Frank Beamer

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Frank Beamer
Frank Beamer.jpg
Beamer at age 59
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Virginia Tech
Conference ACC
Record 231–115–2
Biographical details
Born (1946-10-18) October 18, 1946 (age 68)
Mount Airy, North Carolina
Playing career
1966–1968 Virginia Tech
Position(s) Cornerback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Maryland (GA)
The Citadel (DL)
The Citadel (DC)
Murray State (DC)
Murray State
Virginia Tech
Head coaching record
Overall 271–136–4
Bowls 10–12
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)

Frank Beamer (born October 18, 1946) is an American college football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at Virginia Tech, a position he has held since 1987. From 1981 to 1986, Beamer served as the head football coach at Murray State University. He is the winningest and longest tenured active coach in NCAA Division I FBS.

Early life and playing career[edit]

Beamer was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina,[2] grew up in Fancy Gap, Virginia, went to high school in Hillsville, Virginia, and earned 11 varsity letters in high school as a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. He then attended Virginia Tech and was a starting cornerback for three years on the football team, playing in the 1966 and 1968 Liberty Bowls. He graduated in 1969 and attended Radford University for graduate school while serving as an assistant football coach at Radford High School.

Coaching career[edit]

Beamer's 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. He moved on to become the defensive coordinator at Murray State University in 1979 under Mike Gottfried. After two seasons, he was promoted to head coach and compiled a record of 42–23–2 (.642) in six years. On December 22, 1986, Beamer was hired as the head coach at Virginia Tech. Beamer was to replace Bill Dooley, whose nine-year tenure was the most successful in terms of total wins and winning percentage in school history. Beamer signed a four-year contract worth $80,000 annually. Virginia Tech's new athletic director, Dale Baughman, who was hired to replace Dooley in that capacity, received criticism for hiring Beamer. "Some people have questioned this decision because he is not a big name," Baughman said at the time. "But it's a sound decision, and I'm standing by it."[3]

Beamer took over a Virginia Tech football program that had reached only six bowl games to that point. Beamer has since built the Hokies into a perennially ranked team. In 28 years at the helm of VT, his overall record is 231–115–2 (.668). His teams have made 22 consecutive bowl appearances.

Head coach Beamer's total compensation before bonuses for the 2012 season will be $2,288,204, this includes his salary, privileges & car, a retention incentive, and additional income from sponsors including Nike & other marketing rights.

During Beamer's tenure at Virginia Tech, the program has evolved from independent status to a member of the Big East Conference to a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. His teams have won three Big East championships and four ACC titles. Beamer has been named the Big East Coach of the Year three times, in 1995, 1996, and 1999. In 1999, he won a number of national coach of the year honors when he led Virginia Tech to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl, where they lost a bid for the national championship to Florida State. Beamer was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 2004, his first year competing in the conference. He repeated as ACC Coach of the Year in 2005 while leading his team to the ACC Coastal Division title and an appearance in the inaugural ACC Championship Game. His team was also given the Fall Sportsmanship Award in its inaugural season in the ACC.[4]

Frank Beamer is currently the winningest active coach in Division I FBS.[5]


Frank Beamer takes the field with the 2007 Virginia Tech Hokies football team

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.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Fancy Gap, Virginia, Beamer's hometown, shows its pride in Beamer

Beamer is married to the former Cheryl Oakley and has two children, Shane and Casey. Shane played football at Virginia Tech and was a member of the 1999 team that advanced to Sugar Bowl to play for the national championship. He is currently the associate head coach and running backs coach alongside his father at Virginia Tech.[7]

In July 2006, Beamer and his wife, Cheryl joined with Virginia publishers Mascot Books to publish their first children's book Yea, It's Hokie Game Day!

In 1954, when Beamer was seven years old, he used a push broom to help keep a pile of burning trash in place. When the job was done he returned the broom to the garage, not knowing that its bristles were still smoldering. A spark ignited a nearby can of gasoline, that exploded in front of him. His 11-year old brother, Barnett, saved him by rolling him around on the ground, but Frank was left with burns on the right side of his neck, chest and his shoulders. Over the next few years dozens of skin grafts left him with permanent scarring.

Beamer is also a direct descendant of Floyd Allen and the notorious Allen clan, the fierce mountain men who shot up the Carroll County, Va. courthouse in a spasm of violence in 1912 that left five people dead, including the judge, prosecutor and county sheriff. This bit of Beamer's family history helps explain why he was such a powerful voice in Blacksburg after the Virginia Tech massacre, after which he said the important thing was not to allow the act of violence to define the university. “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.” ("Tempered Steel: How Frank Beamer Got That Way")

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Murray State Racers (Ohio Valley Conference) (1981–1986)
1981 Murray State 8–3 5–3 T–2nd 9
1982 Murray State 4–7 2–5 T–5th
1983 Murray State 7–4 4–3 4th
1984 Murray State 9–2 5–2 T–2nd 13
1985 Murray State 7–3–1 5–2 T–2nd 17
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)
1987 Virginia Tech 2–9
1988 Virginia Tech 3–8
1989 Virginia Tech 6–4–1
1990 Virginia Tech 6–5
Virginia Tech Hokies (Big East Conference) (1991–2003)
1991 Virginia Tech 5–6 1–0
1992 Virginia Tech 2–8–1 1–4
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–present)
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
Virginia Tech: 231–115–2 121–49 ‡ The Big East did not begin full round–robin play until 1993
Total: 273–138–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl, or College Football Playoff (CFP) game.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Coach Frank Beamer reflects on his place amongst all-time greats". Washington Post. 20 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Frank Beamer: Head Football Coach". Hokie Sports. Virginia Tech. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Smith, Tim. "Beamer realizes dream to coach Virginia Tech," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 24, 1986. Page D3.
  4. ^ "Football :: Frank Beamer". Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  5. ^ "Coach Frank Beamer reflects on his place amongst all-time greats". 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  6. ^ "2011 VT Football Game Notes"
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2] 2009 OVC Football Media Guide

External links[edit]