My former sister-in-law, Shirley Raines, hired him a few years ago when Memphis was without both a coach and athletic director and was generally considered to be at the very bottom of the mid-majors as a job with possibilities. Other than a win over Peyton Manning when he was at Tennessee, I can't recall anything Memphis ever did, other than change its name from Memphis State and play a pretty good game of basketball.
"I want to thank the person who decided to take a chance on a young, unknown coach. That person is Shirley Raines," said Fuente following the Miami Bowl, in which Memphis participated.
Eastman & Beaudine Management Consultants of Plano, Texas, was hired by Shirley to help a search committee that she led. She said Fuente’s “energy and enthusiasm” were at the top of the list of his attributes that impressed her.
My guess is that Fuente is a solid selection for a job where coaching--and not necessarily recruiting--is imperative. Beamer leaves good talent and Fuente has proved that he can win with players not at the elite level. You can also expect to be entertained by his offense. Keeping long-time defensive coordinator Bud Foster may or may not be a wise decision. It depends on how Foster feels about being second banana to the newbie. But Foster would do well to be grateful for the chance to continue to coach "his" defense. And Fuente needs to be grateful to have Foster in the fold.
Fuente was a great pick for Memphis and my suggestion for Memphis is that it bring Shirley back as a consultant to pick Fuentes' successor. Her record is 1-0. That's undefeated, I'd say.