Beamer at age 59
October 18, 1946 |
Mount Airy, North Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1973-1976||The Citadel (DL)|
|1977-1978||The Citadel (DC)|
|1979-1980||Murray State (DC)|
|2016-present||Virginia Tech (special assistant to the AD)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||0-1 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 OVC (1986)
3 Big East (1995-1996, 1999)
4 ACC (2004, 2007-2008, 2010)
5 ACC Coastal Division (2005, 2007-2008, 2010-2011)
|AFCA Coach of the Year (1999)
Associated Press Coach of the Year (1999)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1999)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1999)
George Munger Award (1999)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (1999)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (1999)
Joseph V. Paterno Coach of the Year Award (2010)
3x Big East Coach of the Year (1995-1996, 1999)
2x ACC Coach of the Year (2004-2005)
Franklin Mitchell Beamer (born October 18, 1946) is a retired American college football coach, most notably for the Virginia Tech Hokies, and former college football player. Beamer was a cornerback for Virginia Tech from 1966 to 1968. His coaching experience began in 1972, and from 1981 to 1986 Beamer served as the head football coach at Murray State University. He then went on to become the head football coach at Virginia Tech from 1987 until his final game in 2015. He was one of the longest tenured active coaches in NCAA Division I FBS and, at the time of his retirement, was the winningest active coach at that level. Beamer remains at Virginia Tech in the position of special assistant to the athletic director, where he focuses on athletic development and advancement.
Beamer is a direct descendant of the notorious Allen clan of Carroll County, Virginia. In 1912, during a court trial, his great-uncle, Floyd Allen, fired rounds in a spasm of violence. The courtroom shooting left five people dead, including the judge, a prosecutor, and the county sheriff.
In 1954, at the age of seven, Frank suffered a life altering accident. After using a push broom to keep a pile of burning trash in place, he returned it to its place in the garage, unaware that it was smoldering. A spark ignited a nearby can of gasoline, which exploded in front of him. His 11-year-old brother, Barnett saved him by rolling him around on the ground. Frank was left with burns on his shoulders, chest, and the right side of his neck. Over the next several years, Beamer underwent dozens of skin graft procedures, leaving him with permanent scarring.
Beamer attended high school in Hillsville, Virginia, and earned 11 varsity letters in three different sports: football, basketball, and baseball. In 1966, he attended Virginia Tech and played football. He was a starting cornerback for 3 years, playing in the 1966 and 1968 Liberty Bowls. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1969 and attended Radford University for graduate school, while serving as an assistant football coach at Radford High School.
Beamer began as an assistant at Radford High School from 1969 through 1971. His college coaching experience began in 1972, when he became a graduate assistant for the University of Maryland, College Park. After one season, he became an assistant coach at The Citadel under Bobby Ross. He spent seven seasons at The Citadel, the last two as the defensive coordinator.
Beamer was hired as the defensive coordinator at Murray State University in 1979 under head coach, Mike Gottfried. In 1981, after two seasons as defensive coordinator, Frank was promoted to head coach. In his six years as head coach, Beamer compiled a record of 42-23-2 (.642). Frank hired former Murray State defensive back, Bud Foster as a graduate assistant in 1981. Foster later joined Beamer's coaching staff at Virginia Tech in 1987.
On December 22, 1986, Frank Beamer was hired as the head coach at Virginia Tech, replacing Bill Dooley, the winningest coach in school history to date. However, Dooley had been forced to resign due to numerous NCAA violations. Beamer signed a four-year contract worth $80,000 annually, hired by Virginia Tech's new athletic director, Dale Baughman, also replacing Dooley in that capacity. Beamer took over a Virginia Tech football program that had reached six bowl games to that point (three under Dooley). 
As punishment for Dooley's violations, the Hokies were limited to 85 total scholarships in 1988 and 1989, and 17 initial scholarships in 1989. The sanctions hampered the Hokies and Beamer went a combined 5-17 in 1987 and 1988. Beamer's record in his first six seasons was 24-40-2, a win percentage of .385. After the team went 2-8-1 in 1992, athletic director Dave Braine believed in Beamer and thought he deserved more time, which proved to be a wise decision..
The Hokies had a combined record of 75-21 from 1993-2000. The peak year in this stretch was 1999, when the Hokies went 11-0 in the regular season earning a spot to the Sugar Bowl to play Florida State for the national championship. Behind the amazing play of quarterback, Michael Vick. Virginia Tech led FSU 29-28 in the 4th quarter, but lost 46-29. 
