incapable of being able to work within the means that he had at his disposal. And I don't for a second believe the numbers that were floating around regarding our finances at the time, those were cherry picked to push a narrative.

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I think we can all agree that Fuente failed for a variety of reasons, one of which was that VT football was not being funded at a level that matched fans' expectations. Not the only reason he failed, but one of many.

And I don't for a second believe the numbers that were floating around regarding our finances at the time, those were cherry picked to push a narrative.

Not sure specifically what you're talking about, but VT under Fuente was not spending like a top 25 program (more like a top 40-50 program). I'm not sure specifically which numbers/reports you are questioning, but here's a link to the Knight Commission database so you can do your own research.

Fuente had more resources at his disposal than Beamer ever had, and completely neglected and wasted it.

That's kinda how an arms race works though... Prime Beamer's stockpile of weapons was top 25 quality for a solid 2 decades. Then we didn't keep up. In 2001 we had the 3rd highest paid staff in the country. 10 years later, we had the 50th highest paid staff. When Fuente came through, his coaches were paid competitively, but we were behind on support. The goalpost are always moving.

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I still don't think there was any one VT could have hired in 2015 that could succeeded. Torian Gray doubled his salary when he left in 2016. In 2020, when Wiles moved on he doubled his salary going to some one that has always been below us in the ACC. Gray is a Hokie, Wiles was brought by Frank as a GA (so he's a graduate of VT) then brought back in 96 and coached at VT for 23 years. There still are so many issues that I would hope Whit and Pry and all have a war room just to track progress on everything that needs to be fixed. Pry has taken a huge step with increasing the staff buy like 30%.

We are worse because Fuente did some important things very poorly, the biggest was his communication. He pressers were terrible and he needed a PR person like crazy. But hearing this his communication was bad all over. Losing the recruiting department because one guy left was one of the biggest plunders there has to have been. Recruiting is the most important part and you let one guy hold all the knowledge. That needed to be his number one communication to everyone until that was fixed.

He had more resources than Beamer, but how were those resources relative to the programs we wanted to be like. Not sticking up for Fu here, but VT didn't start making moves until after the Baylor flirtation.

As disappointed as I've been with Pry's tenure so far, this interview does remind how nice it is that Pry takes responsibility instead of blaming the previous staff for not leaving him with 4 number 1 classes, VT being a northern school, Covid, weight rooms, the media, and any other ludicrous crap he can think of.

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Thanks for posting about this, can't wait to listen to it later! I've been patiently waiting for Fuente to pop back up on the radar.

Lol. I knew this thread was gonna be full of fun takes when I read the title. Lemme see what this man has to say.

I pretty agree with everything the first comment in this thread says. He didn't go into particulars, which is fine, and it kind of humanized him for me finally. I guess I can finally end my fuck fuente shenanigans. Confirmed a few ideas I had... Namely that he was going uphill trying to get money, facilities and recruiting in order.

Wish he would've explained his benching of hooker though.

It's still fuck corn though.

Overall it is a good listen. He makes some small comments here and there that are irritating. He also owns a ton of things that he did wrong, albeit while staying somewhat vague. He does a good job at making me sort of like him still... until I remember the state of our program now. Still seems like a decent dude.

Side note: How is the audio quality so bad, for both Gottlieb and Fuente? Gottlieb comes from radio and the podcast is from the Herd network. WTF?

I could almost hear Fuente telling himself "you can't name anyone, that's in bad taste" several times when he was discussing making bad staffing hires or not clicking with people higher up at Virginia Tech.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

A very interesting inside scoop on the Tennessee game at Bristol in this interview.

That game was Tennessee focused from the start. Better hotel, better warmup location. Not surprised equipment guys struggled.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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All of us at the game knew very quickly that this was a Tennessee home game. There was absolutely nothing neutral about the in game presentation.

This is my school
This is home

Exactly. WCYB is the primary television station for the furtherst reaches of Southwest Virginia, and they were an in-house organ for Vols Football for years (aired the Johnny Major's show.) In Bristol and close to the game, there are way more Vols fans than Tech fans historically, and while that ratio has been closer the last 20 years, it still isn't close.

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

well this oughta be good

Jk nope, I can't bring myself to listen to it. Still too raw.

edit: yeah, this didn't deserve a DV. Whoever you are, for examples of posts that do, please scroll down

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.

Wrong person.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Super rational discussion here haha.

