Let Me Be Frank: My Life at Virginia Tech by Frank Beamer

By Frank Beamer

After 26 seasons as head soccer trainer at Virginia Tech college, Frank Beamer is not just the longest tenured but in addition the winningest energetic trainer of any significant collage application, and Let Me Be Frank contains his own reflections on greater than a quarter-century best the Virginia Tech software. Beamer has directed his alma mater to twenty consecutive bowl appearances, together with six BCS bowls, 5 top-10 finishes, and a visit to the nationwide Championship online game in 1999 led by way of a freshman quarterback named Michael Vick. yet luck didn’t come instantly: he began his occupation at VT with 4 wasting seasons in his first six years, together with a 2-8-1 list in 1992 whilst many enthusiasts sought after him fired. He relates how he grew to become a mediocre application right into a perennial energy whereas carrying a fresh NCAA checklist and a well-earned acceptance as one of many most-respected head coaches within the kingdom. although, Beamer is thought of as a fair greater guy than a soccer trainer: he created a state-wide application to aid little ones learn, and within the aftermath of the deadliest campus bloodbath in U.S. background, he met with the oldsters of the sufferers and visited with every one wounded scholar. He stocks tales from his time spent either off and on the gridiron, together with thoughts of generations of Hokies stars comparable to Vick, André Davis, Jim Druckenmiller, Corey Moore, Jake Grove, and others.

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It was just like Junction Boys, the movie about Bear Bryant’s Texas A&M teams in the 1950s. 22 let me be fran k I was one of seven quarterbacks to come in that year, and I think it was the second day of practice when they moved me to defensive back. I thought, Hey, don’t they know I threw 43 touchdown passes during my last two seasons at Hillsville High? I had played both ways in high school, so it wasn’t like I didn’t have experience as a defensive back. I just wanted to give it a shot at quarterback Freshmen were ineligible to play back then (the NCAA changed the rule to allow freshmen to play in 1972), so getting on the field for those freshmen games was a big deal.

I was a football coach, not a trained psychologist or a grief counselor. This was bigger than any pregame speech I had ever given. This was so much bigger than any darned football game. I just had a moment to think of what I would say; if there ever was a time I was speechless, this was it. I wondered, What do I say? What can I say? How could my words begin to help ease so much heartache and so much suffering? I had never faced a situation like this, simply because it was impossible to prepare for.

Bobby Ross coached the linebackers at the time. To tell you how low I was on the list: I didn’t have my picture taken during the team photo session. Coach Claiborne wasn’t going to let just anybody get in that team picture and I was very disappointed at being left out. But I knew taking that job was still the exact right thing to do. In fact, I can even say that about all of my later moves: They were all exactly the right thing to do at the time. I imagine a lot of coaches cannot say they were so fortunate.

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