Eventually, everyone has to retire. While 68-year-old Frank Beamer has no immediate plans to step away as he prepares for his 29th season with the Virginia Tech Hokies, the fate of the program when eventually does step down has apparently been on his mind.
While talking with ESPN this week, the long-time leader of the Hokies said he would want either longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster or associate head coach/running backs coach Shane Beamer (Frank’s son). Getting dad’s vote of confidence is undoubtedly great for Shane, but the clear-cut choice for the next head coach at Virginia Tech has to be Foster.
There is no denying the legacy of Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. He has a 231-115-2 record in 28 seasons and has led the Hokies to 22 consecutive winning seasons and postseason appearances. Over his entire coaching career, which includes six seasons at FCS Murray State, he has won 273 games, the most among active FBS coaches. He is a coaching legend that has done remarkable things during his time in Blacksburg, but all runs must come to an end eventually.
When Beamer steps down, the school simply has to turn the program over to Foster. The 56-year-old defensive guru has been a member of the Virginia Tech coaching staff since Beamer was hired back in 1987. He has been the team’s defensive coordinator since 1995 and has grown to become widely regarded as one of college football’s best defensive minds. In 2006, Foster won the Frank Broyles Award as the country’s top assistant and has been on pretty much every coaching search wish-list of the past decade.
Instead of jumping at the plethora of coaching opportunities he could have had, however, Foster has remained loyal to Beamer and the Hokies. Even when the offense has been struggling, like in recent years including last season’s 7-6 disappointment, the defense has been a major bright spot. In six of the last seven seasons, Virginia Tech has finished in the top 25 of the nation for total defense, including three defenses ranked in the top 10, highlighted by the 2013 defense that finished No. 4 in the nation (though the team managed just an 8-5 record).
As the Hokies begin to look to the future of their program after Frank Beamer, whose contract was just extended through 2018, the clear choice for an in-house promotion is the man who could have already been a head coach 10 times over and the architect of Virginia Tech’s perennially elite defenise; Bud Foster.