December 24, 2015 Louisville, KY (AnalyzedSports)
Replacing a Legend at Virginia Tech
Coach Frank Beamer, the name will forever be synonymous will Virginia Tech. Spanning over almost two decades Beamer made himself a legend. Beamer was hired in 1987 and from that point forward he transformed “Va-Tech” into a national power house. He led the team to 23 consecutive bowl games (the longest streak in the nation). He is the 6th winningest and one of the longest tenured active coach in NCAA Division I FBS. As life goes, everything can’t last forever. On November 1, 2015, Beamer announced that he will be retiring from coaching at the end of the 2015 football season.
With that cloud of beamer hovering over his head 39 year old Justin Fuente has been hired to lead the Hokies. Fuente was named head coach of Memphis in 2011 and turned one of the nation’s worst programs around in a hurry. In his third season with the Tigers, the team won its first conference championship in more than four decades and recorded 10-wins and the season concluded with a win in the Miami Beach Bowl. Fuente was one of the hottest coaching candidates this year, he was linked to many jobs including Miami, South Carolina, and Maryland.
Under Fuente’s leadership, Memphis enjoyed a 15-game winning streak over a 12-month span which started in October 2014.This year he led the tigers to a top 25 win against Ole Miss (the same Ole Miss that beat Alabama). Memphis outscored its opponents by an average of 20.7 points during the run, scoring 652 points (43.5 ppg), while allowing only 341 (22.7 ppg). (Stats per: ESPN). Once again he was in contention for a conference championship winning 9 games. He was able to recruit two and three stars recruits and mold them into NFL caliber talent. With Fuente at the helm he was able to recruit quarterback Paxton Lynch who is projected to be the top QB for the NFL draft. This is not the first NFL caliber quarterback he has worked with. He was hired as an offensive assistant at TCU in 2007, and helped develop Andy Dalton after Fuente was promoted to quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator in 2009.
“This is an exciting day for Virginia Tech,” President Sands said. “Having just ended our regular season with another win over UVA under our remarkable coach Frank Beamer, we can all celebrate our season and Coach Beamer’s tenure with a bowl game while we welcome Justin Fuente as our new football coach.”
Virginia Tech became a power through defense over the past two decades and Fuente knows the history of the Hokies. Fuente has asked defensive coordinator Bud Foster to remain at Virginia Tech as the Hokies’ defensive coordinator, and Foster has agreed. Dating back to 1996, no FBS program has recorded more sacks or interceptions than Virginia Tech under Foster’s direction. They call this brand of football as “Beamer Ball” a nod to the great coach that led them to much success.