Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bud Foster... our next head coach?

Many of you may have been reading up on our defensive coordinator, Bud Foster. Lately, he's been linked to possible moves to Georgia, Florida, and Florida State. However, he turned them down. Bud decided to remain the defensive coordinator for Virginia Tech and is supposedly getting some additional money if he remains in Blacksburg over the next 5 years.

This move makes good sense to me if I am Bud Foster. First, there's no reason to take a lateral move from the defensive coordinator of one perennially good team to the exact same position on a slightly better team (Florida) or any other team (Georgia and FSU). If you're a coach, my guess is that just about everyone wants to be the head coach some day, and I'm sure Bud Foster believes that will happen for him relatively soon. He stated on the radio that he has friends and relationships in Blacksburg that are important to him and important to his family, and that's definitely a reason to stay as well. Thirdly, it seems dumb to me to move on to the same position for another team when you know you are having success doing it for the team you're already at... even if that equates to a boost in salary, you just never know what will happen under a different coach's system.

Those are things we can easily infer, but I'm going to throw something at you that isn't nearly as easy to project. I think Bud Foster may have a "coach-in-waiting" deal with Frank Beamer and VT. Bud's new contract includes a five-year clause that would keep him in Blacksburg and earning more money than he was originally slated to earn in his contract. This reeks of a behind-the-scenes deal to me. Seeing how poorly that has gone in the media for Texas (Will Muschamp) and Florida State (Jimbo Fisher), I am sure VT has no intention to make it public, but it makes good sense. Foster is already loved in this community. Frank Beamer is getting older and it's reasonable to think he would retire in 5 years. Foster already recruits extremely well in this state. So don't be surprised if you see our lunch-pail-toting friend, Bud Foster, as the main man on the sidelines five years from now.


Eric said...

I believe this is certainly an implied "head coach in waiting" arrangement, but I definitely don't think there's been any formal arrangement or agreement to that effect. As you suggested, Beamer and Weaver are smart enough not to make a formal agreement, seeing how poorly it has worked out at Florida State and Maryland. But, I think this agreement is pretty much an implicit statement from Beamer that he plans to coach for 5 more years, and a statement from Weaver that Foster is the top candidate for the job when that day comes.

For the record, I'm on the fence as to whether that's a good thing or not. It's great that Foster is sticking around as D-coordinator, but the post-Beamer days could be rough. Not all great coordinators make great head coaches, and college football is littered with evidence of long-time assistant coaches who couldn't make the transition to the head job. My personal belief is that the best long-term approach for the VT program would be for Foster to get some head coaching experience somewhere else for these next 5 years. Granted, that's not a great short-term approach, and supposedly we're committed to winning a national championship at VT. I say "supposedly", because I doubt the sincerity of that goal as long as Brian Stinespring remains on staff.

glupton19 said...

You made the statement that Bud Foster is a great recruiter in the state. I was actually under the impression that Foster doesn't do much recruiting and leaves that task to others. Other things I've read about Tech recruiting never mention Foster. Is the statement based on direct knowledge of who recruited which players or just on the fact that VT always has a stable full of quality athletic defensive players?

Eric said...


My impression is the same as yours. Foster definitely does not have a reputation as a good recruiter. To my knowledge, he's not even actively involved in the recruiting efforts, as that task is left to those on staff with more of an aptitude for it. Coaches are assigned recruiting territories, and recruit players on both sides of the ball. Brian Stinespring has probably been responsible for much more of our defensive talent than Foster.