Virginia Tech continued its bowl eligibility streak into the new millennium and won the 2004 ACC Championship in its first season in the league. Over the course of the next 7 seasons, from 2005 to 2011, Virginia Tech won at least 10 games every season. The Hokies were the only team in the country to do so. Beamer's record from 1993 to 2011 was 185-58 for a winning percentage of .761. This was the 4th highest win percentage in the country over this period. Although Virginia Tech went just 28-23 from 2012 to 2015, the Hokies still finished each season with a winning record and a bowl bid.
On November 1, 2015, Beamer announced his retirement from coaching, effective at the end of the 2015 season. He was carried off the field after beating Virginia in the final regular season game to become bowl eligible. . Beamer's last game was a 55-52 win over Tulsa in the Independence Bowl on December 26. At the time of his retirement, he was the winningest active coach in Division I FBS with 280 career victories. and is the sixth winningest coach in history at the Division I FBS level. Memphis' Justin Fuente replaced Beamer as the head football coach at Virginia Tech.
Beamer amassed an overall record of 238-121-2 (.663) in his 29 years at the school . His teams went to postseason play after every season from 1993 until his retirement in 2015. The Hokies' consecutive bowl appearances streak-the longest in the nation at the time- has continued under his successor, Justin Fuente. At the time of his retirement, Beamer owned all but one of the Hokies' 10-win seasons and all of their 11-win seasons. (Coach Bill Dooley's had finished with nine wins on the field, but was awarded a 10th win by forfeit in his final season.) 
Beamer's teams won three Big East championships and four ACC titles. Beamer won many awards over his career. He was named the Big East Coach of the Year three times, in 1995, 1996, and 1999. He also was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005. 
Virginia Tech has gone to 25 straight bowl games, the longest streak in the country. This streak started under Beamer in 1993, and has continued in the first 2 years under Justin Fuente.
Frank Beamer married his wife Cheryl (née Oakley) on April 1, 1972. The two met on a blind date, arranged by Cheryl's sister Sheila, while Frank Beamer was a senior at Virginia Tech. They have two children, Shane and Casey, and five grandchildren. His son, Shane played football at Virginia Tech as a long snapper, and was a member of the 1999 team that played for the national championship. After assistant coaching stops at four different universities, Shane was hired by Virginia Tech in 2011 as the running backs coach and associate head coach. Shane left Virginia Tech upon Frank's retirement in 2015 and currently serves as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Georgia.
In 2006, Beamer and his wife Cheryl published the children's book Yea, It's a Hokie Game Day! under Virginia publisher Mascot Books, Inc.
After the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, Beamer was a powerful voice in the Blacksburg community, stating that the most important thing that the Virginia Tech and surrounding community could do was to disallow the act of violence to define the university. Beamer is quoted as saying, "We can't let one person destroy what goes on here every day, the caring, the thoughtfulness. We can't let one person destroy that." 
|Murray State Racers (Ohio Valley Conference) (1981-1986)|
|1986||Murray State||7-4-1||6-1||T-1st||L NCAA Division I-AA First Round||18|
|Murray State:||42-23-2||27-16||AP rankings from NCAA Division I-AA Poll|
|Virginia Tech Hokies (NCAA Division I-A Independent) (1987-1990)|
|Virginia Tech Hokies (Big East Conference) (1991-2003)|
|1993||Virginia Tech||9-3||4-3||4th||W Independence||20||22|
|1994||Virginia Tech||8-4||5-2||2nd||L Gator+||24|
|1995||Virginia Tech||10-2||6-1||T-1st||W Sugar+||9||10|
|1996||Virginia Tech||10-2||6-1||T-1st||L Orange+||12||13|
|1997||Virginia Tech||7-5||5-2||2nd||L Gator|
|1998||Virginia Tech||9-3||5-2||T-2nd||W Music City||19||23|
|1999||Virginia Tech||11-1||7-0||1st||L Sugar+||3||2|
|2000||Virginia Tech||11-1||6-1||2nd||W Gator||6||6|
|2001||Virginia Tech||8-4||4-3||T-3rd||L Gator||18||18|
|2002||Virginia Tech||10-4||3-4||T-4th||W San Francisco||14||18|
|2003||Virginia Tech||8-5||4-3||4th||L Insight|
|Virginia Tech Hokies (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2004-2015)|
