Go Tech Go, Part 26: First Impressions of Frank Beamer

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Frank Beamer and members of his first Tech team.
Frank Beamer and members of his first Tech team.

Click here for all previous parts of the series

It’s hard to believe now, but when Frank Beamer took over as Virginia Tech’s head coach, the players… um… they… well, let’s let one of them tell you.

“Before Coach Beamer took over, 99 percent of the players did not want him there,” quarterback Erik Chapman said. “Before he was hired, I had written a letter to the administration requesting that (Dooley assistant) Pat Watson be our next head coach. It was nothing personal toward Coach Beamer. We just wanted the continuity of the staff we knew.”

Frank Beamer, from Murray State? Who was the school named after — Bill Murray? Who knew? None of the Hokie players had ever heard of the place.

“We didn’t have Google back then to look it up,” long snapper Steve Hale said. “Once we found out he played for Tech in the 1960s, we understood why he was hired, but it didn’t make it any better.

“It was like your mother getting a divorce and remarrying. We were like, who is this new guy? He’s not my Dad.”

For many of the players, “Dad” was Bill Dooley. Said fullback Sean Donnelly, “For those of us who had played for