BLACKSBURG – In appreciation for his many years of service and extraordinary contributions to university life, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has renamed Spring Road in honor of Frank Beamer. Recognizing contributions made both on and off the field by head football coach Beamer and his wife, Cheryl, Spring Road, which runs alongside the west stands and press box of Lane Stadium, will be re-named Beamer Way. The official athletics department street address will be 25 Beamer Way in recognition of Frank Beamer’s jersey number when he played football for Tech from 1966-68.
“Frank Beamer is the winningest football coach in Virginia Tech history and Cheryl has been by his side supporting him and their family the entire way. He has served as a figure of strength, excellence and compassion on campus and we wanted to honor Frank and Cheryl this way by renaming Spring Road to Beamer Way,” President Timothy Sands said.
“Coach Beamer personifies our department’s core values of integrity, service, honor, and excellence, and Hokies being ‘one team, strong together’. This is our way of saying thank you,” Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. “We felt that, as we start his 29th season and as we look forward to the most anticipated game in Lane Stadium on Sept. 7, this was an appropriate time to honor the winningest football coach in Tech history and the active Division I wins leader.
“This recognition for Coach and his family has been in the works for a number of months. It is the right thing to do. It’s about respect and saying thank you, and we wanted it to be a surprise. We felt like having ‘Beamer Way’ adjacent to Lane Stadium was certainly appropriate, as was having our athletics department address serve as a legacy reminder of the principles and values that are important to Virginia Tech for generations to come.”
Frank and Cheryl Beamer were presented with this honor at the Hokies’ first team meeting of the 2015 football campaign, which was held Thursday afternoon.
“I am tremendously honored and humbled,” Frank Beamer said. “When I was informed of this, I had two immediate thoughts. First, the appreciation I have for all of the players, coaches, support staff and fans that laid the foundation for this program. And secondly, I hope the ‘Beamer Way’ is the right way! When people see that sign, I hope they can be proud of what it represents. To any and all who had a part in this humbling recognition, I sincerely thank you.”
Frank Beamer has been the head football coach at Virginia Tech for 28 years, the longest tenure for a head football coach at the university and the longest tenured head coach at one school among the 128 FBS schools. Beamer’s 231 victories as Virginia Tech’s head coach are the most by any Tech football coach in school history and his 273 career victories as a head coach make him the winningest active football coach among NCAA Football Bowl Series coaches. His 273 wins exceed those of legendary coaches Tom Osborne (255), Lou Holtz (249), Bo Schembechler (234), Steve Spurrier (226, active) and Woody Hayes (205).
Beamer has taken Virginia Tech football teams to bowl games 22 consecutive seasons, giving the Hokies the second-longest active streak in the country, while joining Bobby Bowden, Tom Osborne and Paul “Bear” Bryant as the only coaches ever to accomplish that feat.
Other notable accomplishments include:
- Guiding Virginia Tech teams to four Atlantic Coast Conference championships, five ACC Coastal Division titles, three BIG EAST Conference crowns and eight major bowl appearances, including a trip to the national championship game following the 1999 season;
- Earning eight national coach of the year awards following the 1999 season, and in 2010, won the inaugural Joseph V. Paterno Coach of the Year Award, recognizing him for his team’s performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community;
- Leading Virginia Tech football to 10 or more wins every year from 2004-2011, tying the Hokies for the nation’s third-longest streak in the modern era;
- Is one of only 10 all-time football coaches in Division I/FBS to win 200 or more games at one college;
- His attention to academics has helped lead to 230 of 244 (94.3 percent) senior football players from 2001-2014 earning their degrees;
- His strong belief in giving back to the community has led to fundraising efforts with his team that have accumulated more than $300,000, which has been spread among causes such as United Way, Breast Cancer Awareness, Wounded Warriors, Cyrenius H Booth Library (Sandy Hook), Uplifting Athletes, Cycle for Survival, First Book, Hokies United and Intrepid Fallen Hero’s Fund;
- During the April, 2007 tragedy, Beamer provided leadership to a campus and community in need;
- Beamer, as a tribute to his late mother, helped form Herma’s Readers, a non-profit organization that promotes the power of reading and literacy to youngsters during their formative years (grades K-3), which has raised more than $120,000 to purchase new books and collected more than 125,000 new/used books that have been distributed within the Commonwealth since 2008;
- He and the football team’s success on the field has been a benefit to the local economy and campus community, especially during a 93-game stretch from 1998 to 2013 when every home game was sold out, bringing more than 65,000 fans to campus each game; and
- He honors the Corps of Cadets and its Virginia Tech tradition by always taking one or two members of the Corps on each road trip to greet the team in uniform on the field prior to each road contest.
The Beamer Way road signs will be installed prior to the Hokies’ Sept. 7 home opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes.