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Virginia Tech is investing $30 million into football salaries, support roles, recruiting and more...

After a trying 5-6 campaign last season where the Hokies missed a bowl game, there was some chatter about the future of Justin Fuente before athletic director Whit Babcock came out in mid-December to throw some cold water on those whispers, where he reaffirmed his confidence in Fuente.

Taking over for the legendary Frank Beamer heading into the 2016 season, Fuente got a fast start out of the gate as he led the Hokies to a 19-8 mark in his first two seasons and captured ACC Coach of the Year honors after a 10-win debut season in 2016.

However, high expectations have been a constant in Blacksburg since the transition of Beamer to Fuente and wins for the program have dipped to six, eight, and five wins the last three years, respectively.

"I believe in Justin," Babcock shared during a December Zoom meeting with media. "It's not always the fashionable thing to keep somebody when everybody is yelling, but he's our guy and I believe he gives us the best chance to be successful."

Around the time of that statement a few months ago, Fuente's buyout dropped from $12.5 million to $10 million, and in the midst of the COVID pandemic where budget cuts were made, Babcock acknowledged the school and athletic department being a tough financial spot.

"Yes, we are in a bind financially, yes there's buyouts, but we were determined to make the right decision either way because I cannot imagine a working relationship that you have somebody around that you don't believe in that you just keep for money," Babcock went on to share during that aforementioned Zoom call.

"You can lose or risk money no matter which way you go, so make the right decision and the rest will take care of itself."

Today, Virginia Tech announced a monster Reach for Excellence campaign aimed at raising $400 million for Hokie sports to help propel them to the front of the ACC.

In the school's announcement, Whit Babcock made it clear that mediocrity is not the Hokie way.

“We can either invest in a program that competes for championships across the board, or we can be average. Our collective answer is clear: Our investment in athletics should match our aspirations.”

Included among that monster $400 million figure is $30 million for Fuente and the football program that will allot them money for "recruiting, assistant coaches' salaries, quality-control coaches, player development, and capital needs."

The fundraising effort will also focus on facility improvements, as well as nutritional and strength and conditioning programs that will impact the football program.

Fuente provided the following comment in the school's release of the campaign:

"Achieving and sustaining success as a football team begins with attracting the right type of student-athletes, coaches, and support staff to Virginia Tech,” Fuente said. “Then it’s our job to provide all the resources necessary to develop these young men athletically, academically and spiritually to reach their full potential. When those individuals and your entire team trust that you have their best interests at heart, you can push them to achieve goals that can exceed even their own expectations.” 

Fuente continued: “We have a responsibility to this university and to this football team to give these young men the resources and support that their peers across the ACC and other Power Five programs currently receive. Our staff is dedicated to helping Virginia Tech reach its objectives on the football field. In turn, we need the investment in this program and its student-athletes to reflect the lofty expectations placed on them. Thank you for your support, and Go Hokies!”

Head here to read VT's full release.

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