Most Tiger fans have no clue who Justin Fuente is, nor do they know about any of his accomplishments in the realm of college football. Therefore, I have assembled ` 5 things you need to know about the new football coach at the University of Memphis.
1) He is young and hungry
Most coaches are well past their 30’s when they get their first head coaching job, but Justin Fuente has achieved head coaching status at just 35 years of age. Fuente has been coaching college football for ten years. He started off at Illinois State as quarterbacks coach in 2001 before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2004. Then Fuente went to TCU in 2007 where he served as their running backs coach for two seasons. In 2009 he was promoted to co-offensive coordinator for the Horn Frog’s, and now he is head coach at Memphis. Talk about somebody on the fast track to success.
2) Other schools wanted him
While this is not the big name R.C. Johnson and Tiger supporters wanted initially, Fuente is still a catch. The offensive success that he had at TCU has led to several programs seeking his offensive genius. He interviewed for the LSU offensive coordinator position last year, and was rumored to be the next head coach at Kansas before taking the position at Memphis. He might not be Mike Leach or Bob Stoops, but he is an up and coming coach that will bring an exciting style of football to Memphis.
3) His offense is dominate
Fuente’s offense at TCU was amongst the most explosive and dynamic units in the nation during his tenure. Under his watch in 2009, the Horned Frog’s offense set single season records for points scored, touchdowns, and first downs. The following year Fuente saw those three records broke again. Since Fuente was made co-offensive coordinator, TCU has averaged over 40 points per game during the regular season. This should be an encouraging sign to Tiger’s fans whose offense has struggled to say the least the past two years, averaging only 13.8 points during that time span.
4) He has coached at two BCS bowls
With conference expansion passing Memphis by (again), the Tiger’s could use a coach who has helped guide a non AQ team to a BCS game. Fuente’s offense has helped take the Horned Frogs to two BCS games as a non AQ school. TCU is 1-1 in those games with an upset win over Wisconsin in last year’s Rose Bowl. If he could get the Tigers to a bowl game next year that will be an amazing feat, but if anybody can do it he can.
5) He has a 35-3 record while at TCU
The Horn Frogs amassed a 35-3 record during Fuente’s tenure as co-offensive coordinator. While the success that the Horned Frogs have had cannot be solely placed on the offense, it does help your chances to win tremendously when your team can score at will against the competition. In that same three year time span the Tigers have a record of 5-31. Fuente has seven times more wins and ten times fewer losses than Memphis, which is a welcome sign to all Tiger fans who are hungry for wins.
CJ Hurt covers football for MemphSport. Follow him @churtj09 for live tweet from different games throughout the Midsouth.