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Va. Tech's Foster May Be Ready to Leave Home

Bud Foster
"I've had some opportunities; it just hasn't worked out," Bud Foster said. "That's a goal of mine. But at the same time, that's one of those deals I can't control." (Doug Benc - Getty Images)

And yet? "I'm ready," Foster said. In the past, Foster, 48, has said he would leave Virginia Tech only to coach at a school in a conference whose champion automatically qualifies for the Bowl Championship Series. He has seemingly relaxed those standards, if only slightly.

"There's some non-BCS schools that would be intriguing," Foster said. "At the same time, I like what we do. I like playing on national TV. I like playing at the highest level. I like competing for championships. I like that part of it. And I feel like we've proven it."

One of the "intriguing" schools, Foster said, is Southern Mississippi of Conference USA. Another possibility is Northern Illinois, whose campus is roughly 200 miles from where Foster went to high school in Nokomis, Ill.

Even as Foster has resisted change, he has prepared for it. He keeps a comprehensive plan for how he would run his own program, so detailed it includes how he would respond to a medical emergency during practice and what food he would serve in the team cafeteria. He has also outlined what assistant coaches he would hire and what his academic policy would entail.

For now, no schools have inquired about Foster, Beamer said. (The search firms seek candidates independently of schools, then relay names to them.) So the question -- When's Bud going to get a job?-- remains. Even his players notice.

"Me and [defensive end] Chris Ellis talked about it a couple weeks ago," senior safety D.J. Parker said. "We see all these coaching jobs vacant now. We think Coach Foster would be a good coach. I don't want him to go. But he really deserves it."

Said Foster: "Hopefully, somebody will think I'm qualified enough to take a look. And if not, I've got a good job."

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