Justin Fuente Tweets Photo, Confirms He'll Stay at Virginia Tech over Baylor

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2020

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente celebrates after his team scored against Kentucky in the first half of the Belk Bowl NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

Virginia Tech head football coach Justin Fuente will stay with the Hokies for the 2020 college football season after interviewing at Baylor as a potential replacement for Matt Rhule, who left the Bears to become head coach of the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

A Virginia Tech official confirmed the news Thursday to ESPN's Andrea Adelson, and Fuente posted a picture on Twitter of his VT staff:

The 43-year-old Oklahoma native has posted a 33-20 record across four seasons with the Hokies since being hired in November 2015. Although the team has qualified for a bowl game in each of his four years, it's just 1-3 in those postseason contests, including three straight losses.

"The fact that we didn't come through in this game doesn't diminish my pride in them," Fuente told reporters after a 37-30 Belk Bowl loss to Kentucky on New Year's Eve. "My excitement for the direction of our program, my belief in what we're going to be."

Nevertheless, pressure is starting to mount on Fuente given the lack of bowl success and absence of high-profile victories on the recruiting trail. Virginia Tech currently ranks 13th in the 14-team ACC based on its commitments for the 2020 recruiting class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

His track record is strong, though. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2016, his first season with the Hokies, after guiding the program to a 10-4 record and a bowl win. He was also the 2014 AAC Coach of the Year after a 10-3 season with Memphis.

Fuente went 26-23 in four years with the Tigers, including 19-6 over the last two seasons, before accepting the VT job.

Meanwhile, the Baylor coaching search will continue.

Scott Roussel of FootballScoop reported other candidates include Louisiana Lafayette head coach Billy Napier, Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson, LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and Bears assistant coach Joey McGuire.

Baylor will want to make a decision in the near future, with 2020 national signing day on Feb. 5.

Related

    'Last Chance U' QB Malik Henry No Longer Enrolled at Nevada

    College Football logo
    College Football

    'Last Chance U' QB Malik Henry No Longer Enrolled at Nevada

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Manny Diaz and Miami Are Winning the Offseason Again

    Will it matter this time around?

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Manny Diaz and Miami Are Winning the Offseason Again

    David Kenyon
    via Bleacher Report

    Ranking the Best Coaching Moves

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Ranking the Best Coaching Moves

    David Kenyon
    via Bleacher Report

    Best Returning QB in Every CFB Conference

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Best Returning QB in Every CFB Conference

    Brad Shepard
    via Bleacher Report