In the childhood favorite film The Sandlot, there’s a scene in which the main character finds motivation in a simple phrase, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” Coach Bud Foster is one such legend.
It’s not often that coaching legends are found in the world of college football. It’s even more rare that a single school could find two legends, but Virginia Tech did exactly that when they hired Frank Beamer, and subsequently Bud Foster. But what exactly makes Foster such a legend? The answer lies with a middle of the night meeting that took place in 2015 between newly hired head coach Justin Fuente and Bud Foster. Most new head coaches want to bring in their own guys, but Foster is just that good. He was so highly regarded that they arranged an urgent meeting just to retain him on the staff. But it wasn’t just because of his success. Granted, Bud Foster has led multiple top 10 defenses onto the field, appeared in a national championship game and sent multiple players to the NFL. However, the thing that truly set him apart is the same thing that set Frank Beamer apart, the fact that he was like a father to his players. I’m sure countless fans enjoy remembering the tenacious Bud Foster screaming from the sidelines, and he is indeed a fierce competitor, but he also genuinely cares about his players, far beyond football. Evidence of this is readily seen in his retirement announcement. He reminded the reporters again, and again how it wasn’t about him, it was about the players. To remain so humble in the face of a lifetime of success is truly one of the embodiments in becoming a legend.
Bud Foster’s legacy will live on in infamy long after his farewell season and we will continue to enjoy the exploits of the lunch pail defense and DBU well into the future. He may be done as defensive coordinator, but we have not seen the last of all that he gave to Virginia Tech, the players, and the fans.