Honestly after listening, I'd imagine Fuente would be happier becoming the head coach at a TX high school powerhouse like Lake Travis. Doesn't have to deal with some of the non-coaching responsibilities, less emphasis on recruiting etc. Would be a massive paycut but he's got enough to retire today.

I think he believes his assessment of what happened at VT was honest, he took ownership of a lot of his mistakes and it sounds like he's happier not being in the public spotlight.

I agree he'd be better off in a place like that, and while it would be a paycut, he'd still be a football coach in Texas. That's not chump change

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.

Honestly, even a like place like Rice would be a good fit for him if he doesn't want to go the high school route.

Let's be honest, he has enough money and is young enough to start making generational wealth investing it. Working at TX high school would cover his and his families insurance needs without having to dip into that big piggy bank.

Dude doesn't even have a job and he makes more than I do.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Do they address the '99 Team Anniversary fiasco at all?

β€œAlso, a microwave has never danced it's ass off to Jackie Wilson.” - AssPocketFullOWhiskey

Didn't have enough support staff to tell him that was important.

I mean I think this is more true than people realize, Fuente admits needing a lot of help in the admin side of the house, his game day should be planned to the minute and visiting the 99 team should have been on that plan

If someone has to tell the head coach, "visit the best team in school history that also has a fair number of dudes who made good money in the NFL and can write you checks", that's a bigger problem to me.

I've written this before, but that was the moment for me I was done with him. It told me that he didn't get VT and he didn't want to bother learning.

So for me this was a programmatic failure of Fuente's that really was a big issue, however I looked at it as if we want a CEO head coach then we need the exec admin that actually runs everything. There is so many things a HC has to deal with that I dont even know if Fuente knew the team was there. That's a gigantic step back from coaching if the HC is scheduling who's being honored at a game. I think the HC should talk to every single group that is being honored at the game, no matter who they are, that's part of the expirence. So the coach needs a goto room X at tine Y and say sone words, shake sone hands because of XYZ. Now the reason to congratulate the '99 team should be obvious, but we've honored lots of people that I would never expect a coach to know anything about them. The support staff should/exec admin should be planning the coaches day.

In addition, I 100% believe it is in bad form to ask former players for money.

In addition, I 100% believe it is in bad form to ask former players for money.

I didn't make millions and ended up graduating from a different college but they ask me for money.

Ahh I see my dumb cunt of a stalker has followed me to this thread as well, once again downvoting everything I say.

Been about 2 months of this constant trolling. Its sad, but its getting old. I wish the mods would do their job and deal with it.

This is my school
This is home

complaining about it isn't going to help. And besides Joe, I don't think any of the mods have any way of knowing who is up/down voting anybody. I've had my own DV stalker on here before. Just suck it up and deal with it. Turkey legs are about as far from important as you could possibly get.

Onward and upward

Turkey legs are about as far from important as you could possibly get.

Speak for yourself. Some of us have families to feed.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

This gave me a good chuckle

I'm not your stalker, but the irony seems to be lost On someone sick and tired of Fuente blaming others for his shortcomings.

Man, I am getting downvoted for any comment I make. It really doesn't matter if its the Gamers Forum, the Racing Thread, etc. Every comment I make is getting downvoted by someone in here, and its gotten old.

Quite frankly. in the grand scheme of things, I don't much care. I have 175k legs, it really doesn't matter. But, given that a negative overall score will community ban someone, you bet your ass I'm going to call out downvote spammers, because that behavior will inevitably get new people banned for simply speaking their minds or not going with the groupthink in their first week here, and I have long been a proponent of making sure that simply does not happen.

This is my school
This is home

that behavior will inevitably get new people banned for simply speaking their minds or not going with the groupthink in their first week here

I don't think that would happen to a new user that simply provides a different opinion that respect the CGs.

To be fair, you were pretty critical of ppl being harsh on the current staff earlier in the season, myself among them....pretty sure you even called me a Fuente guy when my comments over time have been otherwise. Not saying you deserve to be trolled, but you can't say you're open to opinion then crap on people who don't agree with yours.

I wish the mods would do their job and deal with it.

Just to confirm and defend ourselves a little here, moderators have no ability to track who votes in what way. Only Joe can see that by accessing the database. If that's an issue we need to deal with, I'll take it up with Joe if you like.

As someone who has had a DV stalker in the past, I would LOVE to know who it was (I had suspicions) but in the grand scheme of things its really pretty trivial. I don't think it's ever worth asking Joe to check it out (he's done quite a lot for us and doesn't need to be chasing ghosts)

Onward and upward

And I'll use this opportunity to tell any DV stalker to get a damn life. Spam voting is against CGs but it is also just pathetic to do.

