Beamer’s future unclear as reeling Hokies enter home stretch
Longtime Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer isn’t worried about his future with the Hokies or his legacy, at least not at the moment.
”The only thing I’m really concerned about right now is Boston College,” Beamer said Monday when asked about the firings of friends Mack Brown at Texas and Al Golden at Miami. ”That’s the only thing on my mind.
”I can tell you the second part of that is whatever is good for Virginia Tech, what’s best for Virginia Tech is what I’m into,” the coach said. ”I’ve always felt that way and always will, and that’s it.”
Beamer, the career victories leader among Division I coaches with 276, is in his 29th season at his alma mater, a program he talked about taking to a national championship when he took over in 1987. The Hokies got there in the 1999 season, a Michael Vick-led team losing 46-29 to Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
They have played in five major bowl games since, beating only Cincinnati in the 2009 Orange Bowl.
But nothing lasts forever and questions are being raised if it’s time for a change.
Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock Babcock is declining all interview requests, but in January he said Beamer was never in danger of losing his job last year.
That was then, before the Hokies stumbled out of the gate.
Babcock and Beamer met twice after the regular season – the second time at Beamer’s home when he was recuperating from throat surgery.
The bowl-bound Hokies were coming off their third consecutive pedestrian season, a run of mediocrity that followed a nation-best eight consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins. Beamer had missed most of his team’s bowl preparations after his surgery and was forced to watch and manage the game from the coaches’ box.
”We have high expectations here, and the guy who’s our coach created them,” Babcock said then. ”There were no ultimatums issued, no magic numbers issued. I support coach and I think we’re going to be a lot better next year.”
It hasn’t happened.
Virginia Tech (3-5, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) has lost four of its last five and heads to Boston College on Saturday needing to win three of its last four to keep alive its streak of 22 seasons ending in a bowl game.
”What I really wanted to hear from coach, and I saw it crystal clear was, is he ready to get back in the saddle and dig in?” Babcock said in January. ”Not that he hasn’t been, but really get this thing going, and I was very satisfied with that. He has a lot of drive to get this back. He’s a humble guy, but he wants to compete. And I think he’s very well aware of the expectations that he’s created.”
Those lofty expectations are what make the current state of the program tough for Hokies fans and have led to questions about Beamer’s future.
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