Justin Fuente staying at Virginia Tech
Several published reports Thursday have confirmed the news regarding Fuente, who had emerged late Tuesday as the top target for Baylor, which recently lost its head coach, Matt Rhule, to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
Baylor went 11-3 in 2019, Rhule’s third season, after going 1-11 and 7-6 in Rhule’s first two seasons in Waco, a rebuild following scandal under former coach Art Briles.
Rhule was reportedly paid $4.11 million in 2019, in the ballpark of Fuente’s $4 million annual compensation at Virginia Tech, where he has a 33-20 record over four seasons, including an 8-5 finish in 2019.
Fuente’s contract for 2020 would actually surpass what Baylor had paid Rhule this past season. The deal calls for Fuente to earn $3.65 million in base salary and $600,000 in retention bonuses.
The contract extension that Fuente signed in 2017 would have him on the hook for a $1 million buyout in 2020 if he were to take another job.
The offseason will be one of major transition with Virginia Tech football, with the retirement of long-time defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who is being replaced by former Hokie Justin Hamilton, who served as safeties coach under Foster in 2019, and several new hires on the defensive side under Hamilton.
The Hokies are also losing tailback Deshawn McClease (a team-best 843 yards and seven TDs rushing in 2019) and tight end Dalton Keene (21 catches, 5 TDs in 2019) as early entrants to the NFL Draft, and there are eight members of the current roster in the NCAA transfer portal.
Story by Chris Graham