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Season 25 For Beamer Begins Tomorrow
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #500, September 2, 2011

Tomorrow, Frank Beamer will begin his 25th season as Virginia Tech's head coach. Make sure you get to your seats in Lane Stadium a little early, because he will be honored on the field before the 12:30 kickoff.

Beamer was hired to replace outgoing head coach Bill Dooley, who resigned as coach and athletic director in 1986. Dooley coached out that 1986 season, taking the Hokies to a Peach Bowl win over NC State, but he also left the program on probation. Beamer faced major obstacles during his early years as a result.

Virginia Tech went 2-9 in Beamer's first season, losing to Clemson (10-2), UVA (8-4) and Syracuse (11-0-1) in the first three games of the season. Tech also faced South Carolina (8-4) and Miami (12-0) that season, and it was a brutal schedule.

Beamer's second season in 1988 didn't go much better. The Hokies went 3-8 against a schedule that featured Clemson (10-2), Southern Miss (10-2), West Virginia (11-1), South Carolina (8-4), Virginia (7-4), Louisville (8-3) and Florida State (11-1).

Beamer never beat a team with a winning record until 1989, when his Hokies went 6-4-1, with big wins over West Virginia and NC State. His 1990 team went 6-5, with wins over NC State, Southern Miss and UVA, and a narrow 6-3 loss to undefeated and eventual National Champion Georgia Tech.

The program was still on probation however, and the lack of scholarship players would cost Beamer in 1991 (5-6) and 1992 (2-8-1). The 1991 schedule was brutal. After opening with a home win against James Madison, Tech played four consecutive road games against NC State, South Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia, followed by a "neutral" site game against Florida State in Orlando.

After nearly being fired following the 1992 season, Beamer finally had a full team of scholarship players in 1993. The results showed on the field, as the Hokies went 9-3 with an Independence Bowl win over Indiana. It was the beginning of a bowl streak that is still ongoing, and showing no signs of ending.

During that streak, Beamer has won seven conference championships in the Big East and ACC.

Conference Championships Under Beamer
Year Conference Record
1995

Big East

10-2
1996

Big East

10-2
1999

Big East

11-1
2004

ACC

10-3
2007

ACC

11-3
2008

ACC

10-4
2010

ACC

11-3


That's seven times in 18 years that Virginia Tech has played in a BCS Bowl (or a Bowl Alliance game, as they were previously known). Seven other times in that span (1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2009), the Hokies were selected by the #2 bowl in their conference, either the Gator Bowl or the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Only four times (1993, 1997, 2002 and 2003) did the Hokies not go to the #1 or #2 bowl of their conference.

That's an extremely impressive run. Not only has Beamer taken the Hokies to a lot of bowls, it's generally a high-profile bowl. This season the bowl streak will extend to 19 years, and the likelihood of another high-profile bowl is strong.

 

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