Justin Fuente

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Justin Fuente
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Memphis
Record 17–20
Annual salary $1,400,000[1]
Biographical details
Born (1976-07-30) July 30, 1976 (age 39)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Playing career
1996–1997 Oklahoma
1998–1999 Murray State
2000–2001 Oklahoma Wranglers
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2001–2003 Illinois State (QB)
2004–2006 Illinois State (QB/OC)
2007–2008 TCU (RB)
2009–2011 TCU (Co-OC/QB)
2012–present Memphis
Head coaching record
Overall 17–20
Bowls 1–0
Accomplishments and honors
American Athletic Conference (2014)
American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (2014)

Justin Fuente (born July 30, 1976) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at the University of Memphis. He grew up in Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma before transferring to Murray State University after his redshirt sophomore season where he played quarterback for each. After playing one season with the Oklahoma Wranglers of the Arena Football League, he began his coaching career in 2001 as the quarterbacks coach at Illinois State University. After six seasons with the Redbirds, he accepted a position with TCU as running backs coach. By 2009, Fuente was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and moved to quarterbacks coach. He served in that capacity through the 2011 season. On December 8, 2011, Fuente was named as the new head football coach at the University of Memphis.

Playing career[edit]

High School[edit]

Fuente graduated from Union High School in Tulsa in 1995.[2] He was named the Tulsa World's Player of the Year and The Oklahoman‍ '​s All-State Offensive Player of the Year in 1994 following his senior season at Union.[2][3] That season he led the state in both passing yards (2,934) and touchdown passes (32).[3] For his high school career, Fuente threw for 6,104 career yards and 65 touchdowns.[4] He was recruited by Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Texas A&M, but ultimately signed with Oklahoma under coach Howard Schnellenberger in February 1995.[4]


At Oklahoma, Fuente redshirted the 1995 season and Eric Moore started at the quarterback position.[5] Following the season, Schnellenberger resigned as head coach and John Blake was hired as his replacement.[5] Entering the 1996 season, Fuente was the backup to Moore at the quarterback position.[6] However, after opening the season with a loss to TCU, Fuente was named the starting quarterback.[6] He remained as the starter for eight game and compiled a record of two wins and five losses before losing his starting position to Moore following the Oklahoma State victory.[7] For the year, Fuente completed 91 of 196 passes for 1,271 yards, and threw ten interceptions and eight touchdowns.[8] Fuente then entered the 1997 season as the Sooners' starting quarterback.[8] He started only five games in 1997 winning two and losing three.[9] Following the season, he transferred to Division I-AA Murray State University where he would be able to compete in the 1998 season.[10] For his career with the Sooners, Fuente passed for 2,289 yards.[10]

At Murray State, Fuente was named the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Walter Payton Award following the 1999 season. He still holds several single-season records at Murray State for a quarterback including: most pass completions (240), highest pass efficiency (151.21), most passing yards (3,497), and most touchdown passes (27).[11] Following his graduation from Murray, Fuente signed a contract with the Oklahoma Wranglers of the Arena Football League.[12]


In May 2000, Fuente signed a contract to with the Wranglers as their third-string quarterback.[13] After seeing limited action in the 2000 season and into the 2001 season, Fuente left the team in May 2001 in order to pursue a college coaching position at Illinois State University.[14]

Coaching career[edit]

Following his playing career, Fuente began his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach at Illinois State University in 2001.[15] There he worked under Denver Johnson, who he played for when Johnson was an assistant coach at Oklahoma and as head coach at Murray State.[15] After three years, Fuente was promoted to offensive coordinator, and he served in that position through the end of 2006 season when he accepted the quarterbacks coach position at TCU.[15] At TCU he was promoted to co-offensive coordinator in 2009, and under his guidance both helped develop Andy Dalton at quarterback and lead the Horned Frogs to an undefeated season and victory in the 2011 Rose Bowl.[2]


