At the beginning of the Hokies’ coaching search, many analysts predicted that Memphis head coach Justin Fuente would be the next head coach of the Virginia Tech. However, Fuente has been far from the only guy mentioned with the job.
Fuente may have been the most-talked about name while other reports have suggested the Hokies also looking at Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, North Carolina’s Larry Fedora, and SMU’s Chad Morris. Reports have emerged that Fedora has taken himself off the list of contenders for the job while Mullen has denied it.
However, reports are starting to point towards Fuente with Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports saying this earlier today about Fuente and the Hokies.
“Virginia Tech (9) – Leaving: Frank Beamer. Arriving: The Dash is betting the mortgage on Memphis coach Justin Fuente, and betting that it happens quickly next week. Word is that athletic director Whit Babcock has his man, and has for a while now, and Fuente is that man. He’s done a remarkable job at previously moribund Memphis, going 18-6 over the past two seasons. It’s possible that tumbling dominoes at LSU and points elsewhere (namely Florida State) unspring this, but unlikely. A Fuente hiring would also keep Rich Rodriguez in place at Arizona.”
Forde is one of the most respected insiders in college football, and the fact that he is saying Fuente is most likely going to be the next guy is significant. We have been hearing for a couple weeks now that a deal has been completed, and it sounds like it is Fuente as many have expected.
On top of that, The Tech Lunch Pail has heard an unconfirmed rumor that there was a flight yesterday from the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport, right next to Virginia Tech’s campus, to Olive Branch Airport in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
Olive Branch Airport is a 30-minute drive from the University of Memphis, and Virginia Tech likely wanted to keep this flight under-the-radar to prevent the creation of a major distraction, leading to the decision to fly into Olive Branch instead of the much-larger Memphis International Airport.
Once again, this is an unconfirmed rumor that we have heard, but with Forde’s report earlier today, this rumor seems a little more relevant and possible. If we do receive confirmation of this, we will let you know.