Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente is the leading candidate to fill the head coaching vacancy at Baylor.
News: Baylor is targeting Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente as next coach and is planning an in person interview in next 24 hours, multiple sources tell @YahooSports. Fuente is considered leading candidate.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 15, 2020
Thamel is also reporting that Fuente is planning to have an "in-person interview" with Baylor officials within the next 24 hours.
A source has confirmed to us that Fuente is expected to interview for the Baylor job, but there is no expectation at this point of a Fuente departure. If Fuente doesn't leave, it could be a move to push Virginia Tech's administration to provide more resources and possibly support staff for his program though it's unclear at this time if that's the case.
This comes as others have reported that Fuente is a name involved in Baylor's search, but isn't seen as the "leading candidate" at this point as Pete Thamel suggested.
I'll reiterate something on Justin Fuente: Though he's in the mix, it's way too strong to say Baylor has targeted him as the guy.— Matt Mosley (@mattmosley) January 15, 2020
Fuente does have some connections to the region being a Tulsa, Oklahoma native who played for a couple years at Oklahoma and coached at TCU from 2007-11. The buyout for another program to hire Justin Fuente is $1 million, a number that Baylor can definitely afford anyway especially after Matt Rhule's buyout for the Carolina Panthers to hire him was $6 million.
1/15, 6pm Update
The smoke continues to grow around Justin Fuente's interest in Baylor as ESPN's Adam Rittenberg says that Fuente is a "strong candidate" while USA Today's Dan Wolken says that Fuente has "legit interest" in the Baylor job.
Interested to see how #Baylor search unfolds in next day or so. #VirginiaTech coach Justin Fuente is a strong candidate, but others still in the mix. Several sources have mentioned #LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda today. Joey McGuire remains strong internal candidate.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 15, 2020
My understanding of the situation is that Fuente does have legit interest in Baylor. Whether he takes the job is unclear, especially b/c he’s very pleased with his staff overhaul and thinks next years VT team will be very good https://t.co/lObUemo0Xu— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 15, 2020
No one should be surprised to hear that Fuente has legitimate interest in the Baylor opening. If Fuente didn't, Virginia Tech would have likely already shot down these rumors. Instead, there has almost been unanimous confirmation, including from us, of an interview between Fuente and Baylor for their head coach vacancy.
We will have more as this story develops.