Fair enough. At a certain point, all I wanted to do here was get some attention on it. I intentionally used harsh language as a means to that end. At the end of the day, I don't really care, but I do know we want to see this community grow, we want to foster more TKPC subscriptions, and I don't want to see us develop a mindset that punishes people for simply speaking their minds, especially when, at low levels, TL counts really do matter.

This is my school
This is home

Also the mods are volunteering their time. This isn't their job.

yeah i was too busy paying attention to the cryptocurrency thread today

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

I'm not down voting every comment of yours but I did downvote this and another comment in this thread for excessive whining. It's fake turkey legs dude. grow up.

This seems like he's angling to get back into coaching. By saying he made staffing errors, he's saying it without saying it that some of the problems were the other coaches' faults. He is pretty middle of the road in everything- just spill the beans if you're not angling for another coaching job. I also don't think Tech facilities were that outdated, the staff was probably small for a P5 school, but it looks like Wake and Duke are pretty good this year and VT has tons of advantages on both. In terms of the roster and having older guys who are studs and younger guys who aren't - well, the younger guys are his responsibility to recruit as the new coach. Or replace.

Oof. That 'low character' comment. Geez.

β€œAlso, a microwave has never danced it's ass off to Jackie Wilson.” - AssPocketFullOWhiskey

I haven't listened to the podcast. But from the comments in this thread it sounds like he missed his era to be the kind of head coach his personality fits by about 20 years and would probably still be a good to great offensive coordinator in today's game.

I never did hate the man, but boy did I have a gripe with the coach.

ounds like he missed his era to be the kind of head coach his personality fits by about 20 years

I mean, if you've followed some of the comments his mentor (Patterson) has made in the last 3 years... woof.

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I mustve missed this, any examples?

Patterson was an obsessively well-prepared authoritarian, and while the first part of that descriptor works in any era, the second is not a good fit for a time in which player-coach relationships are changing

In 2018, a player sued him, alleging Patterson threatened him into playing through an injury. Patterson said he was "a little bit hurt" by the suggestion and that he wouldn't put winning ahead of player health

Patterson seemed to want a player base that was beholden to him and had to listen to him, even as the sport was going the other way

Sauce

There's some other things in that article that I'm not dragging over here, but yeah Fuente was a remolded Patterson through and through

He was very anti-NIL, anti-player rights, anti-transfer portal in the last 5 years of his TCU tenure.

  • Comments on Transfer Portal - Favorite Patterson Quote: "They keep thinking it's all about the kid; I say until they're playing their own rent... then they can make their own decisions."
  • In a team meeting in 2020, he used that one slur you absolutely should not use.
  • The following year, when talking to boosters to get them to give to NIL, he made an infamous comment "Five-thousand dollars to someone who has dirt on their floors is a lot of money"

These are some cherry-picked examples, but it illustrates the point - he's been extremely resistant to any form of player autonomy. When NCAA changes provide players more freedom, Patterson just could not adopt the new reality without making snarky, inappropriate comments.

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He makes some puzzling comments about how everyone should know what play they're calling in a given situation and formation. He sold it as a way to help the guys execute and feel comfortable.

Maybe I'm out of touch but that seems like the wrong type of simplicity. But it makes sense having watched, the schemes were overly complicated but the playcalling seemed locked in regardless of how the game was going/what was working.

My main takeaways from listening to it (none of these are really surprises to most of us):

1) Fuente was way over his head when taking this job; didn't know what he was getting into
2) Didn't do a lick of research on VT and it's history
3) Stubborn as fuck/My way or highway
4) Day late, dollar short on the accountability

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

1) Fuente was way over his heads when taking this job; didn't know what he was getting into

TMI

uva - the taint of the ACC

lmao... have a leg sir

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I could ramble but FF!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

The Liberty game is still undecided but based on the current trajectory its just feel yucky. Is anyone else suffering from some mild or even serious Stockholm syndrome for Fuente?

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

No, I am happy to have Pry now even if he doesn't work out in another year or two. I feel we have a HC that is focused on recruiting, development of players, and accountability. The accountability especially when directed towards the coaches. The program is open again and that is what the majority of the fans and players wanted.

I think the winning will come, or he will take steps to address the situation with the coaching.

Saw this and... yeah, that about sums up my feelings on this pretty well

This is my school
This is home

When did he punish a player for attending a funeral?

