Blacksburg, Va. - Long time Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer announced Sunday he will retire at the end of the 2015 season, ending a 29 year run with the Hokies.
“I have always said that ‘I want what is best for Virginia Tech,’” Beamer said. “Because of my love and passion for this great university, this program and our tremendous fans, I have decided after 29 years that it’s time. Today, I informed Dr. Timothy Sands and Whit Babcock of my decision to retire at the conclusion of the 2015 season."
Beamer has the most wins of any active FBS coach. His 277-143-4 career as head coach ranks him six all-time in the FBS.
A 1969 graduate of Virginia Tech, Beamer was a three-year starting cornerback. And after taking over as head coach for the Hokies in 1987, he guided them to 22 consecutive bowl games, the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA.
Beamer’s legacy as one of the game’s most influential coaches will be marked by consistently stellar special teams play and exceptional defense. The Hokies have blocked 136 kicks (67 punts, 41 field goals and 28 PATs) during his tenure. Dating back to 1996, no Power Five program has registered more sacks (740.0) or interceptions (335).
Since the start of the 1995 season, Ohio State (15) is the only Power Five program that has produced more seasons with 10 or more victories than Virginia Tech (13). A total of 93 Virginia Tech players under his tenure have been drafted by the National Football League, while numerous others have signed NFL free agent contracts.
But even through all of that, perhaps the most notable accomplishment of Beamer may be that 100 percent of his senior football student-athletes have graduated dating back to 2012.
He said, “The tough part about retiring is that you're leaving the people that you love the most. That mean the most to you so that wasn't an easy time, so I appreciate them.”
You could see the emotion on his face as he addressed the media with his wife Monday afternoon.
NewsChannel 3 sat down with the President Chris Jennings and Former President, David Miller of the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.
“It was kind of surreal. You knew that the news was going to come eventually but emotionally it was really tough to take,” said Jennings.
Jennings said there are 12,627 VT alumni in Hampton Roads.
Members of the local chapter volunteer in the community and raise money for local kids to scholarships. Miller said Coach Beamer was always willing help them.
"He would always provide everything that we would need whether it was autograph footballs. Whatever we could use to raise funds for those scholarships,” said Miller.
Coach Beamer said he thought about waiting until the end of the season to make the announcement but couldn’t.
"I'm not very good at keeping a secret....I feel my players and coaches deserve to know what's going on, so to me it was the right thing to do right now."
"Everyone knew that this was going to come sooner or later and in typical coach Beamer style he did it with class," said Miller.
"The amount of service that he has given to the school as a player, as a coach, and as kind of a father figure for the Hokie family. Coach really sets the bar when it comes to that. He's completely giving of himself and that is infectious. Whenever he's in town the place lights up,” said Jennings.
For the full release from VT News, click here.