Could Justin Fuente leave Virginia Tech?

by Chase Parker–

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 14, 2017 — Head Hokie: Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente speaks to the media at the 2017 ACC Media Day. Photo: Chase Parker

On Nov. 29, 2015, Virginia Tech officially named Justin Fuente as its head football coach. He was tasked with replacing a legend in Frank Beamer and rebuilding a program that had dropped into the realm of mediocrity. So far, he’s shown that he’s capable of accomplishing both tasks.

But not even two years later, the Hokies could be in danger of losing him.

Why, you may ask? One word: Florida.

In late October, the Florida Gators decided to part ways with then-head coach Jim McElwain, leaving one of the most coveted head coaching positions vacant.

According to SECCountry.com, the Virginia Tech head coach’s name has been floating around as a possible replacement.

But will Fuente leave for Gator Country? Probably not.

For starters, it would cost Florida a lot of money to acquire the 41-year-old head coach. This past offseason, Fuente agreed to a contract extension through the 2023 season that would pay over $3.5 million per year, which would increase up to $4 million per season by 2023, per the Roanoke Times. The Gators would have to offer him at least $4.5 million per year to pull him from Blacksburg.

On top of the hefty bill that it would take to sign Fuente, Florida would have to pay $6 million just to buy-out the contract from Virginia Tech. That may very well be more money than the Gators are willing to fork out.

Dollar signs aside, who’s to say that Fuente even wants to leave his gig at Virginia Tech behind? So far, he’s given absolutely no inclination that he wants to leave the Hokies in the dust, and he’s given every hint that he absolutely loves life as a Hokie.

When he signed his contract extension, he said, “My family feels incredibly blessed that I’m able to work at Virginia Tech and we’re able to call Blacksburg our home.”

Rumors are going to keep floating around until Florida makes its final decision, but odds are that Hokie fans have nothing to worry about, and that Fuente will stay in command of the football program for many years to come.