BLACKSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Justin Fuente is gone as the head football coach at Virginia Tech after six seasons.
Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock announced Tuesday that the school and Fuente mutually parted ways. Fuente went 43-31 during his tenure at Tech, and the Hokies are 5-5 (3-3 in the ACC) this year, after beating Duke 48-17 on Saturday. They have two more games this regular season against Miami and Virginia.
J.C. Price, the Hokies’ co-defensive line coach and defensive recruiting coordinator, will take over as interim head coach in the meantime and a national search for a new head coach is underway. Price played for the Hokies from 1991 to 1995.
“We sincerely appreciate the contributions that Coach Fuente made to our football program and the positive impact he made on our student-athletes during his time at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said. “While it is never easy to make a change, I believe in order for our football program to attain the type of sustained success that is expected at Virginia Tech, the time was right for new leadership of our football program.
Babcock addressed the media on Tuesday morning and said they negotiated the buyout with Fuente down to $8.75 million, down from the original $10 million Fuente would have been owed.
Fuente also declined Tech’s offered to finish out the final two weeks of the season, Babcock said.
Fuente shared this statement with the Hokie community:
“On behalf of Jenny and our family, I would like to thank President Sands, Whit and the entire Virginia Tech community for extending me the opportunity to lead this football program for six seasons.
To the many incredible young men that I had the privilege to coach, so many of you have made a lasting impact on our family. I can’t thank you enough for your dedication and your commitment to doing your very best, whether that was on the field, in the classroom or in your personal lives.
To the fabulous assistant coaches and support staff at Virginia Tech, I can’t express how much I appreciated all of your work and all your sacrifices. It takes so many dedicated, hard-working and loyal people behind the scenes to make a football program run smoothly. Thank you.
To the all donors who have recently stepped up to make substantial contributions to Virginia Tech Football, please know the importance of your commitment. So many improvements have been made to point our facilities and overall student-athlete experience in the right direction. Thank you to the fans of Hokie Nation. I would encourage all of you to continue cheering on this football team – your support means so much to all of them.
Finally, to Jenny, Cecilia, Caroline, Charlotte and the rest of our family, thank you for your unwavering love and support. We have all been in this together and we will continue to be in this together on the next step of our journey.
We leave Blacksburg with many great memories, but above all else, our family cherishes the many relationships that have been established and that will always endure. To all of those players, coaches and staff who are still fighting on, know that the Fuente family is always cheering for you.”
This is a breaking article and will be updated.