Fuente left after 6 seasons as Virginia Tech coach
Virginia Tech and soccer coach Justin Fuente mutually agreed to part ways ahead of two games remaining in his sixth season with hockey.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, athletic director Witt Babcock said Joint Defense Line coach and recruiting coordinator J.C. Price will lead hockey during the last two games of the regular season.
Fuente was 43-31 years old at Blacksburg, Virginia. Hockey (5-5) travels to Miami on Saturday and closes out the season in Virginia.
“While it is never easy to make a change, I believe that in order for our football program to have the kind of sustainable success expected at Virginia Tech, the time was right for new leadership for our football program,” Babcock said.
He said the program “is one of the most attractive football careers in America” and “I am absolutely confident that we will be able to identify and appoint a new head coach who can build on our rich history and winning traditions.”
Fuente was announced as a creative attacking coach who specialized in developing quarterbacks when he was appointed away from Memphis.
He led the Hokies to a record 10-4 and the Atlantic Coast Conference Divisional title in his first season and was named the ACC Coach of the Year. But that proved to be the highest point of his tenure.
The program has been hit by a series of player transfers, Hockey was 6-7 in 2018, its first losing season since 1992, and 5-6 last season when they were among the teams hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The year also marked the end of Virginia Tech’s 27-season streak ending in a bowl game when the team voted not to participate in the post-season.
This season, former Hokies quarterback Hendon Hooker is leading the show’s comeback at Tennessee State, while Braxton Burmester, who replaced Hooker last season, has struggled with inconsistencies and injuries.
In a statement released by the school, Fuente said, “We leave Blacksburg with many wonderful memories, but above all else, our family cherishes the many relationships that have been created that will always last. The staff who are still fighting, know the Fuente family always encourages you.”
Under his contract, Fuente is worth a $10 million purchase.
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