Before the start of the 2015 regular season, Memphis head coach Justin Fuente was a bit of a mystery to the majority of the casual college football fan base.
He suffered a losing record in his first two seasons in charge at the C-USA school. Now in the AAC, they’ve found success and the ability to play competition worthy of being a top 25 team.
This week, it was rumored that he was the favorite to become the replacement for Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, a man who held that post since 1987. Beamer led the program to heights that were considered unreachable at the time he was hired, getting into the BCS National Championship Game in 1999, although they suffered defeat to a supremely talented Florida St. team.
Fuente was once the offensive coordinator for TCU during the time Andy Dalton was the QB, he arrived at Memphis in 2012, with a program in shambles. He went to record a 4 win season in 2012, and a 3 win season in 2013. He turned it around last season with an AAC championship in 2014, posting a 10-3 record (7-1) in conference.
Fuente takes over a Virginia Tech team that has seen numerous top recruits from the state of Virginia leaving to play elsewhere. Guys like Raekwon McMillan of the Ohio St. Buckeyes, DeShawn Hand of Alabama, and Josh Sweat of Florida State. All three of these VA HS stars committed to schools outside of their home state of Virginia Tech and that doesn’t help Virginia Tech whatsoever.
Fuente took advantage of the JUCO and public HS that programs like Kansas State had in strategy. They also were to dive into Mississippi for a lot of recruits as well.
That to me is the reason Bud Foster got passed over for the job at Virginia Tech. A new coach could find more recruiting with success at other places more than a long time assistant at the same school.
The best situation would be to have Foster stay as the DC going forward because Fuente isn’t the greatest defensive mind, Memphis has struggled defensively, Virginia Tech could be scary good again with that combo.