Tech Talk Live Notes: Beamer Reflects on Hall of Fame, Basketball Assistants on Working With Buzz

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Virginia Tech Talk Live

Tech Talk Live returned from a lengthy hiatus on Monday night, featuring former Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer as the show’s lead guest. Beamer talked about his selection into the College Football Hall of Fame and how his son and former Tech assistant Shane Beamer is doing at Georgia.

In place of Buzz Williams, four different Virginia Tech men’s basketball assistants made appearances on Monday night’s show. Ernest Eugene, David Jackson, Lyle Wolf and Devin Johnson all answered questions about their jobs and what it’s like working with Williams. Here are the highlights.

Frank Beamer

How he was notified that he was selected for the College Football Hall of Fame

“They actually send a package to your house, and John Ballein happened to be checking my mail because I was out of town. So he was the first one to know. Actually called and got ahold of Cheryl (Beamer) and Cheryl said, ‘No, I really want you to tell him.’ And you guys know John and how sassy and kind of a smart whatever, and he enjoys messing with people, but when they told them and he told me, he was crying, I was crying, Cheryl had already cried. So a lot of crying going on.”

Watching Shane Beamer coach on Georgia’s staff in the Rose Bowl and National Championship Game

“You know, when you’re on the sideline, as soon as you get out on the field and start moving around, you’ve got things to do. You’re thinking, ‘Who’s going into the game,’ and ‘What team is up next, are we going to punt or go for a field goal?’ You’re doing, you’re acting. So I didn’t get very nervous on the sideline. But watching my son coach on the sideline, I get nervous up there. Kind of hold my breath a little bit here and there. His special teams played really well. They put a lot of emphasis on it at Georgia. They’ve got a lot of good players, good athletes, so they’ve got a lot of their starters on special teams like we did here. But they’ve got a lot of good athletes that make great special teams players. So that was good, watching them play. He coaches tight ends also, or he did, for Georgia. So watching that element of it, and Georgia had a really good football team. They had a good defense, the quarterback could throw, they had some running backs that could run, they had some young offensive linemen that really came through and like I said, really played well and had good stats on their special teams, return teams and coverage teams. So I was very proud of him. I always felt like he worked hard, he’s really detailed, takes after his mom. So he’s really worked hard at everything he’s ever done. Back when he was trying to be a long snapper, we worked all summer on that deal and he was the one that was like, ‘Hey, let’s go do it.’ Perfect snaps and the whole deal. So he’s always worked hard, and he’s worked hard to be a good football coach. So I’m very proud of him.”

Being on the field for the National Championship Game

“Being out there, and going in with Mack Brown — Mack and his wife and Cheryl, we’re all great friends. We’ve been together on Nike trips and the whole deal. But going in with Mack, that’s pretty special. And everybody that is anybody was at that National Championship Game. I was down there on the sideline for a while, and I saw more famous people than… but it was just a lot of people that you knew or see on TV.”

Being a part of the College Football Playoff committee

“Well Virginia Tech was in there during the season, and when Virginia Tech was in there, or Georgia, and in the end, when it got to playoff time, who Georgia might play was being discussed, I was out there leaving the room. I told them one time, I’ve walked out of that room so many times, I asked Bill Hancock, he was sitting at the head of the table and I was right beside him, on the way out I said, ‘Do you know any good bars here?’ Yeah, I was out of the room, back in the room. Then the next time I walked out, I said, ‘I’m going to tell you what, I want to vote. I didn’t come all this way not to be able to vote on any of these teams.’ But I had to leave the room on all of those deals, but it really was a neat experience. And you would think, Bill Hancock, he’s been involved with the basketball for years, and there’s not a better guy that could be heading this thing up, he knows what he’s doing and he’s been down the road a few times, so his experience, and Kirby Hocutt, his experience as chair of the committee, a couple more athletic directors, Clemson, Ohio State, just the whole experience — I knew it was going to be detailed, but we sat in a room, there were 13 of us plus other people that were sitting in there, and you look down at the computer and the computers go all the way around the room, and you can compare one team to two teams, or three teams, or four teams, and there’s about 30 different categories. Anything that you could think of is there. Defense inside the 30-yard-line, turnovers and how many times they score, what percentages, it’s just all of it. It’s more information than I need. I kind of look at who won the game and move on. But it’s fascinating, and it was good to get to know those people in the room better too. Because we spent a lot of time together. We spent the whole day, Championship Saturday, watching games and after we finished the last game, we went back in and made the selections and so forth. Went to bed around two-o-clock in the morning. And I’ll tell you the other thing they did. We always came back the next morning and he would always start it off by, ‘Who feels uncomfortable with the way we’ve got the teams?’ So someone said, ‘Let’s go back and talk about No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6.,’ and we go through it again. So it’s kind of a check and balance, make sure everybody’s feeling ok. And I’ll tell you this, if we didn’t get it right, it wasn’t because we didn’t have enough information. We had enough information up there.”

