"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

VIRGINIA TECH ANNOUNCES JUSTIN FUENTE AS NEW HEAD COACH

Reports surfaced during the Virginia Tech - University of Virginia game broadcast on Saturday and were later confirmed on Sunday with Virginia Tech's official announcement that Memphis head coach Justin Fuente would be succeeding the legendary Frank Beamer. As a Hokie fan, I have to say that the hire is very good. Fuente was the offensive coordinator at TCU when Andy Dalton, now a successful quarterback with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals, set records at the Fort Worth school. Fuente has re-energized a Memphis program and brings an offensive mindset to Virginia Tech, something that has been sorely lacking in the Hokie attack for several years.

In addition to the hiring of Fuente, it was also announced that longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster, considered by many to be the best at his job in college football, would be remaining on the staff. Shane Beamer, the retiring coach's son, is also being retained, although his role was not announced. I have no confirmation of, but it is easy to speculate that keeping Foster and Beamer was part of the deal that any incoming coach would need to accept. Frank Beamer has repeatedly said, including on at two occasions during and following yesterday's game, that he has great respect for his staff.

Looking ahead, I can't help but think that it's a great hire. Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock acted quickly to secure a coach on the rise in an environment with a lot high profile jobs, including South Carolina, the University of Southern California, Missouri and now the University of Georgia with Mark Richt's departure from the Athens school. Frank Beamer and the administration should be commended for making a midseason announcement that allowed the school to pursue a replacement prior to the usual feedeing frenzy time.

On the field and in the recruiting arena, there's a lot of positives to the situation in Blacksburg. By retaining Foster and Beamer, Tech will maintain their defensive performance and the key recruiting relationships necessary to keep the talent pipeline open at Virginia Tech. Fuente's offensive focus should bring some much needed excitement to Lane Stadium and the rest of the ACC gridiron fields. It would appear that the Hokies' twenty-three game bowl streak that Fuente has inherited might be safe, despite a schedule in 2016 that includes Tennessee, Notre Dame and most likely either Florida State or Clemson.

Are there better potential hires out there? Probably. But at the end of the day, did Virginia Tech get a good coach who can take over a program in decent shape, but in need of some rejuvenation? Absolutely. Go Hokies!

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords. The third installment, "Offsetting Penalties" is due out in the fall.