Birthplace: Mount Airy, NC
The winningest coach in Virginia Tech history, Frank Beamer’s 280 career victories rank sixth in FBS history and are the 13th most by a college football coach at any NCAA division. He led the Hokies to their first-ever national title game appearance as part of an impressive streak of 23 consecutive bowl berths in his final 23 seasons. Beamer began his 35-year head coaching career at Murray State from 1981-86, and he ranks fourth in school history in wins after leading the Racers to a 42-23-2 record in six seasons. In 1986, he guided the team to a share of the Ohio Valley Conference title and a trip to the FCS Playoffs. In 1987, Beamer became the head coach at his alma mater Virginia Tech, where would win a school-record 238 games in 29 seasons (1987-2015). Arguably, his best season came in 1999 when he earned consensus National Coach of the Year honors after leading Virginia Tech to an appearance in the BCS National Championship at the Sugar Bowl following the program’s first 11-win season and first undefeated regular season in school history. Under Beamer, the Hokies posted five top-10 finishes and became one of only six programs in college football history to go to a bowl game in at least 20-straight seasons. After just one win in six bowl games prior to his arrival, Beamer would win 11 of his 23 appearances, including marquee wins in the 1995 Sugar Bowl, 2009 Orange Bowl and the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl. His Hokies are also one of just four teams in Division I history to produce 10 wins in eight or more consecutive seasons (2004-11), and his 23-straight seasons of seven or more wins are a school record. A five-time conference Coach of the Year, Beamer won three BIG EAST titles and added four ACC titles in five conference championship game appearances. Overall, he coached 16 First Team All-Americans, two NFF National Scholar-Athletes, 79 first team all-conference selections, three ACC Players of the Year, three BIG EAST Offensive Players of the Year, two BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Year and two BIG EAST Special Teams Players of the Year. One of his lasting legacies is “Beamerball,” the name given for the Hokies’ ability to make big plays and score on offense, defense and special teams. Beamer’s teams blocked more kicks in the 1990s than any other FBS program, helping him earn BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Decade laurels. Beamer started three years as a cornerback at Virginia Tech for College Football Hall of Fame coach Jerry Claiborne. Before becoming a head coach, he served as an assistant coach at Maryland, The Citadel and Murray State. A member of the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, Beamer’s No. 25 jersey was retired by the school in 2002, his name adorns the Hokies’ locker room and the street in front of Lane Stadium is known as Beamer Way.