Every single year the same question comes up around Blacksburg—will Bud Foster finally leave Virginia Tech?
Foster has been a coach at Virginia Tech since 1987, and he took over the defensive coordinator job in 1995.
Throughout Foster's tenure, Virginia Tech has been one of the greatest defenses in the nation, year after year. You could say Foster has just as much to do with the success Virginia Tech has had in the last 16 years as head coach Frank Beamer.
That being said, Foster isn't the head coach. Not even the head coach in waiting, but if Beamer were to retire with Foster still on the staff I think it would be obvious who the next head coach in Blacksburg would be.
But nobody knows how long Beamer is going to remain as the top man in Blacksburg. Beamer himself isn't even sure when he's going to call it a career.
Foster, like Beamer, is in no danger of losing his job, which has given him reason not to leave. Foster has said that he's not interested in leaving Virginia Tech for a head coaching job at a school in the MAC or a conference similar in ranking.
He does deserve a shot, and it blows my mind nobody has ever hired him. This has me thinking that there's a good chance somebody gives Foster a head coaching opportunity for the 2010 season.
Even when the Virginia Tech defense struggles in a season, like this year, the defense is still one of the tops in the nation, ranking 13th in total defense and 11th in points allowed. Foster has always been able to get the most out of the players he recruits, regardless of talent.
For example, Brandon Flowers and Kam Chancellor were two star recruits when they arrived in Blacksburg, Cody Grimm is a walk-on, and the Hokies fill their team with three-star recruits or lower, for the most part.
Here are three places and some potential scenarios that Foster could find himself in the upcoming weeks.
The Terrapins have yet to fire Ralph Friedgen, but lets assume they do. Who else could be better to take over as head coach? Nobody.
Foster is familiar with the recruiting area, he could dip into the state of Virginia, and he could bring an entirely different attitude to College Park than they're used to.
Friedgen is offensive minded, so the Terrapins may be looking to switch philosophies. This is a big time opportunity for Maryland, and I don't think Foster would turn the offer down.
The Cardinals have already fired head coach Steve Kragthorpe, and the program has been in a tailspin ever since Bobby Petrino left. Kragthorpe had a decent first season, but had done nothing since.
The Big East, I believe, is a conference on the rise. They don't have one great team in the conference, but there are a lot of good, competitive teams, which could make rebuilding a team a little easier.
Louisville has been a predominately offensive team the past few seasons, but defense is key to winning games. I think Foster's "lunch pail" mentality could do wonders for a school like Louisville looking to turn things around.
However, this could be a situation where Foster decides he would rather stay in Blacksburg and contend for a national championship next season.
You had to see this coming. Notre Dame has said that they want someone who's defensive minded. Going through their candidates—Brian Kelly has been adamant about staying in Cincinnati and building that program, there's no chance Urban Meyer is leaving Florida, while Bob Stoops could leave Oklahoma after a disappointing season, but he's been unable to win the "big games" at Oklahoma and that's a must at Notre Dame.
There are a few others out there, including some in the NFL, but Foster would be an interesting guy to watch in South Bend. He would bring a fire to the Irish sidelines that's been missing in past years and maybe even a defensive player or two.
The problem here is the recruiting factor. Foster would be in a completely different situation as far as recruiting goes, because Notre Dame recruits across the country, whereas Virginia Tech is fairly regional.
He would really need to build a good staff around him that's pretty well-rounded, but I think it would work out.
If other jobs open up then you never know, but these are three early jobs that I think Foster should be considered for.
It may sound like I'm lobbying for Foster to leave, but trust me, I'm not. I do think he deserves a chance as a head coach, and hopefully one day it's at Virginia Tech. However, you can't ask someone to wait for an indefinite amount of time, and I think Foster's clock is ticking.