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College football: Virginia Tech splits with coach Justin Fuente

College football: Virginia Tech splits with coach Justin Fuente
Former Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente, who parted ways with the Hokies on Tuesday, led the team to a 5-5 record in 2021. File Photo by Matt Durisko/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Virginia Tech and football coach Justin Fuente agreed to "part ways" after six seasons, the school announced Tuesday.

"We sincerely appreciate the contributions that coach Fuente made to our football program and the positive impact he made on our student-athletes during his time at Virginia Tech," Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said in a news release.

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"While it is never easy to make a change, I believe in order for our football program to attain the type of sustained success that is expected at Virginia Tech, the time was right for new leadership of our football program."

J.C. Price will serve as the Hokies interim football coach for the rest of the 2021 season. A search is underway to find a permanent replacement.

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Fuente led the Hokies to a 5-5 record this season. He posted a 43-31 regular-season record in six years with the program.

The Hokies went 10-4, won the Belk Bowl and Fuente won 2016 ACC Coach of the Year honors in his first season. Fuente's teams posted records of .500 or worse in three of his final four seasons.

"Virginia Tech is one of the most attractive football jobs in America, competing in one of the nation's premier conferences, the ACC," Babcock said. "I'm extremely confident that we'll be able to identify and hire a new head coach who can build on our rich history and winning tradition."

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Fuente started his collegiate head coaching career in 2012 at Memphis. He posted a 26-23 regular-season record in four seasons with the Tigers. Fuente was the 2014 AAC Coach of the Year.

Fuente worked as an assistant and positions coach at Illinois State and TCU before he was hired in 2012 at Memphis. He played quarterback collegiately at Oklahoma and Murray State. He also played for the Oklahoma Wranglers of the Arena Football League.

Virginia Tech said Babcock will meet with the media Tuesday to address Fuente's departure.

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The Hokies beat Duke 48-17 on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va. They face Miami at 7:30 p.m. EST Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

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