Dear Coach Beamer,
The news of your upcoming retirement has made national news, and why shouldn’t it? You are not only a treasure in Blacksburg, VA, not only a treasure to the Hokie nation, but you are a treasure to the world of college football.
You took a school that was just an agricultural school and turned them into a school of relevancy. You introduced the college football world to Beamer Ball that changed the game of special teams. You also introduced the college football world to one of the most iconic entrances in college football when your men would come out of the tunnel with the crowd jumping up and down, screaming from the top of their lungs to the tune of “Enter Sandman”.
You are a dying breed of a coach: A coach that stays at a school for nearly three decades is unheard of. You join the good company of Bobby Bowden and Howard Schnellenberger of coaches that forever changed a football programs landscape that came from absolute obscurity. That’s not bad company to be in. Before your arrival in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech only had one 10-win season. You came along and enjoyed 13 10+ win seasons. The Hokies won 59 percent of their games from 1882 to 1986: you won 79 percent of your games from ’86 to ’11
Coach, you are without a doubt a huge staple among college football. Your name will stick out amongst the greatest. Not only as a great coach, but also as one of the classiest men that has ever graced this earth. I’m sure I am not the only one that has given you props on a job well done, but just maybe I am a first from this fan base; I am a West Virginia Mountaineer.
I know that our fan base hasn’t earned the reputation as being a classy bunch amongst rival schools. I’m sure you have felt the wrath of Mountaineer fans when you would come to Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown with your bunch, but I know when someone is due respect where respect is due.
I’m sure there isn’t going to be much of a problem of you getting your name on the first-round ballot into the College Football Hall Of Fame in Atlanta, GA. In fact, I’m willing to bet they will have a special place for you to be forever enshrined in their exhibit.
Your resume speaks volumes as to why you are one of the elite coaches to ever step foot on the gridiron: 29 Years, 237-121-2, .661 Winning Pct. Let’s not forgot that 19 of those games were played against WVU (I’ll get to that in a bit). 3x Big East Coach of the Year, 1x AP Coach of the Year, 2x ACC Coach of the Year, winning the Sugar and Orange Bowl once each, and a trip to the National Title game in ’99.
Speaking of those WVU games, it’s obvious that you owned WVU with winning 12 out of 19 games. Those games were very memorable, and I will always enjoy every single one of them no matter how much you got the best of us.
In your last regular season game, I would imagine you couldn’t have asked for a better ending because you won a close one against in-state rival the Virginia Cavaliers. When the final seconds ran out and you got the victory, I’m sure the victory was even sweeter when your son hugged you before walking onto the field to have your men in battle carry you off the field holding the Commonwealth trophy. Let’s not forget that video of you “Dabbing” in the locker room went viral in a matter of minutes. You, sir, have some great moves.
Coach, Beamer Ball will be missed by many, but it will not be forgotten. Your legacy will forever live on amongst college football fans, including this Mountaineer fan. I respect you as a coach and as a person.
Enjoy your retirement, Coach Beamer.