About three weeks ago, Justin Fuente was heavily rumored as the leading candidate to become the next head coach at Baylor University. After ultimately staying at Virginia Tech, he addressed the speculation in front of the media for the first time yesterday.
"I've been fortunate enough to be a head coach eight years, going on nine, and I'm incredibly happy with where we're at," Fuente said. "I've had opportunities to talk to a bunch of people along the way. In my eight going on nine years, I've talked to exactly two schools: Virginia Tech and Baylor."
Fuente said that while he doesn't love the fact that his discussions with Baylor became public, he understands that is the nature of the business. He said he was honest with the team about his excitement to be at Virginia Tech and continue what they have been building.
"I think we have a great plan here moving forward," Fuente said. "We had a conversation, and the next day I showed up to work and we went to work. I haven't looked back since."
Fuente also addressed the difficulties of the continuing transition from the Beamer era along with the retirement of Bud Foster. While it may be hard for fans to recognize, there have been some significant challenges for Fuente and his staff, and he is proud of the way they have handled them.
"This transition, this has been something to behold, quite honestly," Fuente said. "I'm more excited than ever. We have done everything possible to pay respects to the people who have done such a wonderful job in this football program in the past. You look around and see what we're building, not just bricks and mortar but as a program...I couldn't be more excited."
One question that still remains is whether or not Fuente was formally offered the job at Baylor. He made it clear that this question will remain unanswered, at least on his part.
"You'll never hear me talk about that," Fuente said when asked whether he received an offer. "I'm just not going down that road."
In any case, Fuente is staying in Blacksburg, and he says he is ready and excited to start working for next season. A successful year on the field would certainly go a long way in shifting focus away from speculation off the field.