Ernest Eugene, Assistant AD for Sports Medicine

How timetable for ACL injuries has changed in recent years

“We pretty much get a recipe, in terms of how do we follow, what do we need to do for certain individuals, but every individual is different when they approach the rehab. Some come in stronger, some have other issues that may be involved, so you have to take every individual on an individual basis and look at where they are and what they need to do. Again, we have a recipe, but we can always add twists and turns to it.”

Chris Clarke’s return from ACL injury and how Ty Outlaw is doing with his rehab

“They both have done very, very well. I’ll start with Ty. Ty is doing very well. I think Ty is very close to returning to full play, maybe I shouldn’t say that, I’m sorry, but I think he’s very close to returning. Chris Clarke, he’s done very well. He continues to rehabilitate and continues to get stronger. It’s not only what he does with the athletic trainer, but also what he does with Coach (David) Jackson in the weight room. There’s a mental component that goes with that, as well as looking at his nutrition, looking at his recovery, what he does from those standpoints, all those are important to making sure he stays on the court. The same thing will be true for Ty.”

Virginia Tech basketball
Chris Clarke (15) has had to battle back from a torn ACL in Feb. 2017 in order to be ready to play this season. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

David Jackson, Assistant AD for Strength and Conditioning

How working under a head coach who values strength and conditioning helps

“It makes my job very easy. Like I said, training basketball players at times is not easy. It’s tough, they don’t enjoy it. You wouldn’t either if you had their length and their size. It’s kind of painful at first, but you have to embrace it. There’s a lot of value in it. People say you do it for injury prevention, but you’re never going to totally prevent an injury. You just hope to manage when something bad does happen, and we’ve had a couple of those here lately. I’ve had three ACLs in 11 years, and that’s a pretty good percentage. So you do the best you can with what you have, but Buzz believes in it a tremendous amount. So it makes my job really easy, because he just leaves me alone and lets me do my job.”

Lyle Wolf, Director of Student Athlete Development

What goes into planning trips, hotel reservations, etc.

“I’ve very fortunate. Devin (Johnson) helps an extreme amount, along with multiple other people on our staff, making sure that a whole bunch of different pieces mold together the best way possible. In addition, just like all high-energy, fast-paced environments, it’s ever-changing, but particularly under Coach Williams. He likes to change in a 48-hour window, so we’re always kind of ready to go at any point in time. We always try to think two or three games ahead, typically we try to think three or four weeks when it comes to day-to-day logistics, and we’ll think in month to two-month segments when it comes to bigger items.”

Aspirations of becoming a head coach in the future

“I do want to become a head coach. I do love the game. I love the fast-paced atmosphere. Particularly, I like the in-game nerves and the excitements and the up-and-downs. The reason why fans are fans is because it increases your heart level and decreases it, and it has a little bit of excitement and we feel it on a day-to-day basis. But what level is a good question. I definitely want to compete at the highest level possible, until it gets to the point where it’s interfering with my family life. I’m not there yet, I’m not married and I don’t have any children, but at the time I am married and do have children, as long as both parties are not starting to butt heads, then I’ll kind of reevaluate what level. But as long as I’m around basketball and good people, I’ll be comfortable.”

Devin Johnson, Director of Player Personnel

How coaches are able to manage the team’s time

“Two years ago, we were speaking on the TeamSynced app. The TeamSynced app is an app that our program lives on. Going into, I would say two years ago, Coach Buzz (Williams) and I were trying to figure out how to connect with the kids nowadays. We were used to every Sunday at a team meeting giving them a piece of paper. Well pieces of paper to kids nowadays means nothing. If you give it to them in a team meeting, they’re going to leave it behind, they’re going to lose it. So what we realized was, ‘How can we get in front of them the information we wanted them to take with them every day,’ and that’s with technology. We jumped into an app called TeamSynced, and what it does for us is it gives them their class schedules, weight room times, training room times, practice times — it actually plans out their entire day for them on their phone, and it sends them notifications when their next thing that they have to do, when that time comes. So it helps us a lot because we can do it in advance, and our kids always have their phones, their iPads or their computers in front of them, so that app is really key to our program.”

Keys to rebounding better and taking care of the ball

“I think the first thing we have to do is, we have to take control of the ball. Right now what we’re doing is we’re playing loose on the offensive end. A lot of our turnovers are coming from us just being so unselfish that when we see a guy open, we’re trying to get him the ball. And a lot of times, in our kids’ minds, they forget that they have other players on the floor. We move the ball so fast and fluidly, that they forget that sometimes. I think just taking control of the ball, realizing there are other players on the floor, realizing some of those long passes that we’re trying to make from the one side of the floor to the other side of the floor aren’t there with other teams on the floor. And from a rebounding standpoint, we just have to get a little more aggressive when the ball goes up and try to go and get it. I know a lot of people say we’re undersized, but that really doesn’t mean anything for us and a Coach Buzz team. He’s used to guards, we just have to go get that ball.”

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3 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Can we get more vanilla ice cream from the athletic department please? I though food services had that covered…

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