Don't recall the funeral, tho not disputing it, considering he benched Teller for missing a practice to go to a wedding

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

Players mom response to that tweet:

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I thought it was a pretty insightful listen. I hammered Fuente for closing off himself to the fans and media and it was interesting to hear Doug say the same thing.

He was never a natural salesman. It's not a coincidence that his best years of recruiting was 2017-19 when he had a successful product on the field.

I think when he says staffing issues, that's maybe what he's also hinting at. Instead of hiring Cornelson who quite literally didn't speak to Kaleb Smith, he should have hired a guy who recruit his balls off and allow him to nerd out on the X's and O's.

I think Fuente would flourish as an OC under a charismatic head coach like Dabo or ironically Shane.

Agreed, I really like Fu as a person and think he's a great offensive mind...but maybe he wasn't prepared or ready for what he encountered here. What made me really want him gone was his stubbornness with regards to Cornelson. Additionally he didn't do a great job of staff hires...Jafar Williams was a terrible WR coach, and I don't think hiring Hamilton was the right move to replace Bud. But he did force the university's hand with regards to putting more money into the program....which later allowed us to pay Tyler Bowen 850K a year to be OC. Sooo yeah

I know people in the Athletic department that liked Fuente and still do. They said he was a nice guy and good to people that got to know him. But you can be a nice person and not a good HC at the same time.

Hypothetical: How much would he have to flourish for the future VT head coach Shane Beamer to hire him as OC?

And he is a multimillionaire on our account!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

I'm glad Fuente made clear it was his decision to keep Bud Foster and he was given complete autonomy over the decision. Dispels a lot of myth that Fuente apologists held as true.

Hokie Club member since 2017

Only thing I got to say. Well 2 things. Bye FU and new chevelle album 2023πŸ‘€

I must have read a thousand faces
I must have robbed them of their cause
Sickened thirst, Sickened thirst
Keeps it together
Soft white glow in the cranium
A bullseye made sedated

new chevelle album 2023

Not sure if someone said it above, but this is 100% a PR move by Fuente to get back into coaching soon after sitting out a year. Had this thought already, then the latest Split Zone Duo Patreon show seems to think he might already be locked into one of the current G5 openings....

What is he supposed to do? Just sit around and do nothing?

He is going to have to go be a coordinator for a while or be a FCS HC because he torched his reputation with napalm with his handling of the VT HC job.

sit around and do nothing?

Doesn't sound so bad

Did (Fuck)Fuente touch on his petty bullshit like benching Teller for missing a practice to attend a family member wedding that he provided plenty of notice about?

This podcast interview is nothing more than an apology and shift blame where possible attempt to try to cleanse his name get a job elsewhere. I personally hope other ADs see through the bullshit.

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

This is a new one, source?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Source: Carly Teller, wife of Wyatt

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

Damn. That Oline coach seemed to have an issue with Teller whole time.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

So we're going with position coaches decided suspensions?

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

His position coach benched him numerous times. Also it says "didn't start" not suspended.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

okay, I get that Fuente isn't popular among the fanbase. And people probably give him a harder time than is warranted, which is the only reason I can think of that you keep jumping to his defense. But it is weird. The guy failed. We're fanatics. I know it's ridiculous but that's what fans do. We get unreasonably happy with good things and unreasonably upset with bad things. We love players/coaches more than we should for being good (Vick) and we hate players/coaches more than we should for not meeting our expectations (Fuente, any OC of the last 2 decades, basically). Is it fair or reasonable? Probably not fully. But you gotta stop defending him at every single turn. The guy coached and failed and landed a huge paycheck to leave. He got into this industry knowing that there would be insane amounts of scrutiny. He got into this industry knowing that fans are crazy and mostly don't know WTF they're talking about. But this is an industry that compensates coaches really, really well to deal with all the crap. Just let the fans (us) trash Fuente for failing to do his job and move on.

