The hot-seat discussion surrounding Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente ran wild following the Hokies’ 41-36 home loss to Syracuse. Fuente was asked about his job security and the program’s timeline to show progress after the game and gave a poignant response. The Hokies led, 36-27, in the fourth quarter before faulty execution led to a stunning loss.
“I’m worried about giving these guys a chance to win, OK? We ain’t going down that road, OK?” Fuente said, via VT Scoop. “So everybody up and down that hallway is selling out to give these kids a chance to win. So I’m not worried about any of that, OK? So, can’t be focused on things we can’t control. What we can control is our attitude and our effort, and our kids have been incredible with all of that. And our job now is to get ’em to do the exact same thing for next week.”
This was a disappointing loss for Fuente, who is now 1-2 in ACC play and has lost three of his last four games after the season-opening win over North Carolina — the only Power Five opponent the Hokies have beaten thus far. Fuente is 8-10 overall since going 8-5 during the 2019 season, and trends as a leading hot-seat candidate by several national outlets coming into a pivotal campaign.
Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock gave Fuente his vote of confidence last December after the Hokies finished 5-6.
“I believe in Justin,” Babcock said. “I’m not unaware of what we need to do, and you know, it’s not always the fashionable thing to keep somebody when everybody’s yelling, but he’s our guy and he’s a Hokie and I believe he gives us the best chance to be successful and I’ll take that responsibility.”
Thus far, no changes have been made to Fuente’s contract, which runs through the 2024 season.
“We covered recruiting extensively, the depth chart, strength and conditioning, coaches, coaching, community outreach, fan donor engagement, his media appearances, former player involvement, that this is a results-driven business, what the identity to our team is and needs to be, where we need help and support, is he committed, does he want to be here and do right here?” Babcock said after a four-hour meeting with Fuente at the end of the 2020 campaign. “And his answers were honest and sincere and genuine and, again, certainly energized me.”
VT Scoop’s Evan Watkins contributed to this report.