|2004||Virginia Tech||10-3||7-1||1st||L Sugar+||10||10|
|2005||Virginia Tech||11-2||7-1||1st (Coastal)||W Gator||7||7|
|2006||Virginia Tech||10-3||6-2||2nd (Coastal)||L Chick-fil-A||18||19|
|2007||Virginia Tech||11-3||7-1||1st (Coastal)||L Orange+||9||9|
|2008||Virginia Tech||10-4||5-3||T-1st (Coastal)||W Orange+||14||15|
|2009||Virginia Tech||10-3||6-2||2nd (Coastal)||W Chick-fil-A||10||10|
|2010||Virginia Tech||11-3||8-0||1st (Coastal)||L Orange+||15||16|
|2011||Virginia Tech||11-3||7-1||1st (Coastal)||L Sugar+||17||21|
|2012||Virginia Tech||7-6||4-4||4th (Coastal)||W Russell Athletic|
|2013||Virginia Tech||8-5||5-3||T-2nd (Coastal)||L Sun|
|2014||Virginia Tech||7-6||3-5||T-5th (Coastal)||W Military|
|2015||Virginia Tech||7-6||4-4||T-4th (Coastal)||W Independence|
|Virginia Tech:||238-121-2||124-52[needs update?]||? The Big East did not begin full round-robin play until 1993|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
After twenty-nine seasons as head coach of Virginia Tech, legendary coach Frank Beamer retired at the conclusion of the 2015 season. He coached the Hokies to 23 consecutive bowl games, including a national championship appearance, along with seven conference championship titles.
In late 2015, Beamer signed an 8-year contract with Virginia Tech, serving as a special assistant to Whit Babcock, Director of Athletics at Virginia Tech, focusing on athletic development and advancement.
On January 17, 2017 Frank Beamer was appointed to the College Football Playoff Committee. Frank joined the 13 member panel, which was formed when the College Football Playoff was implemented in 2013. It is a 3-year appointment and Frank was the 14th person to be named to the committee. The panel's sole purpose is to determine the top four college football teams to play in the designated bowl games to decide the national champion. The members meet each of the final six weeks of the regular season to create a weekly poll of the top 25 teams in the country. Teams ranked one through four in the final poll are the teams that play for the national championship.
|Hall of Fame||Year|
|Virginia Tech Hall of Fame ||1997|
|Virginia Sports Hall of Fame ||2017|
|Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Hall of Fame ||2017|
|Sun Bowl Legend ||2017|
|College Football Hall of Fame ||2018|
During Beamer's tenure at Virginia Tech, putting points on the scoreboard has become a full team effort with the offensive, defensive and special teams units. Often when the team scores one or more non-offensive touchdowns, the style of play is described as "Beamerball". Since Beamer's first season in 1987, a player at every position on the defensive unit has scored at least one touchdown, and 35 different players have scored touchdowns on Virginia Tech's special teams.
#25 Beamer Jersey
Before the beginning of the 2016 football season, new coach Justin Fuente and his staff collaborated on ideas of how to honor Beamer during the season. On August 29, 2016 the team announced that as an homage to Frank's transcendent contributions and dedication to special teams, one deserving special teams player would be chosen to wear the number 25 jersey for each game of the 2016 season, earning the title "Special Teams Player of the Week". Frank Beamer wore the number 25 when he played at Virginia Tech as a cornerback from 1966-1968. The honorary jersey became so popular with the players, fans and coaches that the team continued the tradition beyond the 2016 season.
On August 6, 2015 Virginia Tech renamed Spring Road to 'Beamer Way' in honor of Frank Beamer. Located on the west side of Lane Stadium, it is the primary access route to the campus sports facilities. The Virginia Tech Athletics Department also changed its mailing address to '25 Beamer Way' to commemorate his jersey number as a player at the school.
Frank Beamer Day
February 4, 2016 was declared "Frank Beamer Day" in the Commonwealth of Virginia by Governor Terry McAuliffe. In a ceremony on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol in front of a crowd of Virginia Tech students, faculty, and alumni-- including his wife, Cheryl Beamer, Government Affairs Directors, Paul Rice and Harvey Creasey III, and university President, Timothy Sands-- Governor McAuliffe presented Beamer with a framed certificate to honor his achievements as the head coach of the Virginia Tech football program.