Last year, Virginia Tech found plenty of ways to honor Frank Beamer's incredible tenure at Virginia Tech from giving his #25 to the special teams player of the week to having serve him as an honorary captain for the Battle at Bristol. Even Buzz Williams invited Beamer to join the Hokies courtside when Virginia Tech went to Charlottesville to face Virginia.
This year, the Hokies will continue to honor Beamer and not just with the #25 jersey.
Virginia Tech announced that Frank Beamer will serve as their honorary captain for their opener against West Virginia with WVU choosing former head coach Don Nehlen to serve in that role for the Mountaineers.
With this beginning the first game in the Black Diamond Trophy rivalry since the Hokies left the Big East, it's fitting to recognize Beamer especially with how he had lots of success against the Moutaineers including the comeback in 1999 where Michael Vick led an impressive to set up Shayne Graham for the winning field goal to keep the Hokies' undefeated season alive.
This is a great move by both schools to honor two great coaches who faced off plenty of times in this rivalry. With this being the first game before a home-and-home in a few years, having Beamer and Nehlen will be great ways for both programs to look back on the history of this great rivalry while also giving both coaches ways to teach their players on the history of this game.
Frank Beamer had some comments on being named an honorary captain alongside Don Nehlen for this game via a press release.
“Don Nehlen remains one of my all-time favorite people,” Beamer said. “Every time we played West Virginia it was a big game for our team and our fans. Going into Morgantown was always a challenge. You knew you were going to have to face a tough, well-coached football team for 60 minutes and that crowd wasn’t going to let up on you, either. I’m so honored that I’ll get to join Coach Nehlen on the field as our two teams meet again.
“I’m just relieved that I’m not going to need a ticket to get into the game,” Beamer chuckled. “I’m looking forward to seeing our two teams play again. It should be a great evening for football as the Hokies and Mountaineers meet.” - Frank Beamer (August 22nd)
While this will be the first time Beamer receives national attention this fall, it won't be the last as he spends his first year serving on the College Football Playoff Committee and, as a former coach, will likely be one of the most influential voices on that committee. Beamer also may be a Hall of Famer soon as Beamer will be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame for the first time on the 2018 ballot and seems very likely to be selected.
This is a great move by Virginia Tech to honor Frank Beamer and one we'll be excited to see for the coin toss on September 3rd.
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