A Man of His Word, Frank Beamer Knew the Time was Right

Frank Beamer gave everything he had to Virginia Tech, and stepped away just as he promised he would.

[Mark Umansky]

Two days removed from Virginia Tech's 20-30 loss at Miami I realized I would eventually have to write that Frank Beamer didn't deserve a victory lap in 2016 — one that included pit stops at Bristol Motor Speedway and Notre Dame Stadium. That was a tough conclusion to come to. My heart said no, but my brain said yes.

Immediately after Frank's offensive staff overhaul following Tech's 2012 campaign, I decided it was reasonable to allot three seasons before I judged the progress of the program and Beamer's future. To put it mildly, there's been an unhealthy amount of contention among Hokie Nation over that timespan. Many argued Frank's 235 wins and 7 conference championships as Hokie head coach earned him the right to leave the program he built on his own terms without oversight. Others contended Virginia Tech football slipped on Frank's watch and he was culpable.

I discarded the history and analyzed the situation objectively and in a vacuum. It's unfair for any coach to turn around a program in a shorter amount of time. Beamer Co. needed to restock Tech's roster with ACC caliber players, which would take multiple recruiting classes. That talent needed to be developed. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler had to teach and install a new scheme. Virginia Tech had to adapt to modern recruiting. All of this would take time.

And since, the program's exhibited glimpses of progress, but has stumbled along the way. Virginia Tech's been average and punched its way through the ACC's undercard. The Hokies both inexplicably won at Ohio State and lost at Wake Forest. Tech signed blue chippers Tim Settle and Dwayne Lawson, but failed time and again to close on Virginia's top talent at positions of need. It's been an up and down ride. Tech didn't reassert its dominance over the Coastal division, and for a program that has greater expectations than middle-tier bowls, Frank's future-is-bright pitch began to ring hollow.

So on October 19, 2015, I passed a threshold. I didn't think Frank Beamer was the man to catapult Tech to the top of the ACC, a conference he owned for so many years. It wasn't the result of any one game, or thing, but rather the body of work from 2013 through Tech's 3-4 mark. In my gut I didn't feel good about the state of Virginia Tech football moving forward, and evidence on the field supported the instinct.

Even though it would be fair to call for Frank's job, and I was prepared to do it, it never felt right for me to do. Frank Beamer and I are both Virginia Tech alumni and he has done more for the university I love than I ever will. (Both French and Teel hammered that home.) Even though I dreaded it, it had to be done.

I was wrong though, it didn't. On Sunday afternoon Frank Beamer did the dirty work, he announced his retirement. He did exactly what he said he would do when asked countless times about his future. He did what was in Virginia Tech's best interest. Throughout his tenure at Tech, Beamer never provided a reason to doubt his integrity, and I'm a fool for believing he'd be anything but true to his word.

Beamer saved the Virginia Tech athletic department, scribes and fans from a messy breakup too common to the separation of long term relationships. It's a dignified exit which personifies the manner in which Frank CEO'd Beamer Co.

To boot, Frank is going to let us all be there to celebrate when he receives his gold watch against North Carolina. Frank's never sought the limelight, and I can't imagine that was his suggestion, but again it's best for the program. Hokie Nation needs to come together and get closure on the Beamer Era. I'm elated I'll be there.

"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree, "but I have nothing left to give you"

Frank Beamer didn't always make the decisions the fans wanted. He made plenty of questionable calls that pundits and armchair quarterbacks were justified to criticize. He didn't fill the empty trophy case. But if Tech wins the national championship, it'll be thanks to the foundation Frank Beamer laid.

I'm going to miss rooting for the coach that never took himself too seriously.

The coach that was always there for the Virginia Tech and Blacksburg communities.

The coach that his players loved.

And ultimately I'll miss rooting for the coach that did in his opinion what was best for Virginia Tech. Frank Beamer is a Hokie and followed the simple charge of Ut Prosim. I don't know who the next football coach will be, but I doubt he'll always do what's best for Virginia Tech over self. We won't get that again.

Comments

The Giving Tree quote got me. Great article, as always. You can change the coach, but you can never, ever replace Frank Beamer.

"Tyrod, looking desperately, now throws it deep, has a man open, CAUUUGHT! Danny Coale, all the way!"

I have 3 favorite teams. VT, Kentucky, and whoever the hell is playing Tennessee.

That's what got me as well. right in the feels, man.

I'm not ashamed to admit that quote got me too; because, as he proved to all of us doubters once again, that quote perfectly encapsulates CFB and his relationship with Virginia Tech...

Thank you CFB, for proving me wrong. Sir, I apologize for doubting you. I was wrong.

Go Hokies!

I'm allergic to The Giving Tree. Any time I get near it... puffy red eyes.

Thanks Joe.

Leonard. Duh.

sonofabitch goddam giving tree.....crying now

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

I had confidence Beamer would do this the right way, as he has in so many things over the years.

His press conference reflected his character. He must be the most appreciative person ever to lead a successful football program.

He's a class act, all the way, and he's done a lot for Virginia Tech.

