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Virginia Tech and Justin Fuente part ways

Justin Fuente is out as head coach of the Hokies.

The Justin Fuente era has come to an end at Virginia Tech as the two parties have mutually agreed to part ways.

In a statement, athletic director Whit Babcock shared:

"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."

In his sixth season with the Hokies, Fuente was 43-31 overall. He led them to 10 wins in his first season and nine in year two, but inconsistencies limited them in the years to come as they went 6-7, then 8-5 before going 5-6 in 2020.

The Hokies were off to a 5-5 mark this year.

By parting ways with Fuente now, Virginia Tech owes him a buyout of $10 million. If they had waited until December 15th, that figure would have been reduced to $7.5 million. 

Including buyouts for his assistant coaches, Michael Niziolek points out that the Hokies will be on the hook for just shy of $11 million.

Before taking over for the legendary Frank Beamer in Blacksburg, Fuente was the head coach at Memphis for four seasons, where he completed an impressive turnaround, winning 10-games in his third season and left with a record of 26-23.

Overall, at both Memphis and Virginia Tech, Fuente owns a career record of 69-54 over 10 seasons as a head coach.

In the school's release of the decision, a first-class message from Fuente was included.

Message to Hokie Nation from Justin Fuente

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 all the 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.

Defensive line coach JC Price will serve as the interim head coach for the last few remaining games.

The move marks the 12th FBS head coaching change before the end of the season.

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.