Next Man Up

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Whit Babcock
Whit Babcock

The football program is now in the midst of a major transformation with the retirement of head coach Frank Beamer. It goes without saying that replacing a college football icon will be a daunting task for Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock.

What I find to be the most refreshing part of Beamer’s decision is the timing. He took a step back and realized the program was not getting better under his watch. He didn’t hold the program hostage waiting until the end of the season or next season. He didn’t begin another process of hiring new assistant coaches to address issues with his staff. He didn’t go out making promises to recruits that he couldn’t keep. He made his announcement at a time that puts the football program in the best position to move forward.

Maybe some think the announcement was too late, while others believe he deserved another year. The fact is, when he made that massive overhaul of new hires back in 2011 and early 2013, he needed to give his new staff the proper amount of time to succeed and see those hires come to fruition. Unfortunately, those changes haven’t resulted in more wins, leaving many to point at the offense’s struggles being his downfall, while others pointed at the lackluster recruiting – most importantly in-state recruiting. Those issues, along with many others, have stacked up year after year, and Beamer isn’t getting any younger.

Beamer acknowledged these different views by many in his press conference when he said, “There’s been some difference of opinions out there, but the last thing I want is for Hokies to be divided. I want everybody going in the same direction. It’s right in that regard.”

I respect Beamer for acknowledging those issues, and that