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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 12/20/2010

Beamer wins Joe Paterno coach of the year award

By Mark Giannotto

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.”


“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.”

By Mark Giannotto  | December 20, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
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Thanks, Frank, for all you have done for Virginia Tech, the community, and all of those who have had the honor to be coached by you.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | December 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Coach Beamer is undeniably a winning football coach, deserving of accolades for that aspect of the job, but has he ever publicly explained why he failed to bench Marcus Vick, the younger brother of the sometimes troubled Michael Vick, after he intentionally "stomped" on the back of the leg of a prostrate Louisville player at the end of the first half in a bowl game.(One of Vicks teammates was a current Redskins star defensive back, who commited one of a near record number of personal fouls by Tech in that game) The refs failed to see it, but it was captured and replayed several times on national TV. The players saw it and had to be seperated as they exited the field, and , apparently. the younger Vick's position coach saw it, because he said to the press after the game that he did and that he didn't want to win that way, or words to that effect.(This coach transfered out of the Tech program a few months later). Yet, Tech and presumably Coach Beamer, did not even bench Vick, but put him back in the game and were rewarded by his spectacular play to win the game and whatever money and prestige was at stake. A fine example for youth coaches and the impressionable young players who saw Vick's conduct and the response of the coaches.
Contrast the conduct of Coach Larranaga of George Mason, who benched his star point guard for striking an opposing player with a low blow, even though the next game was essential to entry into the financially rewarding NCAA basketball tournament, and kept him there for the first game of the tournament as well, if memory serves. Now that is conduct and an example deserving of an award.

Posted by: jmorris1 | December 20, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Frank Beamer. He deserves this award. No one can dispute that Coach Beamer has dealt with some difficult young men regarding academics and behavior, although not always in a manner that pleased everybody. But now, at this time, no one can deny that he has led and inspired Virginia Tech team and players to greater and greater heights in athletics, in academics, and in on the field and off the field exemplary behavior. Thank you, Coach Beamer, for all you have done for Virginia Tech.

Posted by: peter777 | December 20, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Coach Beamer, who is known to care about his school and his student athletes.

He has done a tremendous job, and deserves the success he has achieved.

Posted by: Benson | December 21, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

1997 was the last year in which the Redskins (who play 16 games a year) won more games than the Hokies.

This is a reflection both of the sad state of Washington Redskins football and at the same time a tribute to Frank Beamer and the program he has developed at Virginia Tech.

In addition, the VT recruiting class is never ranked very high (by sites like yet consistently the Hokies finish in the top 20, if not top 10 each year.

I also like the fact that Frank has built a winning program largely using athletes from Virginia - and sometimes Maryland, NC and DC. If you look at other successful programs (USC, Ohio State, etc.), their programs are full of players from everywhere except their own state.

Thank you, Frank. I wish the Washington Post would do a better job of covering how good the program is.

Posted by: dcnationals1 | December 21, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Ol' Buttface has done a great job down in Blacksburg, too bad he laid in at vs JMU. Go Dukes!

Posted by: baltimoredude | December 21, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Jmorris1, I watched the game where Marcus Vick spiked Elvis Dumervil. It was disgusting and Vick should have been thrown out of the game. However, the referees did not see it and you offered no proof that any Va Tech coach saw it at the time. I played football for a Dividion I school for four years and we played many regional and nationally televised games. Although they showed the incident over and over again on television, coaches and player s would not have seen it until they went home and watched Sport Center. There may be Hokies that believe Frank Beamer is God, but he is not all knowing and omnipresent. Your attack is unwarranted and unfair. What is true is that four days after this incident Vick, with two years of eligility remaining, was permanently kicked off the team "due to a cumulative effect of legal infractions and unsportsmanlike play." Obviously in those four days Beamer and the Va Tech Administration had time to review what happened and took swift, drastic, and appropriate action. In my opinion Frank Beamer does not owe anyone any further explaination.

Posted by: gbrown4 | December 21, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

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