Murray State to Honor Frank Beamer Saturday
By MSU Athletics
MURRAY - Murray State Athletics and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame will jointly honor 2018 electee Frank Beamer with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The salute will take place Saturday (Oct. 13) at halftime of the Racers' game against Tennessee State. Coverage of the game will start at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN+.

Beamer began his 35-year head coaching career at Murray State from 1981-86, and he ranks fourth in school history in wins after leading the Racers to a 42-23-2 record in six seasons. In 1986, he guided the team to a share of the Ohio Valley Conference title and a trip to the FCS Playoffs. He is the first representative from Murray State (player or coach) to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

His legacy began in 1979 when he joined Mike Gottfried's staff in 1979 and helped the Racers win the OVC title. After another season as defensive coordinator, Beamer became head coach.

Murray State fans were saddened to see Coach Beamer leave after the OVC title season of 1986, but were happy he was going to return to his alma mater and for his 29 seasons with Virginia Tech, Racer fans rooted for him and closely followed his career. Racer fans are similarly rooting for former Murray State quarterback Justin Fuente (1997-98) who is currently the head coach for the Hokies.

Beamer became the fifth football head coach to be inducted into the Murray State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004 and in 2016, he became the 11th Murray State coach or administrator to be enshrined in the OVC Hall of Fame.

The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural College Football Hall of Fame Class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee's Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater or college where he coached to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.

"Frank Beamer also had an impressive tenure at Murray State, winning 64 percent of his games with the Racers before heading to Virginia Tech," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "He gained national recognition for the school, and he did it all with poise and class, becoming one of the top coaches to ever roam the sidelines for the Racers. We are thrilled to honor him at Roy Stewart Stadium."

The winningest coach in Virginia Tech history, Beamer's 280 career victories rank sixth in FBS history and are the 13th most by a college football coach at any NCAA division. He led the Hokies to their first-ever national title game appearance as part of an impressive streak of 23 consecutive bowl berths in his final 23 seasons.

In 1987, Beamer became the head coach at his alma mater Virginia Tech, where would win a school-record 238 games in 29 seasons (1987-2015). Arguably, his best season came in 1999 when he earned consensus National Coach of the Year honors after leading Virginia Tech to an appearance in the BCS National Championship at the Sugar Bowl following the program's first 11-win season and first undefeated regular season in school history.

Under Beamer, the Hokies posted five top-10 finishes and became one of only six programs in college football history to go to a bowl game in at least 20-straight seasons. After just one win in six bowl games prior to his arrival, Beamer would win 11 of his 23 appearances, including marquee wins in the 1995 Sugar Bowl, 2009 Orange Bowl and the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl. His Hokies are also one of just four teams in Division I history to produce 10 wins in eight or more consecutive seasons (2004-11), and his 23-straight seasons of seven or more wins are a school record.

A five-time conference Coach of the Year, Beamer won three BIG EAST titles and added four ACC titles in five conference championship game appearances. Overall, he coached 16 First Team All-Americans, two NFF National Scholar-Athletes, 79 first team all-conference selections, three ACC Players of the Year, three BIG EAST Offensive Players of the Year, two BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Year and two BIG EAST Special Teams Players of the Year.

One of his lasting legacies is "Beamerball," the name given for the Hokies' ability to make big plays and score on offense, defense and special teams. Beamer's teams blocked more kicks in the 1990s than any other FBS program, helping him earn BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Decade laurels.

Beamer started three years as a cornerback at Virginia Tech for College Football Hall of Fame coach Jerry Claiborne. Before becoming a head coach, he served as an assistant coach at Maryland, The Citadel and Murray State.

A member of the State of Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, Beamer's No. 25 jersey was retired by the Hokies in 2002, his name adorns the Hokies' locker room and the street in front of Lane Stadium is known as Beamer Way. He currently serves as a special assistant to the athletics director at Virginia Tech, and he is a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

Including the 2018 class, only 997 players and 217 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.33 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 149 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.

The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday, Dec. 4. This year's College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Trevor Cobb (Rice), Kerry Collins (Penn State), Dave Dickenson (Montana), Dana Howard (Illinois), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), Paul Palmer (Temple), Ed Reed (Miami [Fla.]), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia), Aaron Taylor (Nebraska), Charles Woodson (Michigan) and coaches Frank Beamer (Murray State, Virginia Tech), Mack Brown (Appalachian State, Tulane, North Carolina, Texas) and Mel Tjeerdsma (Austin College [Texas], Northwest Missouri State.

Published 06:49 PM, Thursday Oct. 11, 2018
Updated 06:55 PM, Thursday Oct. 11, 2018

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