Virginia Tech media day

Bud Foster, Virginia Tech Football associate head coach and defensive coordinator, chokes up while announcing his retirement on Thursday during a press conference.

BLACKSBURG —  Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster is stepping down at the end of the 2019 football season.

Foster made the announcement public on Thursday at Tech's media day after informing players. The defensive coordinator read a prepared statement. He didn't take any questions from reporters after his brief remarks. 

Here's what he said...

Virginia Tech's defensive coordinator Bud Foster's statement on stepping down after 2019 season...

“Thank you coach (Justin Fuente), I appreciate it.

I appreciate everyone coming and appreciate the relationships we’ve had over the years with several of you, I know there is a lot of familiar faces here. I can’t thank you guys enough for how fair you’ve been during my time here, I hope we keep that going.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this today, I think at the end, this thing is about our players and this football team. That’s where my focus is going to be.

I do have a couple things.

As Justin said we just came from a team meeting, very emotional. I had an opportunity to visit with the staff. This is never an easy decision. This is and was my decision. I thank Justin for allowing me the opportunity to continue on and be a part of this program. I can’t thank Whit [Babcock] enough for his support and him allowing me to do this my way. In this business, you don’t get the opportunity very often, to go out on your terms. I’ve been very blessed to have this opportunity and Whit I can’t thank you enough.

I want to thank coach [Frank] Beamer for giving me the opportunity to do some really special things and giving me the the opportunity to experience a dream of a lifetime. That’s what makes this thing really, really hard. It’s about the relationships you bond with. The players you meet. The people you meet. The fans. It’s just a special opportunity. I can’t thank him enough for giving me that, but it’s time for me to step down at the end of the season.

I’m not sick. I’m not burned out, at least I hope I’m not sick. Nobody is forcing me out. It’s just going to be time when it’s all said and done. I saw coach Beamer go down this road. He knew it was time, this was not an easy decision.

I know Justin can talk about it, my focus is going to be on our players. This is something we’ve been talking about for several months and talked closely with a lot of people close to my heart. It’s a decision I’ve made, and I made it. I consider myself very fortunate when it’s all said and done.

I just told the team whatever greatness is, I’m going to push them as hard as they can and I’m going to give them every ounce energy I have and I’m going to expect that in return. That’s really what it comes down to.

I love our players, I love this team, I love their focus. Our focus is going to be on this team and their season. We have some great kids. We have an opportunity to do some special things. I feel good about them. I can promise you I’m going to give them my very best for the next 120 days.

There’s going to be plenty of time to reflect and celebrate hopefully at the end of the year, there will be some good and some bad things, hopefully good not much bad, but at the end I’ll be happy to sit down with you guys and talk about the process, but really I hope you respect the fact that this is not about me.

You are in this business, it’s about young people — about developing and preparing young people — to be successful on the field, but hopefully be successful in life. I hope you guys respect that and appreciate that. I owe it to our players and fans at Virginia Tech to do it that way. Justin thank you so very much. Whit thank you. I appreciate y’all being here. Thank you so much.”

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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