Frank Beamer: Among College Coaching's Elite
Virginia Tech made the final game for head coach Frank Beamer a memorable one, beating Tulsa 55-52 in a record-setting performance at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 26.
Beamer retired at the end of the 2015 season after 29 seasons as the Hokies’ head coach. The win marked the 11th bowl win for Beamer, who won three of his final four bowl games. Beamer guided the Hokies to a 238-121-2 record and retired with an overall record of 280-144-4 over a 35-year coaching career.
Under Beamer, Tech football enjoyed unprecedented success with 23 consecutive bowl appearances - the longest current bowl streak as recognized by the NCAA - four ACC titles, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, three BIG EAST Conference titles, two major bowl victories, six BCS appearances and a trip to the national championship game in 1999.
Tech won the BIG EAST title in 1995 and 1999, and shared it in 1996. Beamer was voted BIG EAST Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches each of those seasons and was tabbed the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year in both 2004 and 2005.
In 1997, he was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, becoming the first active coach at the university to be honored in that fashion. Following the 1999 season, he earned eight national coach of the year honors.
During his undergraduate days at Tech, Beamer started three years as a cornerback and played on the Hokies’ 1966 and 1968 Liberty Bowl teams.
The 69-year-old Hillsville, Virginia, product 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.
He is married to the former Cheryl Oakley of Richmond, Virginia. They have two children, Shane, a former member of his dad’s football team at Virginia Tech and now the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at the University of Georgia; and daughter Casey, a 2003 graduate of Tech. He has four grandchildren, Sutton, Olivia and Hunter, children of Shane and his wife, Emily, while Casey, who married former Virginia Tech wrestler Canaan Prater in 2012, has a 1-year old son, Hudson.
Beamer was born in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, and grew up in Hillsville, Virginia. At Hillsville High, he earned 11 varsity letters as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball.
An avid NASCAR fan, Beamer has been the official starter for races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Richmond International Raceway.
Beamer had his No. 25 jersey retired by Tech in a pregame ceremony before the Marshall game in 2002.