Getting to Know Virginia Tech Football Coach Justin Fuente

Getting to Know Virginia Tech Football Coach Justin Fuente
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Is this the time of year where you get that family time? With the wife and the kids? It’s hard enough being a sports journalist I can’t imagine trying to make that work. Do they get that time with dad and husband? In the offseason, its a little bit more normal. A little bit more like a normal job. We cheat the calendar a little by working a little earlier than probably most people do. With our staff, it’s all designed to get us some at home time in the evenings. So, we can be home for dinner So we can live somewhat of a normal life. Do you cook at all? No, im terrible. I do enjoy grilling out during the summer. I am not very good at it, I just enjoy it. I’m just curious- I know you have your daughters, what are some activities that you like to do with them? Almost anything, almost anything, my girls are interested in I enjoy. I obviously want them to be happy, I don’t want them to have to like the same things I do. But, it doesn’t hurt if they do. We enjoy movies, That’s the easiest and most simple thing we do. They’re into sports My oldest daughter is starting to figure out whether she will be a great player… I don’t know but, she’s starting to figure out football, the rules of football, and she’s interested in that. We do enjoy going outside. Whether its fishing, or playing a couple holes of golf. Those are the things my dad use to do with me. We need to be low. We need to do this drill as low as humanly possible. And we need to move with great urgency. And this drill should look, sound and feel correct. This is my chance to be around the team during the winter time. How much can you tell? I mean you see a new kid, you’ve never seen before or you’ve only seen them on film. You’re just kinda looking to see how he works out? yeah, yeah, yeah. They are suppose to attack this like a game. I see them yelling through the halls, screaming, yelling, hollering. So, will you get on them if they’re not vocal or loud? Somebody will. Can you hear the Hokie Nation? It’s a pretty special place, Virginia Tech. You talk about how special this place is, what’s it been like? At first, I feel like you’ve been accepted. wholeheartedly. And i think obviously, success helps that. What’s it been like, do you feel at home here? I do, I feel very comfortable here. and i think part of that is because of the culture. A generally accepting group of people. They are very proud of this community and i want to show it off. I want other people that live in it or newcomers who live in it, like myself and my family, to enjoy it as well. And we have. It’s just been a fantastic transition the number of people that deserve the credit for that, I don’t think I am one of them. I think it’s got to do with what Babcock and his administrative staff Dr. Sands, our president, Coach Beamer and his wonderful wife. And the whole Hokie Nation, have just been fantastic. Sure, winning some games in the fall helps. There is something more here than just winning games. There is a culture, and I hope the people of Virginia Tech feel like we are a good fit here. You know I think you come off you’re very regimented, you have complete control over the program. How would you describe your personality? and coaching style? Is that a tough questions? I dont know I think i have evolved over the years I know in my time, just as a coach not just as a coach but, as a positional coach I have made mistakes, and hopefully i have learned from those. I think if i did have one good skill set is that I am observant. I have seen what I can like from other coaches Either organizationally or how they handle situations and tried to emulate that within my personality. So, I have tried to kind of mold my style to fit myself. I think people think I am a little stoic on the sidelines. I am not at all like that in practice or during the offseason. The game time is the time for calculated, intelligent decisions. That’s what I am trying to do. On game day, try to give us the best chance to win and think things through and control my emotions as best as possible, Sometimes I am good at it, sometimes I am not. I have made plenty of mistakes in the past with that as well but, I hope our players say that I am straight forward and honest. I saw your emotion- especially with Sam Rogers. Why? Everyone of those seniors to think about what they have been through in terms of coaching change, some stranger coming in and being in charge of the program and to have them jump in with both feet and never bat an eye, anything we asked of them actually do the opposite but rush to the front and kind of draw their sword and be the first to charge up the hill. Was awfully impressive and speaks to the character of that senior class. as a whole. Sam, is special. He is just a guy that knows no boundaries that crosses every bridge that serves as a wonderful example to all ages, backgrounds, he’s just a great leader as fine a leader as I have ever been around. In sports or any other endeveaour He will one day hopefully get to play football but, he will be a great leader in whatever endeavour he chooses. I think that when they, i mean it all comes off of them. If they are flat, I want them to know what’s important- When do you instill that in them? Everyday. They’ve done this for ever since Christmas break, they know it. Next week it will change a little bit for them but, they know what to expect everyday It’s not a surprise. What’s the ultimate goal here? Oh, i just think we are trying to make them more accountable. We are trying to create our identity, and to build on that. And keep that in every aspect of our lives, outside in school and in the community. In football, being accountable discipline, toughness, we are trying to instill all of those things in a large amount of players, we’d like to be 100% of them. But, thats the key, to make the second line, as good as the first. And all of those tangible things. Have you ever done any of these drills? Me? Personally? Nah, that would be bad. I appreciate it. Thank you, you bet.

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