One year ago today, the Virginia Tech Hokies announced that Memphis head coach Justin Fuente would succeed Frank Beamer as Virginia Tech’s head coach after Beamer’s impressive 29-year run that brought tons of success including a national title game appearance in the 2000 Sugar Bowl against Florida State.
Most did not expect that Justin Fuente would be able to lead Virginia Tech back to an ACC Coastal title and ACC Championship appearance in his first year in charge of the Virginia Tech Hokies with the Hokies being picked fourth in the Coastal by the media before the start of the season. However, Fuente implemented his culture and the Hokies are already reaping the benefits of the hiring of Fuente with Fuente receiving some well-earned recognition today.
— The Tech Lunch Pail (@techlunchpaild) November 29, 2016
Justin Fuente has been named the 2016 ACC Coach of the Year in what was a landslide vote with Fuente receiving 27 votes, Clemson’s Dabo Sweeney receiving 11 votes, Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson receiving 4 votes, and no other coaches receiving more than 2 votes.
Fuente was the easy choice for the award this year as the Hokies exceeded all expectations on their way to winning the ACC Coastal by 1 game over North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Miami while beating all three of those teams on the way to winning the Coastal title. Fuente has led the Hokies to plenty of big wins from the three important October wins to the comeback win at Notre Dame and the blowout victory over Virginia to retain the Commonwealth Cup.
The biggest thing is that Fuente has installed his culture on this program while also making some smart decisions in bringing a large part of his coaching staff from Memphis to help install his culture, retaining Bud Foster and Charley Wiles in what was a smart “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it move”, keep Zohn Burden for recruiting in the 757, hiring a great strength and conditioning staff led by one of America’s best in Ben Hilgart, and retain Virginia Tech’s previous recruiting staff that had been important in helping Virginia Tech gets some talented recruits as Frank Beamer got older.
Fuente has laid the foundations for a very successful run in Blacksburg with the Hokies also being one win away from their first 10-win season since 2011. Fuente has returned Virginia Tech back to the top of the Coastal and made the Hokies nationally relevant once again led by a very good offense, a strong defense, and a special teams unit that has taken a big step forward this year.
Justin Fuente was clearly the most deserving and right choice to be this year’s ACC Coach of the Year.
Congrats to Justin Fuente on being named the 2016 ACC Coach of the Year.
Stay up with The Lunch Pail for the latest on the Hokies via Facebook and Twitter plus subscribe to our email updates.