Justin Fuente

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Justin Fuente
Fuente prior to the 2016 ACC Championship
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Virginia Tech
Conference ACC
Record 21–8
Annual salary $3.25 million
Biographical details
Born (1976-07-30) July 30, 1976 (age 42)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Alma mater Murray State University
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 (OC/QB)
2007–2008 TCU (RB)
2009–2011 TCU (co-OC/QB)
2012–2015 Memphis
2016–present Virginia Tech
Head coaching record
Overall 47–31
Bowls 2–1
Accomplishments and honors
AP ACC Coach of the Year (2016)
ACSMA ACC Coach of the Year (2016)
ACC Coach of the Year (2016)

Justin James Fuente[1] (born July 30, 1976) is an American football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at Virginia Tech. Fuente was the head football coach at the University of Memphis from 2012 to 2015. He was an assistant at Texas Christian University (TCU) from 2007 to 2011 and at Illinois State University from 2001 to 2006. Fuente attended the University of Oklahoma before transferring to Murray State University after his redshirt sophomore season. He played quarterback for both schools. Fuente played a single season with the Oklahoma Wranglers of the Arena Football League before embarking on his coaching career.

Early life[edit]

Fuente was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Justin married his wife Jenny in 2005 and they have 3 daughters.[2]

Playing career[edit]

High school[edit]

Fuente attended Union High School in Tulsa, where he threw for 6,104 yards and 65 touchdowns.[3] In 1994, his senior season he led the state in both passing yards (2,934) and touchdown passes (32).[4] Statewide recognition followed, with the Tulsa World naming him "Player of the Year" and The Oklahoman "All-State Offensive Player of the Year.".[5][4] Several schools recruited Fuente, including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Texas A&M, but he ultimately signed with Oklahoma under coach Howard Schnellenberger in February 1995.[3]


Fuente redshirted at Oklahoma for the 1995 season behind Eric Moore at quarterback.[6] Following the season, Schnellenberger resigned as head coach and John Blake replaced him.[6] Entering the 1996 season, Fuente backed up Moore.[7] However, after Oklahoma opened the season with a loss to TCU, Blake named Fuente the starting quarterback.[7] Fuente started the next eight games and compiled a 3–5 record before losing his starting position to Moore following the victory over Oklahoma State.[8] For the year, Fuente completed 91 of 196 passes for 1,271 yards with ten interceptions and eight touchdowns.[9] Fuente entered the 1997 season as the starting quarterback,[9] but started only five games, winning two and losing three.[10] Following the season, he transferred to Division I-AA Murray State University where he would be able to compete in the 1998 season.[11] Fuente amassed 2,289 yards with the Sooners.[11]

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).[12] Following his graduation from Murray, Fuente signed a contract with the Oklahoma Wranglers of the Arena Football League.[13]


In May 2000, Fuente signed a contract with the Wranglers as their third-string quarterback.[14] 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.[15]

Coaching career[edit]

Following his playing career, Fuente began his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach at Illinois State University in 2001.[16] 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.[16] 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.[16] 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.[5]


The University of Memphis named Fuente its head coach on December 8, 2011, replacing Larry Porter.[17] 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).[18] 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.[19]

Fuente's 2014 team captured a share of the American Athletic Conference championship, compiling a 7–1 conference record and 9–3 overall regular season record. This was the Tigers' first conference championship since winning the Missouri Valley Conference in 1971.[20] The team defeated BYU in the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl in double overtime, giving Fuente his first 10-win season and the Tigers' first 10-win season since 1938.[21] The Tigers finished the season ranked No. 25 in both the AP and the Coaches Polls. Fuente was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award.[22] 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.[23]

Virginia Tech[edit]

Virginia Tech named Fuente its head coach on November 29, 2015, replacing the retiring Frank Beamer. In his first season in Blacksburg, Fuente led the Hokies to a 9-3 regular season record and a trip to the ACC Championship, representing the Coastal division.[24] Fuente won the 2016 ACC Coach of the Year following the regular season. The Hokies defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 35-24 in the 2016 Belk Bowl, overturning a 24-0 deficit at halftime and winning three consecutive bowl games for the first time in the program's history. Virginia Tech finished the season ranked #16 in both the AP and Coaches Poll. On April 3, 2017, Fuente and Virginia Tech agreed to a contract extension through 2023.[25]

