There was a time when you could buy a Virginia Tech football ticket for $5 and sit about anywhere you wanted, recalls Barnett Beamer, older brother of the Hokies’ head coach. These days Lane Stadium’s 65,000 seats are filled every game.
Frank Beamer’s great uncle, Floyd Allen, depicted in newspaper accounts as a fierce mountain man, was convicted of murder (along with son Claud), in the 1912 Hillsville Courthouse shootout, and was executed by the state of Virginia.
Herma with her husband, Raymond Beamer, himself a former star on Hillsville’s high school teams in the 1930s. It was Raymond Beamer who provided the competitive nature for Frank and brother Barnett. The morning after his sons’ varsity games at Hillsville, Raymond Beamer would go over their performances in detail.
Young Frank with nurses during his treatment for burns that required he undergo more than 30 different operations. For four years after he suffered the burns at age 7, Beamer spent most of his summers in the hospital undergoing the difficult grafts needed to replace skin on his face, arm and shoulder.
During his 25 seasons at the helm Beamer has led the Hokies to 19 consecutive bowl appearances, four ACC titles, three Big East conference titles, six BCS appearances and one National Championship game. He is currently the winningest active coach in FBS.
As of the end of the 2011-12 season the Virginia Tech football team is 209-98-2 under Frank Beamer, who enters his 26th season as head coach in 2012. Since the beginning of the 1995 season no team in the FBS has more wins than Virginia Tech.