Go Tech Go, Part 38: New Disciplinary Methods In 1993

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Frank Beamer
Frank Beamer, photo courtesy of Virginia Tech sports photography

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After so many close losses in 1992, Frank Beamer realized he needed more than just new assistant coaches and a new defensive scheme. He also needed to tighten up team discipline and create a new culture. After consulting his old mentor, Bobby Ross, and meeting with his new staff, he arrived at a whole new approach to conducting business.

“In 1993, we became a ‘Virginia Tech’ football team,” former assistant head coach Billy Hite said. “From a discipline standpoint, that’s when it all changed.”

Beamer didn’t want to institute a bunch of new rules. Quite the opposite; he simplified them to something he could actually enforce. Instead of a nightly 11 p.m. curfew, he cut it back to Thursday and Friday. And the checks were random; players never knew when they were coming. Sure, they could roll the dice; but they knew if they got caught, they would pay the price.

Beamer initiated a standard punishment system. Before, to discipline a player, he left it up to the assistant coach, and the punishment could vary. This led to players focusing on what they had to do, instead of why they were doing it. But he wanted to keep the punishment system simple, so he had a basic