Virginia Tech will pay a buyout of $8.75 million to departing coach Justin Fuente, athletic director Whit Babcock announced on Tuesday.

Babcock held a press conference shortly after firing Fuente on Tuesday morning. The buyout was negotiated down from $10 million. It was set to drop to $7.5 million if the Hokies had waited until mid-December to fire Fuente.

Fuente departs Virginia Tech after nearly six seasons at the helm with an overall record of 43-31. After a good start to his first two years in Blacksburg, Fuente’s program had regressed. He’s led Virginia Tech to a 24-23 record over the last four seasons.

Virginia Tech is expected to begin a national search for its next head coach. Potential candidates such as Louisiana’s Billy Napier, Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell and Oregon’s Joe Moorhead have already begun to emerge.

Virginia Tech still has two games remaining this season and will need to win one of them in order to reach bowl eligibility. The Hokies face Miami on the road on Saturday.