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) (2013–2015)
2013 Memphis 3–9 1–7 T–9th
2014 Memphis 10–3 7–1 T–1st W Miami Beach 25 25
2015 Memphis 9–3 5–3 3rd (West) Birmingham*
Memphis: 26–23 17–15 * Did not coach bowl game
Virginia Tech Hokies (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2016–present)
2016 Virginia Tech 10–4 6–2 1st (Coastal) W Belk 16 16
2017 Virginia Tech 9–4 5–3 2nd (Coastal) L Camping World 25 24
2018 Virginia Tech 2–0 1–0 (Coastal)
Virginia Tech: 21–8 12–5
Total: 47–31
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Coaching tree[edit]

Assistant coaches under Justin Fuente who became NCAA head coaches:


  1. ^ "Murray State University Board Report: Undergraduate Degrees Conferred" (PDF). 16 December 1999. 
  2. ^ Adelson, Andrea (16 March 2016). "How pro wrestling shaped the life of Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente". ESPN. Retrieved 8 September 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Hersom, Bob (January 23, 1995). "QB Fuente makes his choice: OU". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, OK. p. 9. 
  4. ^ a b Helsley, John (December 18, 1994). "Fuente, McQuarters capture honors". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, OK. p. 9. 
  5. ^ a b Hines, Kelly (25 January 2011). "Former Union, OU quarterback Justin Fuente moving up coaching ladder". Tulsa World. Archived from the original on 30 January 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b O'Kane, Dan (January 2, 1996). "Fuente eager to talk with Blake". Tulsa World. p. B2. 
  7. ^ a b O'Kane, Dan (September 11, 1996). "Fuente's it: No. 1 QB". Tulsa World. p. B1. 
  8. ^ O'Kane, Dan (November 12, 1996). "OU tabs Moore as starting QB". Tulsa World. p. B1. 
  9. ^ a b Hersom, Bob (August 7, 1997). "Fuente knows the cure for Sooner ills". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, OK. p. 23. 
  10. ^ O'Kane, Dan (October 15, 1997). "Sooners will start Moore". Tulsa World. p. 23. 
  11. ^ a b Hersom, Bob (January 7, 1998). "Sooners' Fuente transferring to Kentucky school". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, OK. p. 23. 
  12. ^ 2011 Murray State Football Media Guide. Murray, Kentucky: MSU Athletics Department. 2011. p. 105. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Wednesday's Sports Transactions". NewsLibrary.com. Associated Press. May 25, 2000. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  14. ^ Kramer, Bill (May 24, 2000). "Ex-Sooner Fuente, Wranglers reach deal". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, OK. 
  15. ^ Munn, Scott (May 13, 2001). "AFL game Aikman's first". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, OK. 
  16. ^ a b c Reinhardt, Randy (February 16, 2007). "ISU offensive coordinator takes job with TCU". The Pantagraph. Bloomington-Normal, IL. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Justin Fuente is Memphis' new coach". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Stukenborg, Phil (November 24, 2012). "Memphis Tigers clobber Southern Miss for third straight win". The Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Memphis extends Justin Fuente". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  20. ^ Weber, Mark (29 November 2014). "Tigers clinch share of AAC title with 41-10 win". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  21. ^ "Memphis wins Miami Beach Bowl, then brawls with BYU". USA Today. Associated Press. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  22. ^ Milner, Grant (8 December 2014). "Fuente one of eight finalists for Eddie Robinson Award". 247Sports.com. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  23. ^ Thamel, Pete (18 December 2014). "Memphis, Justin Fuente agree to new five-year contract starting at $1.4M". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  24. ^ "Virginia Tech officially names Justin Fuente head football coach. In his first season with the Hokies, he led the team to an ACC Coastal championship". Hokiesports. November 29, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente agrees to extension through '23". ESPN.com. 

External links[edit]