Getting re-acquainted with new Virginia Tech football assistant Shane Beamer
During his four years as an assistant coach under Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, Shane Beamer would talk strategy with his father, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer, three or four times a week over the course of the college football season. But Tuesday afternoon when I spoke with the Hokies' new running backs coach, he was adamant that any discussions of him coming back to Blacksburg didn't occur until last week.
When his father broached the subject, though, the first thing Shane Beamer did was call longtime assistant Billy Hite to ensure it was okay to potentially take his job. And as we all know by now, Hite was receptive and will now take on an administrative role as an adviser to Coach Frank Beamer to make room for Shane Beamer.
Shane Beamer said Tuesday he plans to be in Blacksburg by Thursday night, and "I'm fired up to get started." After the jump, check out some highlights from my conversation with Beamer, including how he thinks he'll do as a running backs coach and whether he plans to change anything about Virginia Tech's recruiting.
How did your hiring develop since the season ended?
“It was really, I guess, last week was the first time that it was even discussed. Dad had mentioned that Coach Hite was possibly transitioning into an administrative role and would I be interested in replacing him. My first response to him was that I wanted to talk to Billy Hite. We’re not gonna come into a situation where Billy Hite was upset about the move or it was a move he didn’t want to do. I’ve got too much respect for Billy Hite. I was not gonna allow that to happen. So I told Dad I’d be interested, that I had a great job here [at South Carolina], but I would be interested.
I talked to Coach Hite last Sunday – he decided to make that move later in the week – and he was on board with everything and excited.”
How often do you and your father talk about football?
“Pretty regularly, especially during the season. During the season, up until now, we would always talk on Saturdays after our games. Then we would always talk on Sundays after we spent all day at the office, you know what did film look like after you watched it today. Talk about the next opponents. And then we’d maybe talk Monday or Tuesday of the game week about maybe some ideas I had about something to do. And then we’d also talk on Thursday night, seeing as Thursday nights for coaches in college is the night you’re home and don’t work late. So we’d talk three or four times a week during the season. Those were always about football for the most part. And then in the offseason, pretty consistently as well. Out of season it’s more about family.”
Was it always your goal to come back and coach at Virginia Tech?
“Yeah, but probably not as much as people might think. Dad and I have never really discussed, to be totally honest, about me coming back. I think he and I both knew that it was something we would both be interested in if the timing was right. A couple things, No. 1, nobody ever really leaves his staff. It’s a great place to work and a great place to live. I guess it’s been five years since he last had an opening on his staff. At that point, it was a deal where I wasn’t really interested in coming back and I don’t think he was interested in having me back the last time they had some openings. But as time went on, and then the opportunity presented itself this time, I feel like I accomplished a lot at South Carolina. I’ve been out here on my own for 11 years.
"It was important to me to be on my own and make my own name. I didn’t want to get into coaching like you see a lot of these sons of coaches do at the college and pro level. They finish up college and all of a sudden, their Dad hires them and they start coaching. I did not want to do that. I wanted to make my own name, make my own contacts, develop a reputation of Shane Beamer and not Frank Beamer’s son. I feel like I’ve done that over the last 11 years and the timing was just better this time around.”
After spending a lot of time as a recruiting coordinator in the SEC, what will be your recruiting strategy here at Virginia Tech?
“I think Virginia Tech has had a whole lot of success over the years and I think they’ve got it pretty well figured out the way to do things. I feel like I’ve been around four different programs since I left Virginia tech. I’ve seen a lot of different ways to do things and everybody pretty much has the same philosophy and does the same things in recruiting. I’ve learned some things and done some things over the last 11 years that can hopefully help and bring things to the table. I just want to work hard and fit in and do my best to contribute to the operation.”
Any concerns about coaching running backs, after spending much of your time coaching on the defensive side of the ball?
“No, not really. I was a grad assistant one year at Georgia Tech with Ralph Friedgen and George O’Leary and worked with the offensive staff there. I worked with the running backs at Mississippi State one year. I’m confident in my ability to coach running backs. I’ve done it. And the other thing is coaching is coaching. It’s teaching, and I’ve been fortunate that I have been on the defensive side of the ball and I feel like I could walk up somewhere tomorrow and be a defensive coordinator just because of the experience I’ve got. Having said that, I believe I can bring something to that offensive meeting room in Virginia Tech’s office. I’ve been on the other side of the ball. I’ve learned how to do things. I know how offenses are trying to attack defenses, and what gives defenses trouble. I can watch the defense on tape and have a different idea on what’s going on than somebody that’s been coaching offense. I’m not worried about that standpoint.
“You see a lot of guys, Mike Tomlin’s got a pretty good track record as a coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers and he was a defensive coach before that, but 10, 15 years ago he was coaching receivers. I look at Bill Belichick, as good a coach as there is in the world right now. He got his start working with the offense, working with defense and special teams. I’d like to be a head coach one day and it’s beneficial for me to be involved in all three phases and having coached all three phases.”
Will you be helping your dad out with special teams at all?
“I’m gonna help. I’ve been the special teams coordinator here at South Carolina, and a lot of things we do is similar to what Virginia Tech does. But there’s a lot of things that we’ve done here at South Carolina, that Dad like what we did and took some things as well. I definitely want to stay involved with that. I don’t want to be special teams coordinator or anything like that, but I definitely want to stay involved and help where I can.”
| February 16, 2011; 12:49 PM ET
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