GREENSBORO, N.C. – What a way to start. In his first season as Hokie head football coach, Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente was named the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Coach of the Year.
Fuente guided the Hokies to a 9-3 regular-season record. Nine of his players earned All-ACC first-, second- or third-team honors.
“The first thing that comes to mind is I’m excited for our kids,” Fuente said. “I think it lets them know that we’re doing things the right way, and if they follow the plan, they’ll give themselves a chance to have success.”
Fuente, 40, is the youngest head football coach in the ACC.
The Hokies face Clemson in the ACC Football Championship Game Saturday night.
“Our mission was to try and win the Coastal championship and ultimately win the ACC Championship,” he said. “We have that opportunity, and it’s just a reaffirmation to our kids that the way we’re doing things is the right way, and if they work hard (and) have a great attitude, they’ll have a chance to have success.”
ACSMA Coach of the Year voting:
Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech 27
Dabo Swinney, Clemson 11
Dave Clawson, Wake Forest 4
Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech 2
Bobby Petrino, Louisville 2
Mark Richt, Miami 1
Pat Narduzzi, Pitt 1