Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster announced his plan to retire at the conclusion of this season, and he really hasn’t spent much time thinking about it since that early August announcement.
He’ll be reminded of his pending retirement today when the Virginia Tech Athletics Department honors him before the Hokies take on Wake Forest. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Not to spoil any surprises, the administration has remained silent about exactly what special events are planned to honor Hokie mainstay.
Foster, however, views Saturday as just another game day.
“I haven’t thought about it a whole lot,” he said at a Tuesday news conference when asked about his retirement. “They asked me to say a couple of things, and it kind of hit. Saying some things to a camera that I guess might be put in public, who knows? This game is about the players.”
Foster came to Tech with then-head coach Frank Beamer in 1987 after first playing for Beamer at Murray State and then joining his coaching staff. This season marks his 33rd as an assistant coach at Tech, including the past 23 as the Hokies’ defensive coordinator.
Foster’s defenses have finished in the top 10 in total defense a whopping 11 times during his tenure as the coordinator. Twenty-one of his players have earned All-America honors. Since 1996, 45 of his players have been drafted by the NFL. Eleven of those went in the first or second rounds. He won the Broyles Award as the best assistant in college football in 2006 and was a finalist on numerous other occasions.
“I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to be at one place as long as I’ve been,” Foster said. “In this profession, you wear a lot of different hats. I’m seen as a coach, but I’d like to think former players and current players see me as more than that. Hopefully, I’ve helped them grow and develop on the field, but most importantly off the field.
“The game has never been about me – it’s been about the players,” Foster said at the news conference. “I’ve been a facilitator, a helper and a mentor to help these guys achieve success. That’s what I’m most proud of. That and the relationships it has created. I want this game to recognize the longevity and consistency we’ve played with around here and the culture we’ve built. I have not taken one snap. I’ve played a lot of snaps emotionally with these players, every one defensively, but I’ve never played one physically.
“This thing Saturday is a celebration of me, but it’s a celebration of every player I’ve coached,” Foster concluded.”
–Jimmy Robertson, VT Athletics