Thanks, Coach Beamer, from a grateful Hokie Nation.

I'm going to miss rooting for the coach that never took himself too seriously.

Oh man, French hit me in the feels and then you go and hit me right in the...nevermind.

Nicely written, Joe.

It is really hard to get work done when someone keeps coming into my office and chopping onions every 5 minutes.

"We were at the pinnacle, and we did it for years," Foster says. He pauses, nods, takes a deep breath. "And I did it with the best guy in the business."

Me too buddy, me too.

Go Hokies!

This has been one of my most inefficient days at the office in a long time

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

This has been me ALL DAY as well...

@AMB4VT

I had a date yesterday, and the news broke just as I was about to walk out the door to pick him up, so I didn't have a chance to process any of this until I was alone in my office this morning.

"We were at the pinnacle, and we did it for years," Foster says. He pauses, nods, takes a deep breath. "And I did it with the best guy in the business."

Date went that well, huh?

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

haha, not that well. it was just late when I got home.

"We were at the pinnacle, and we did it for years," Foster says. He pauses, nods, takes a deep breath. "And I did it with the best guy in the business."

"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree, "but I have nothing left to give you"

Dammit, Joe. I was handling this news so well, then you had to hit me with The Giving Tree. It's just allergies, honest!

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

I stopped here for a moment too...man.

"I think at a certain point you’ve got to kind of shut your mouth and understand where you are."
-Corey Marshall

The man the myth the living legend. He deserves all the praise hes getting and more. I hope he'll still be around the program in the future.

He's got an eight-year contract after he steps down.

Advisory role.

Let's win out for Coach Beamer! First stop: Bobby Dodd Stadium

It's all about The VPISU
VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
GO: Freeman Rebels, Keydets, Black Knights (the VMI of the North), NY Rangers & Giants, and ATL Braves.

The GF and I will be in attendance, loud and proud. Driving up from Orlando.

Likewise. I can't wait go watch our boys own Bobby Dodd one more time for Frank on a Thursday night! Go Hokies!

"If you coach the way the fans want you to, you might find yourself sitting in the stands next to them" -Herm Edwards

Frank's press conference was very heart felt. Probably not a dry eye in the place. The Hokie Nation loves you Frank for all you have done and the way you did it. Thanks you Coach.

Not gonna lie....tears have been shed today here.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Hopefully we get to see Frank do some major dancing again in the next few weeks!

"Tyrod, looking desperately, now throws it deep, has a man open, CAUUUGHT! Danny Coale, all the way!"

I have 3 favorite teams. VT, Kentucky, and whoever the hell is playing Tennessee.

Congrats & Thank You Coach!

Between you and French it's going to be hard to open my office door all day. Damn allergies...

If you want to cut some real onions, watch the press conference.

Is it available anywhere to watch later?

Joe posted a link.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Thanks guys.

Yeah, I shouldn't have read this at work....those feels, they'll get after ya.

Just FYI, there are a lot of Frank Beamer tribute columns being penned across the internet today, and this one, as far as I've seen, is the best:

Pete Thamel and Theyer Evans from Campus Rush

I'd like to point out this piece in particular:

Unlike the cringe-inducing endings of Joe Paterno at Penn State, Bowden at Florida State and Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee, Beamer's time at Tech ends with a soft landing. Beamer's retirement is an acknowledgement of the obvious—the Hokies simply haven't lived up to the lofty standards that Beamer set for the program.

The lofty standards Frank set for all of us have been reiterated on these threads for weeks. The exit he's made was the best way to go out. For all the sadness we'll feel as we move into a new era, we have it better than any of the aforementioned legends, and, shit, who else would we have to thank for it?

Frank Beamer. FMFB.

Beamer is a man of his word.

He did this the right way, and I think it's worth acknowledging that. He got his opportunity to rebuild with some staff changes on the offense. I think we'd all rather have had this season to go better, but I'm glad he got a chance at a rebuild.

He said the hardest part would be leaving them, and a raucous standing ovation erupted after his brief remarks. Shortly thereafter, players filed into assistant coaches offices in tears.

I think this says just about all there is to say about the man.

This section is telling:

Braine explained to his president that they had the right coach. Beamer had led Tech from the throes of probation and scholarship losses and just needed more financial support to upgrade his staff. The meeting lasted less than 10 minutes and indelibly changed the course of the athletic department and university. "That was the best decision for Virginia Tech football that was ever made," Braine says. "They put everything in place, we made the Independence Bowl in 1993 and have been to a bowl game every year since."

Instead of an early exit, we got Enter Sandman. Instead of Tech ending up in the AAC, it is in the ACC. After one postseason victory in the nine decades of football prior to 1987, the Hokies have reached 22 consecutive bowls. Instead of a forgettable six-year run, we got one of the most unforgettable tenures in college football history that will be remembered for its off-field class as much as its on-field play.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

25 sets of brothers played for him

That HAS to be a record! That is amazing!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

It may be, but there were a lot in Patero's tenure, too. There were a whole bunch of father-son combos at PSU as well.

Well,

the PTI guys gave a nice little shout out to Frank. So that was nice.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?