Bud Foster has been a member of Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer’s staff since 1987, and he’s served as the Hokies’ defensive coordinator since 1993. He’s as ingrained in the culture of Virginia Tech football as Beamer himself, and many expect he’ll be the man to succeed Beamer when the longtime head coach finally calls it quits.

But what does a Virginia Tech coordinator have to do with the SEC this far removed from the season, you ask? More than you’d think.

Foster has turned down his fair share of coaching jobs across the country throughout the years, maintaining his loyalty to Beamer and Virginia Tech even as the head coaching offers piled up.

Yet one SEC school nearly poached Foster, and there wasn’t even a promotion on the line.

Foster recently admitted to the Roanoke Times that he was in daily contact with Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin following the end of the 2014 season. The Aggies fired former defensive coordinator Mark Snyder one day after falling to LSU in their regular season finale on Thanksgiving night.

“The rumors were there, but they were real,” Foster told the Roanoke Times. “It was probably as close as I’ve ever been to leaving this place.”

Strong words from a man seen as one of the most loyal in all of college football. He continued to explain he was interested in the opportunity to coach the Aggies defense due to the potency of the A&M offense.

“It was intriguing with Kevin (Sumlin),” Foster said. “His notoriety as an offensive guy and putting offensive points on the board and those kind of things and being able to get the type of athletes they can get at Texas A&M, it was an intriguing option at the end of the day.”

Foster even got the “OK” to pursue a new job from his wife, something he has not always had when other job offers came rolling in.

“My wife, she was ready to go,” Foster said. “And there have been other jobs that I’ve had an opportunity to take and she wasn’t ready to go. And some of those jobs, it’s not just about me. It’s about if my wife’s not going to be happy, I’m not going to be happy and things. But we thought long and hard about it.”

Texas A&M was eventually able to woo revered LSU coordinator John Chavis to fill the defensive coordinator vacancy, and Foster remains in place at Virginia Tech with a new five-year contract extension agreed upon last December.