Beamer on Herma's Readers Program:
“It is great to see the initiative Virginia Tech's athletes and coaches have taken to promote literacy in our community. Getting books to those in need and seeing appreciative children is very gratifying. My mother would be very proud.”
When Frank Beamer accepted the job as head football coach at his alma mater in 1987, his goal was for the Virginia Tech football program to reach a consistent level of excellence. The Hokies have come a long way since then, and, along the way, Beamer has become one of the most respected and successful coaches on the college football scene. Now in his 29th campaign in Blacksburg, Beamer is the winningest active coach in the FBS. Under Beamer, Tech football has enjoyed unprecedented success with 22 consecutive bowl appearances, four ACC titles, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, three BIG EAST Conference titles, six BCS appearances, two “major” bowl victories and a trip to the national championship game. Under his guidance, the Hokies have finished in the Top 20 in 16 of the past 21 seasons, including four top-10 finishes during the last 10 years. The Hokies couldn’t have asked for anyone better to guide their football program into the ACC. For his part in the Hokies’ magical 1999 season, Beamer earned eight national coach of the year awards. He was named the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year, the GTE Coach of the Year, the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Coach of the Year, The Associated Press Coach of the Year, the Walter Camp Football Foundation/Street & Smith’s Coach of the Year, the Maxwell Football Club Coach of the Year and the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year. He also was named the BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year for the third time. Tech won the BIG EAST title in 1995 and 1999 and shared it in ‘96. Beamer was voted BIG EAST Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches each of those seasons. There have been plenty of other accolades for the Hokies’ coach. Prior to the 2005 season, a Seattle Times poll of more than 40 coaches voted Frank Beamer as the current head coach for whom they had the most respect. In 1997, he was inducted into The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. He called it the biggest honor of his entire career. With the induction, he became the first active coach at the university to be honored in that fashion. The 65-year-old Beamer, the first alumnus to guide the Hokies since the 1940s, took over the Tech reins from Bill Dooley in January 1987. The rise of the Tech football program has made Beamer a man in demand. During his undergraduate days at Tech, Beamer started three years as a cornerback and played on the Hokies’ 1966 and 1968 Liberty Bowl teams. He received a B.S. in distributive education from Tech in 1969 and a master’s in guidance from Radford in 1972. Then came the start of the Beamer coaching career. He began as an assistant at Radford High School from 1969 through 1971. Then, after one season as a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland, he went to The Citadel where he worked five seasons under Bobby Ross and one year under Art Baker. His last two years at The Citadel, Beamer was the defensive coordinator. In 1979, he went to Murray State as the defensive coordinator under Mike Gottfried. He was named head coach at MSU in 1981 and went on to compile a six-year record of 42-23-2. The Tech coach was born in Mt. Airy, N.C., and grew up in Hillsville, Va. At Hillsville High, he earned 11 varsity letters as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball. Beamer is married to the former Cheryl Oakley of Richmond, Va. They have two children, Shane, a former member of his dad’s football team at Tech and now the associate head coach at Virginia Tech; and daughter Casey, a 2003 graduate of Tech. He has two granddaughters, Sutton and Olivia, and two grandsons, Hunter and Hudson.
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