Beamer wins Joe Paterno coach of the year award
Before this season, there had never been a Division 1-A team to lose its first two games and rebound to win 11 in a row. But now that the Virginia Tech football team made a little history and are headed to the Orange Bowl for the third time in four years, Coach Frank Beamer got some well-deserved recognition for accomplishing the feat.
On Monday, the Maxwell Club announced Beamer is the recipient the first-ever Joseph V. Paterno Coach of the Year award. The national award, named after the Penn State coach and the first of its kind, is designed to honor success on the field as well as impact made off it. In addition to being the only program currently with seven-straight seasons of 10 wins or more, the Hokies also had a 79 percent graduation rate when the class of 2003 figures were recently released, ranking them in the top 25 both on and off the field nationally.
”I’ve always admired the job Frank Beamer has done in Blacksburg, both on the field and away from it,” Paterno said in a statement. “I’ve been especially impressed by his work in the community. He stands for all that’s good in college sports, a great choice for this year’s winner.”
This season, Beamer moved ahead of Ohio State's Woody Hayes for ninth all-time in career victories. His 240 wins are the most by any active coach besides Paterno. The other finalists for the award were Boise State's Chris Petersen, Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald and Air Force's Troy Calhoun.
"This was a vote that was extremely close, indicative of the quality of the final four candidates we sent to our esteemed committee,” Maxwell Football Club Executive Director Mark Wolpert said. “In Coach Beamer, we can’t think of a finer man to represent the meaning and significance of this honor.”
UPDATE W/ BEAMER'S REACTION 2:30 p.m.
“This award is extremely special, No. 1 because of the coach’s name on it, a guy that I have deeply admired for many years and appreciate very much his impact on college football,” Beamer said in a statement. "And secondly, because of what it stands for. Academics and involvement in the community are things that I have strived hard to provide, along with a winning football program. I am very appreciative that other people recognize that.”
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