On December 7, 2011, sources revealed Fuente would be named as the new head football coach at the University of Memphis.[16][17] He was formally introduced as the Tigers' head coach on December 8, 2011, as the replacement for former head coach Larry Porter.[18] After the Tigers opened the 2012 season with only one win over their first nine games, Fuente led Memphis on a three game winning streak to close the season and finish with an overall record of four wins and eight losses (4–8).[19] In February 2013, Memphis extended the term of Fuente's contract through the 2017 season as a result of the gains he made in his first year as head coach of the Tigers.[20]

Fuente's 2014 team captured a share of the AAC Conference championship, compiling a 7-1 conference record and 9-3 overall regular season record. This was the Tigers first conference championship since 1971 when they won the Missouri Valley Conference championship. The Tigers went on to defeat BYU in the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl in double overtime, marking Fuente's first 10 win season as a head coach and the Tigers' first 10 win season since 1938. The Tigers finished the season ranked #25 in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Poll. Fuente was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award.[21] Fuente's contract was extended and he received a raise at the close of the 2014 season for a total of a 5 year deal at approximately $1.4 million per year.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Memphis Tigers (Conference USA) (2012)
2012 Memphis 4–8 4–4 T–3rd (East)
Memphis Tigers (American Athletic Conference) (2013–present)
2013 Memphis 3–9 1–7 T–9th
2014 Memphis 10–3 7–1 T–1st W Miami Beach 25 25
2015 Memphis 0–0 0–0 (Western)
Memphis: 17–20 12–12
Total: 17–20
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ a b http://www.si.com/college-football/2014/12/18/justin-fuente-memphis-tigers-contract
  2. ^ a b c Hines, Kelley (January 25, 2011). "Former Union, OU quarterback Justin Fuente moving up coaching ladder". Tulsa World. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Helsley, John (December 18, 1994). "Fuente, McQuarters capture honors". The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). p. 9. 
  4. ^ a b Hersom, Bob (January 23, 1995). "QB Fuente makes his choice: OU". The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). p. 9. 
  5. ^ a b O'Kane, Dan (January 2, 1996). "Fuente eager to talk with Blake". Tulsa World. p. B2. 
  6. ^ a b O'Kane, Dan (September 11, 1996). "Fuente's it: No. 1 QB". Tulsa World. p. B1. 
  7. ^ O'Kane, Dan (November 12, 1996). "OU tabs Moore as starting QB". Tulsa World. p. B1. 
  8. ^ a b Hersom, Bob (August 7, 1997). "Fuente knows the cure for Sooner ills". The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). p. 23. 
  9. ^ O'Kane, Dan (October 15, 1997). "Sooners will start Moore". Tulsa World. p. 23. 
  10. ^ a b Hersom, Bob (January 7, 1998). "Sooners' Fuente transferring to Kentucky school". The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). p. 23. 
  11. ^ 2011 Murray State Football Media Guide. Murray, Kentucky: MSU Athletics Department. 2011. p. 105. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Wednesday's Sports Transactions". NewsLibrary.com. Associated Press. May 25, 2000. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ Kramer, Bill (May 24, 2000). "Ex-Sooner Fuente, Wranglers reach deal". The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). 
  14. ^ Munn, Scott (May 13, 2001). "AFL game Aikman's first". The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). 
  15. ^ a b c Reinhardt, Randy (February 16, 2007). "ISU offensive coordinator takes job with TCU". The Pantagraph (Bloomington-Normal, IL). Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  16. ^ Stukenborg, Phil (December 7, 2011). "TCU's Justin Fuente named football coach for Memphis Tigers". The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN). Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  17. ^ Schad, Joe (December 7, 2011). "Memphis to hire Justin Fuente". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Justin Fuente is Memphis' new coach". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011. 
  19. ^ Stukenborg, Phil (November 24, 2012). "Memphis Tigers clobber Southern Miss for third straight win". The Commercial Appeal (CommercialAppeal.com). Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Memphis extends Justin Fuente". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 13, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  21. ^ http://memphis.247sports.com/Bolt/Fuente-one-of-eight-finalists-for-Eddie-Robinson-Award-33686737

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