The era of Virginia Tech’s Lunch Pail defense nears its end.
Most know by now that Bud Foster will call his final game as the Hokies’ defensive coordinator against Kentucky in the Belk Bowl. For the first time in 23 years he will not be coaching alongside Charley Wiles. Justin Fuente will not keep the defensive line coach on his staff once Foster departs. Wiles declined an offer to coach one more game.
“I was disappointed and I called coach when he called and talked,” Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster told The Roanoke Times. “I was disappointed. Coach knows how I feel about Charley. Charley knows how I feel about him….I know he (Wiles) was extremely disappointed and hurt. I was hoping he would stay and coach this game, because he deserves to go out the right way, just like I did.”
“He is one of the best, if not the best defensive line coach in the country,” Foster said.
One of the original coaches on Frank Beamer’s staff at Murray State in the 80s, Wiles is not the only administrative change in the wake of Foster’s departure. Defensive backs coach Brian Mitchell and running backs coach Zohn Burden have also been terminated. After much speculation that Barry Odom would rejoin Fuente’s staff, the head coach tabbed safeties coach Justin Hamilton to succeed Foster.
To honor Virginia Tech’s departing defensive line coach, Foster is dedicating the game to Wiles. The famed Lunch Pail that typically is held by the hardest worker on the Hokies’ defense will be given to Wiles after the Belk Bowl. The Lunch Pail is undoubtedly the most-coveted item in Virginia Tech football lore. It’s just one more thing to add to the extensive laundry list of items this Virginia Tech team is playing for in the Belk Bowl.