It was all sunshine and rainbows when Fuente first took over. He went 10-4 and won the Belk Bowl in his first year after coming to Blacksburg from Memphis, but it turns out success is harder to sustain in the ACC than the AAC.
Fuente didn’t have any ties to Frank Beamer, and that made it hard for him to follow the legend. He quickly fell out of favor with the administration and the program was caught between eras.
The failures of his tenure were not all his fault. In hindsight, the program was still holding onto the glory years and didn’t allow Fuente to truly remake Virginia Tech football in his likeness. His lack of connection to Beamer seemed like an advantage when he was hired, a clean break, but in the end it was his undoing.
The Hokies went 9-4 in Year 2 under Fuente, then 6-7 in Year 3, then 8-5, 5-6, and 5-5 before he was fired with two games left in the 2021 regular season.
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