Linked to the head coaching vacancy at Florida State this past weekend, Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente indicated Sunday he has declined to speak to potential suitors, saying he’s “incredibly happy” with his current situation and focused on getting his players prepared for their bowl game.
Fuente’s name initially surfaced in connection with the Seminoles job after Jimbo Fisher departed for Texas A&M. Florida State officials are targeting Oregon’s Willie Taggart but, according to a person with knowledge of the search, also have interest in Fuente.
“For me it’s been easy. I’ve declined to talk to everybody that’s come along,” Fuente said during a conference call for the Camping World Bowl in which the Hokies are set to face Oklahoma State on Dec. 28 in Orlando. “It’s a pretty easy answer for me. I haven’t been interested in going down that road.”
Fuente is nearing completion of his second season in Blacksburg, Va., where he’s won 19 games, including last year’s ACC Coastal Division championship. He was named ACC coach of the year in his first season.
Fuente came to Virginia Tech, taking over for legendary program architect Frank Beamer, after four years at Memphis.
Among other notable programs seeking head coaches include Tennessee, Arkansas and Central Florida, which went 12-0 under recently departed coach Scott Frost, who left for Nebraska.
Tennessee’s search has been particularly drama-filled, with Ohio State assistant Greg Schiano reportedly all but assured the position until fan outcry led to the deal being scrapped.
Other candidates after Schiano included Duke’s David Cutcliffe, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren, all of whom turned down the job.
The botched coaching search led to John Currie being ousted as athletic director. Former Volunteers coach Phillip Fulmer has assumed the position indefinitely.
“I would never speculate on any other jobs, other than to say we’ve been approached, and I’ve declined to talk to anybody,” Fuente said while not referring specifically to the Tennessee opening. “It’s pretty much been nipped in the bud right from the start.”
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