BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer announced his retirement Monday, ending his 29 year run with the Hokies. His retirement will go into effect at the end of the 2015 season.
In a press conference Monday, the tearful Beamer said the support from his players and coaches after his decision have meant the world to him.
“The tough part about retiring is that you are leaving the people you love the most,” said Beamer. “That wasn’t an easy time, but I appreciate them. Several of the players came down to my office afterwards, and this is a good group of guys.”
Beamer said he was going to wait until the end of the season to make the announcement, but he's always been open and honest, so this would be no different.
“I have always said I think I will know when it’s time and I think it’s time," said Beamer. "The last thing I want is for Hokies to be divided, I want everyone to be in the same direction and I think its right in that regard and so I think this is the right time.”
The Virginia Tech graduate said he was fortunate to spend the last 29 years with his Alma Mater and thanked HokieNation for their support calling them "loyal" and the best fans in the country.
Beamer said he wants to be remembered as, “honest, caring, and respectful.”
By the outpouring of support from the sport world, he accomplished that and more.
Former Hokie cornerback DeAngelo Hall said his connection with Beamer is the reason why he went to Virginia Tech.
“Coach Beamer’s been so much more than a football coach for me,” Hall said. “Everybody always asked me when I first got in the league, ‘Why did you go to Virginia Tech over some of these other schools?’ It’s that personal connection, that personal touch that those coaches just created with me and a lot of the other players that they were able to recruit and get to come to Blacksburg.”
A lot has changed in Blacksburg since Beamer took over the program in 1987.
"We had to go out to the elementary schools on Friday to give away tickets to kids hoping they would get their parents to come to the game and buy a ticket just to get people in the stands," said Dave Braine, Former Virginia Tech Athletic Director.
On the field, Beamer will be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in college football history. Beamer’s His 277 career wins are the most of any active Football Subdivision coach and the sixth most all-time in the FBS.
Under Beamer's watch Virginia Tech won four ACC football titles, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, and three BIG EAST Conference titles. They won 10 or more games 13 times to include their first eight years in the ACC from 2004-11.
The Hokies have made 22 straight bowl appearances, the longest current streak in the NCAA. His teams made six BCS Bowl appearances and played for the National Championship in 1999. Following the 1999 season, he earned eight national coach of the year honors.
Under Beamer's tenure, 93 players have been drafted to the NFL and 100 percent of seniors have graduated since 2012.