Whit Babcock affirms commitment to VT head coach Justin Fuente: ‘We must and will do better’
Babcock confirmed Fuente will remain at the helm of the Hokies’ football program.
BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Tuesday, Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock confirmed Justin Fuente will remain at the helm of the Hokies’ football program, after a four-hour meeting with the head coach Monday.
“With Justin, we covered recruiting extensively, the depth chart, strength and conditioning, coaches, coaching, community outreach, fan donor engagement, his media appearances, former player involvement, that this is a results-driven business, what the identity of our team is and needs to be, where we need help and support. Is he committed? Does he want to be here and do right here? And his answers were honest and sincere and genuine and, again, certainly energized me,” said Babcock in a Tuesday press conference.
Babcock added that reports of a deteriorating relationship between him and Fuente were greatly exaggerated.
He also called on fans and donors to continue to support the program.
“Don’t tear it down,” he said. “Some will continue to try to tear it down and never stop just to justify their previous position of thinking that we needed to make a change. If you can be involved, please do. It hurts us when you pull your support. You are really hurting all 22 sports, scholarships, all of that. If you are able to participate, we now need you more than ever.
“We have 20 thousand donors strong and working our way up. Most that threaten to pull their money publicly usually don’t give that much, but we do know some of you do not feel that you can invest in us. It is a gift, we will receive it when you are ready to give it.”
In a 25-minute opening statement, Babcock also addressed the importance of recruiting, especially in Virginia, and said the $10 million buyout did not factor into the decision to keep Fuente.
“Football is important here. We must and will do better,” Babcock said. “Failure is simply not an option, that is crystal clear to me, to Justin and everyone here. That is the standard and that’s what we signed up for. We have a plan, we have hope for the future and we did what we thought was best. We felt like this is the most likely successful path. I feel good about it. I’m paid to do what is best, not always easiest or to pacify some others.”
To watch Babcock’s full remarks to the media on Tuesday, you can view his press conference below:
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