Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente named Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week
The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week award honors a football coach who led his team to a significant victory during the previous week, while also embodying the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity.
Fuente and the Hokies secured a top-10 win defeating No. 10 North Carolina 17-10 in the season opener. The Hokies defense had 6.0 sacks, forced three interceptions and limited the Tar Heels to only 10 points. Chamarri Conner was named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week after leading Tech with eight tackles and producing the game-clinching INT. QB Braxton Burmeister threw for a touchdown and contributed one on the ground to lead the Hokies on offense.
“This was a marquee victory to open the season and conference play for Coach Fuente and the Hokies,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Coach Dodd would have admired such a dominating defensive performance against one of the nation’s premiere quarterbacks.”
Fuente is now in his sixth season with the Hokies after being named the head coach at Virginia Tech in 2016. In his first year in Blacksburg, he led the Hokies to an ACC Coastal Division title and was named ACC Coach of the Year. Since Fuente arrived in Blacksburg, the only ACC schools with more wins over that span are Clemson (65) and Miami (40). His win over North Carolina also marked his sixth victory against a top-25 opponent as head coach of the Hokies and improved his record against the Tar Heels to 5-1.
Off the football field, Fuente has led the Hokies to an impressive Academic Progress Rate of 958 in the classroom. He also had six players named to the All-ACC Football Academic team last season. C Brock Hoffman has been nominated by Tech for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, recognizing his exemplary track record of community service. Hoffman is also on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, an award that honors a student-athlete’s commitment to serving his community.
“Coach Fuente has been a great leader during his time in Blacksburg, both on and off the field,” said Gary Stokan, CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc. “His commitment to his player’s academic excellence, along with his community involvement and the community service of his players speaks volumes to the type of role model he truly is.”
The Dodd Trophy presented by PNC – along with the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Award – celebrates the head coach of a FBS team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.
A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2021 season. The winner of the 2021 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during the week of this year’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.