Paul Finebaum is quite certain the Virginia Tech football head coaching job will come open soon. Justin Fuente has been heavily criticized in his sixth season since the Hokies began their spiral to a 3-4 record after beating North Carolina in the opener.
Shane Beamer, son of legendary Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, is in his first season at South Carolina. He’s led the Gamecocks to a 4-4 record through the opening stretch of his debut season as a head coach.
The speculation around Fuente’s job security in Blacksburg, Virginia prompted college football analyst Greg McElroy to pose a question to Finebaum about Beamer’s potential interest in a move.
Finebaum gave the remarks Monday morning on “McElroy & Cubelic In the Morning,” a weekly morning radio show based out of Birmingham. McElroy cohosts the show with fellow college football analyst Cole Cubelic.
“Virginia Tech is likely going to come open, probably sooner than later, and everyone seems to think that they need to hire a (Frank) Beamer disciple. Well, what better than his son? His next-of-kin? What do you make of the potential of Shane Beamer potentially leaving South Carolina after one year for his dad’s school?” McElroy asked.
“On the Fuente front, it’s impossible to believe he’s going to survive, and it’s just hard to believe that five years ago he was probably the hottest coach in the country. That’s how quickly it goes,” Finebaum said. “I know (Beamer) loves it (in Columbia, SC), and regardless of the final scores of the games, and they’re pretty ugly right now, they really love him and believe in him. But, having been with both Shane and Frank Beamer a couple of weeks ago, and Frank Beamer is such a big part of everything Shane is doing right now, I could see it (him leaving for Virginia Tech).
“And I could also see why Shane Beamer would have a very difficult time saying no. ... The lure of going back home. And it’s one thing to have played at a school, to have been part of a school. It’s another thing to be attached to the greatest name in the school’s history, which Frank Beamer is. So yeah, I mean, I could see it, yes.”
Fuente was hired by the Hokies in 2015 in the same coaching search cycle in which South Carolina hired Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks parted ways with Muschamp before the 2020 season ended.
While Fuente’s seat may be hot at Virginia Tech, the coach hasn’t engaged with the speculation himself. Fuente answered a question about his job security following Virginia Tech’s 41-36 home loss to Syracuse on Saturday with passion.
“I’m worried about giving these guys a chance to win, OK? We ain’t going down that road, OK?” Fuente said via VT Scoop. “So everybody up and down that hallway is selling out to give these kids a chance to win. So I’m not worried about any of that, OK? So, can’t be focused on things we can’t control. What we can control is our attitude and our effort, and our kids have been incredible with all of that.”
Shane Beamer was adamant about wanting to keep out of his father’s shadow when asked about it at SEC Media Days last summer.
“I got into coaching in 2000 as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech with George O’Leary. Part of that was wanting to get out on my own and make my own name, and not just go work for my dad as a graduate assistant,” Beamer said in July. “It was important for me to go out and develop my own reputation and contacts.”