VT Stories Oral History with Frank Beamer, June 7, 2018 (Ms2016-015)

Dublin Core


Frank Beamer was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina in 1946, but grew up just across state lines in Fancy Gap, a suburb of Hillsville, Virginia. Growing up on a farm, hard-work was instilled in him from an early age, along with the value of higher education, as per his parents’ expectations.

In high school, Beamer was active in sports, playing football, basketball, and baseball, and graduated with 11 varsity letters. Football became his ticket out after several Roanoke Times articles piqued the interest of VPI coaches, leading him to sign with Virginia Tech. While here, Beamer majored in vocational education, played defensive back on the team, and started his coaching career at Radford High School. Upon graduating in 1969, he began teaching math at Radford High School in order to keep coaching.

His coaching career continued in 1972 as a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park, then moving to The Citadel for seven seasons. In 1969, he was hired as the defensive coordinator at Murray State University, and was later promoted to head coach. After six years as head coach, he was hired as head coach at Virginia Tech after a series of NCAA violations under the previous coach.

In this interview, Beamer talks about his years leading up to coaching at Virginia Tech, and his time here. His years rebuilding the team after first arriving, but then winning the Independence Bowl in 1993, leading to a streak in Bowls, culminating in the 1999 season. Bolstering the program’s academics, football rallying the school in the wake of tragedies, and what he’s learned in his twenty-nine years at the school.


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Frank Beamer