Press Conference: Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer
Q. On Georgia Tech:
COACH BEAMER: Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech have had some great games over the years. There’ve been some exciting moments. Great competition. I have a lot of respect for their staff and what they do. They run a unique offense when the option occurs at the line of scrimmage as opposed to the back. Not many people do that. Back when I was coming along, most everybody did that. But now they have something that’s unique. I like playing at that stadium You look up and see the buildings and Atlanta. It’s got a lot atmosphere right there in a big city. I think our players look forward to it. We’ve practiced really well. There’ve been a couple of distractions. Our players have handled it great. Our coaches have handled it great as far as I’m concerned. But we still have to go play for it. That’s what it takes. A lot of discipline and smart play against a team like Georgia Tech.
Q. On playing in Bobby Dodd Stadium in 1990 vs. friend and mentor Bobby Ross
COACH BEAMER: Coach Ross? I’m especially close to him. He’s a coach that probably new more football that anyone I’ve been around. Offense, defense, special teams, he knew it all. The best thing about him was how much he cared about players and coaches. We were together at The Citadel. It’s a hard win there. It was right after the (Vietnam) war. People didn’t exactly want to come to The Citadel at that particular time. It was a great experience for me. Number one, begin under Coach Ross, but number two but figuring out details about how to run a play as opposed to having great athletes out there and turning them loose. You had to get all the angles right for the play to be successful. It was a great starting point for me.
Q. On what specifically he remembers from Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech in 1990
COACH BEAMER: I remember parts of it. I remember going against him [coach Ross]. There’s a lot of people you’d rather go against rather than a guy you really care about. Somebody goes home that night not feeling very good. They went on to have a great year and win a national championship.
Q. On playing Thursday nights
COACH BEAMER: It gets back to everyone. That’s what this program is all about. We’ve gone from not many people wanting to come to a game, to a lot of people coming to a game. When we did it, there was much talk about about the fans and atmosphere. We played pretty good in a couple of them. It gave us our identity here that we were a total program and a football team that played hard and played well most of the time. It was a fan base that cared, loud, there pregame and after the game. It was the whole deal. Great band – a couple of them. The atmosphere and our fans. Our fans and students that really created that. It’s more of a big picture.
Q. On K Joey Slye
COACH BEAMER: He’s [Joey Slye] perfect as far as I’m concerned. He’s out there. He like the middle of the goal posts and I do too. He’s not over on the edge very much. I always say, ‘Good kickers never miss bad.’ You don’t see a hoodwink over there. If he misses it’s barely. Just dependable, good personality for a kicker. He’s tough. He’s my linebacker-kicker. He made two tackles in the last game on kickoff. That’s really a tremendous advantage. You guys have covered sports all these years, y’all figure out how many kickers want to go make a tackle. Joey [Slye] is kind of leading the charge. I think he likes tackling more than he likes kicking. That’s not bad to have an extra cover guy. He’s tough. He’s never seen a field goal he didn’t like. I always turn to him before we go out there on a long one. The last three games we’ve had a couple of them. I turn to him and say, ‘What do you think, Joey?’ He says, ‘I got it.’ Never seen a long field goal he didn’t like. We even tried a record one. How long was that? Too long. He even told me he could make that on and I believed him. I thought we might have a shot. Charley Wiles reminded me before we got kicking it of that deal at Alabama (last year’s game-winning Auburn return for a TD of an Alabama missed FG). We tried to call it off but couldn’t get it done. He gave it a good shot.
Q. On recruiting during the first five years
COACH BEAMER: I think that turned it myself were a couple guys. They both work here now. Cornell Brown: Lynchburg, E.C. Glass, in-state, could’ve gone anywhere in the country but came to Virginia Tech. I think that started a trend. Then Kevin Jones from Philadelphia. When we came here, Penn State was coming here and getting guys particularly down the eastern side. We had a hard time beating them. Kevin was the first guy that came to Virginia Tech that I think Penn State thought they were going to get. After that, certainly Michael Vick and Tyrod Taylor and all those guys brought a lot of attention. It became an ok thing if you came to Virginia Tech if you’re in the state of Virginia. That’s what you’re always striving for.
Q. On support since announcing retirement: COACH BEAMER: I didn’t even know that many people knew me (laughs). I was just over talking to our Board of Visitors. For somebody to do something 29 years at a place he loves, for the people he loves, for guys he loves, it doesn’t get any better. I’ve been fortunate they’ve kept me around here that long. The history of it. At a lot of places, they wouldn’t have done it early. I’m very thankful that I’ve been associated with Virginia Tech that long.
Q. On his feelings on Tuesday morning, the day after his retirement press conference announcement
COACH BEAMER: I think it goes both ways. You’re appreciative. It’s time to move on. There’s a couple things I like to try to do but we’ll see how things work out. I have grandkids. I just have so many good things. I’m a blessed person and I look at it that way. I try to deal in what’s real. And what’s real I try to. I’ve been immensely blessed and let’s move on and look forward to days ahead.
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