CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente will be staying in Blackburg after a rollercoaster 2020 season.
The school’s athletic director, Whit Babcock, discussed the future of the program Tuesday in a press conference, dismissing those who have been unhappy with the execution on the coaching end.
Even though the Hokies finished the regular season with a win against UVA over the weekend, they went 5-6 overall. Many on social media called for Fuente and Offensive Coordinator Brad Cornelsen to be fired.
“Most people do not understand when you re-boot program and tear it all the way to the ground,” Babcock said. “Some fans simply want someone to pay for their pain. I know it hurts when we lose. There may be a better way to go about expressing it.”
Babcock says he will not get rid of Fuente. Cornelsen is also likely to stick around in 2021. He said he spoke with Fuente for hours on Monday about the state of the team and adjustments moving forward.
“Justin has values. He’s a good man,” Babcock said. “We believe we have the right guy and that’s what we are going to move forward with.”
Babcock says COVID-19 also threw the team a curveball this season. He estimated about 75% of the players contracted the virus, as well as 8 out of 10 coaches.
Babcock also fell on the sword and took some responsibility, saying that he could have been more of a resource for Fuente.
“Every coach is different, some need more than others,” he said. “I can do better for Justin. I can’t help him call plays, but I can help in a lot of other ways and I have not done as good a job as that as I inspire to do.”
Coach Fuente is expected to address the media Wednesday.