Virginia Tech Coach Bud Foster (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
Virginia Tech coach Bud Foster will hang up his whistle
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Virginia Tech associate head coach/defensive coordinator Bud Foster and head coach Justin Fuente announced on Thursday that Foster plans to retire from coaching following the 2019 season.
Foster will continue on in a special position as an assistant to Athletic Director Whit Babcock once the 2019 football season is over.
“Virginia Tech has been home for 33 years and I’m grateful to continue doing what I love for one more season,” Foster said in a press release by Virginia Tech athletics. “I’ll always be indebted to Coach Beamer for bringing me to Blacksburg back in 1987. Coach Fuente has been phenomenal to work with and I can’t thank him enough for the way he has embraced our defensive philosophy and the many traditions of Virginia Tech football. It’s been a great ride and it’s not over yet. I’ve been blessed to work with so many outstanding individuals and have enjoyed the privilege of coaching some of the best players to ever wear a Hokies’ uniform.
“I appreciate Whit and Coach Fuente putting their faith in me the past few years,” Foster added. “Whit has been a class act all the way around and I have no doubt that Coach Fuente is the right guy to continue leading this program. I’m energized about where the Hokies are headed under his direction and I’m grateful for our friendship. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this program for over three decades and that’s not going to change this year. I’m excited about this season and I can’t wait to get on the practice field Friday.”
“Bud has served as an integral piece of the fabric of Virginia Tech football for 33 seasons,” Babcock said. “All Hokies appreciate Bud’s many longstanding contributions to our University and the many individuals he has positively impacted over the years. Coach Fuente and I both recognize and respect that this was Bud’s decision to make and no one else’s. He’s enjoyed an outstanding career, embracing Tech’s values and spirit of Ut Prosim. We are looking forward to a memorable 2019 and will always be proud to call Bud Foster one of our own at Virginia Tech.”
Foster is a staple of Virginia Tech Football. He was hired by Frank Beamer as a member of Beamer’s first coaching staff.
The significance of the announcement is certainly not lost on current head coach Justin Fuente, who filled the enormous shoes of Beamer when Frank stepped down just a few years ago.
“There’s only one Bud Foster,” Fuente said. “When Whit and I first discussed the head coaching job at Virginia Tech in 2015, one of the many appealing aspects of the opportunity was that it could potentially come with the best defensive coordinator in the country. I’m personally grateful for how Bud accepted me and the fact that I’ll be able to work with him for a fourth season. When you think of the individuals who truly helped put Virginia Tech on the national map, it unquestionably starts with Frank Beamer and includes a multitude of sensational players starting with Bruce Smith and Michael Vick. But you can’t go any further in that conversation without discussing Bud Foster and the Lunch Pail Defense. What a great friend, an outstanding man and unbelievable football coach.”
Foster’s name became synonymous with the Lunch Pail defense. The Hokies have the nation’s longest active bowl game streak at 26 games and counting.
Under Foster’s tutelage as defensive coordinator, the Hokies lead all FBS programs in sacks (856.0), sack yardage (-5,839), interceptions (380) and third-down percentage (31.5) dating back to 1996. Over that same span, only Alabama (16.3 ppg) and Ohio State (17.0 ppg) have been better in scoring defense than Virginia Tech (18.1). Tech, Ohio State and Florida State are the only three programs during that time frame to own over 800.0 sacks and over 350 INTs.
– Andy Hilton (with data and quotes from Virginia Tech athletics)