I read with much interest the recently published article entitled Beamer’s Retirement Emotional for HHS Classmates, and the editorial entitled Beamer Deserves Better.
I had been living in Blacksburg for over 15 years when Frank was named as the head football coach at Virginia Tech. I recall all of those days, prior to his arrival, of half-empty stadiums and disappointing performances. I heard it jokingly said once that Bear Bryant was thinking of moving to Blacksburg upon retirement because he wanted to get as far away from big time college football as possible after departing from Alabama.
I had been out of town on the day of Frank’s hiring, and asked a friend at a Kiwanis Club meeting that night if a new coach had been hired. My friend said, “They hired some guy named Frank Beamer. Have you ever heard anything about him? Do you know if he is a good football coach?” My response, in alignment with most of what has been published recently, was “I don’t know much about what it takes to be a good football coach, but if attributes like integrity, honesty, and hard work have anything to do with it, he will be an outstanding coach. If you knew anything at all about the family that reared him, that would be evident.” Although I moved from Blacksburg later that year, I have continued as a Hokie fan, watching all of the athletic programs at our school grow, prosper, and gain recognition, in no small part due to the success of the football program.
I am the uncle mentioned in the editorial as having played football on the 1964 HHS team quarterbacked by Frank Beamer, as well as on the HHS basketball and baseball teams. There is little I could add that hasn’t been said regarding Frank’s prowess as a quarterback. Heck, his accuracy and timing as a passer made even someone like me look good. What can’t be said enough is what a stellar individual he has always been.
So, people can call us VT homers or Frank Beamer homers all they wish. It won’t change a thing with regard to how much he is, and always will be, loved and respected by anyone who ever took the time to know the man.
People will argue and discuss whether now is the right time for Frank to choose to step down as the football coach at Virginia Tech. Some will say too soon, some will say not soon enough. From my perspective, it is the perfect time because a man I have known and respected pretty much all of my life says it is time.
HHS Class of ‘66