Onward and upward

Because facts should matter. Fuente failed because he couldn't recruit, didn't fire his buddies and became closed off every year worse and worse with media and fan base. But talking to his former players, their families the last 7 years I have not met one kid that finished at Tech who didn't absolutely love Fuente. Even some of the transfers defend him to this day. I'm not going to trash a guy's character because he wasn't a good coach. Suspending teller for going to a wedding is a character flaw that I have yet to see any evidence for. Bad coach β‰  bad person.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

you're speculating, though. Just like we all are. You have anecdotal evidence that players liked him. He had 85 players on his roster each of those 6 years. He turned over somewhere between 10-20 players a year so he probably had close to 150 players under him at VT during his tenure. We've heard both good and bad things from different players. You're only seeing half the picture, for some reason. He was definitely a bad coach. I think we all agree on that (the results speak for themselves). You're acting like everyone on TKP is character assassinating him. That just isn't the case. I've seen several people posting on TKP that they thought Fuente was "a good dude" or some variation of that. I've seen WAAY more posts suggesting that he's a decent human than posts suggesting he's a Hugh Freeze level of schmuck. The reality is that most of us will never meet the guy or see how he operates as a coach when the cameras aren't on him. Wyatt was benched for a pretty silly reason. It was obvious that certain players lived in the doghouse during Fuente's tenure. Whether that decision came from Fuente or one of his coaches is kind of immaterial. Everything starts and stops with him. His coaches are a reflection of his leadership and if they're doing shady stuff, or benching players for silly reasons, or not playing players for making mistakes, or not letting the players actually play, ultimately that comes back to Fuente. It's his job and responsibility to make sure his coaches are doing what he wants them to do.

So, yeah, maybe it was Vice who benched Teller. But Fuente co-signed it. Fuente had the authority to challenge the benching and he did nothing, ultimately sending the message that he agreed with his coach on that matter. If Fuente didn't agree, he should have discussed that with Vice. Fuente was the head of the snake.

Onward and upward

uva - the taint of the ACC

he's not dead yet. Keep beating

Onward and upward

that'd be a hell of a way to kill a man

Onward and upward

It was really refreshing to hear Fu's personality. I feel like that was the first time I actually heard "Justin" rather than just Coach Fuente. He sounded like someone I would like to grab a beer with. On the other hand we have coach Pry who I think most of us would LOVE to grab drinks with and probably felt that way since day 1. Over the next 2 years as Pry is rebuilding I suspect he is going to get a longer leash because people can connect with him and are personally rooting for him.

I think the length of Pry's leash will depend somewhat on how his offense performs next year. And what he does if it doesn't improve.

Onward and upward

Fu is a nice guy. I've talked to him several times. He is quiet, polite, quick with a self deprecating comment. Having said that- nah you don't want to have a beer with him- he's boring. You want to have a beer with Shibest or Vice though.

Maybe Fu should have had a few with those guys, who knows what may have happened. /s

Seriously though, that random and awesome twitter outburst of his during covid lockdowns I still think was due to a few Bud Lights. But we shall never know.

Does anyone remember who the Key Player was who won a chance to hang out with the football team and got to meet/interview the coaches and stuff during Fuente's tenure and being back some of the answers to us? I'm sure they could give us some insight into who the previous coaches were.

Reach for Excellence!

VT Football: It'll get after ya!

Proud Hokie since 2004.

pretty sure that was Fireman, right?

Yes it was me and probably part of the reason why I defended the staff longer than I should have because I saw the relationships they had with the players and each other in a more relaxed environment. Bud sneak eating Carol Lee donuts even though he told me he should not be for example.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

eating Carol Lee even though he should not be

Story of my life sophomore and junior years, and every time I come back to Blacksburg. Just can't lay off it.

I'm only in the 2nd episode so far, but it was interesting to hear that Fuente lived with Galen Scott, Brad Cornelson, and Bill Teerlinck among others during his coaching time at Illinois State. I get that coaches (Pry included) want to hire guys that they know, but man that really seems like a suboptimal strategy. Maybe this is super commonplace (I don't feel like digging that much lol) but it has me kinda nervous for our current coaching staff.

I mean, it's always going to be a balance, right? You either go with the guys you know you have chemistry with and hope they mature as coaches or you go with someone who may be better as a coach, but there are risks as far as chemistry with you and the rest of the staff. I mean, look at the Jerry Kill situation... But anyway, IF the guys you take a flyer on because of familiarity get better as coaches, you are way more likely to retain them even if they become sought after coaching hires (see: Foster, Bud).

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

Pry had a previous working relationship with Marve, Bowen, and Quinn. If you really want to stretch, you can include Price since he was a player when Pry was a GA.

Fuente brought Corn, Wiggins, Vice, Shibest, and Scott with him from Memphis. Then hired Teerlinck to replace Wiles and Williams to replace Wiggins. And on top of that leaned on Bud to replace other defensive staff (Hamilton, Tyler, Price). Fuente used a much smaller net for staffing than Pry.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

It's pretty common place to only hire guys you or a colleague have worked with before. It's not common to only hire people you've lived with before.

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