ACC Coaches Teleconference: Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer
FRANK BEAMER: Number one, our in-state rival. Number two, a lot of Bowl possibilities and some other things involved. So a big game within the state. I don’t think either one of us probably has the record right now we thought we might have, but regardless, it’s a big, big game, and we understand that. The same preparation. We need to have a great week and get ready to go.
Q. Frank, you mentioned after the game that you wanted or hoped that the fans would show up for you in Charlottesville and that you’ve drawn fans there in the past. What do you think the fan reaction to you will be at UVA?
FRANK BEAMER: I’m kind of more concerned with what our team’s reaction is to that crowd across the field from us. I don’t know if you’re talking about UVA’s fans or our fans. If it’s our fans, I think we can count on them being there and showing their support and get us through a really important game right now.
We’ve always been able to count on our guys. My concern right now is that our team is focused and ready to roll because this is a good team we’re getting ready to play.
Q. It’s also Thanksgiving week. Can you take us inside. What are you guys going to do on Thursday? Do you do a team meal? Where do you go? What do you do?
FRANK BEAMER: We have an early meal and then get our coaches and their family there and kids. Then have a little bit earlier practice, where the kids that live nearby and want to go home can do it. A lot of them bring other guys with them. Then we gather back and get ready to go up to Charlottesville on Friday and get ready to play on Saturday.
Q. As a coach, do you look at every team the same way, Virginia included? Or because you grew up in Virginia and played for the Hokies, does that get your juices going UVA week every year?
FRANK BEAMER: I think for most people that’s been a part of Virginia-Virginia Tech, it’s not just another week. It’s a special week. It has a little more emphasis for everyone within this state. I think it’s two programs that our alumni, their alumni have a reason to be proud of their effort and want them to do well on the football field.
So I think it’s a responsibility for us to represent our university well and all the Tech graduates and our fans. We have a responsibility on this one. It’s a little bit deeper than normal.
Q. I was just wondering what your reaction was to Scott Shafer being fired up at Syracuse yesterday.
FRANK BEAMER: I opened up the paper and kind of groaned. Cheryl said, what’s wrong? I said, Scott got fired. I hate seeing anybody get fired. When you really respect guys and like them, which I do Scott, I hate to see it.
Sometimes, I know from my own standpoint, it takes a lot to get your program in order. People are not willing to wait anymore. Fortunately for me, way, way back, they did. It’s not one of those things that you come in sometimes and it happens in two years or three years. It takes four years or five years. If you got it going right and recruiting good and about the time you’re about to reap the benefits of your efforts, they’re changing coaches.
I just hate to see it. I think he’s a good coach and a good person, and I hate to see it.
Q. Frank, can you just describe a little bit about what your emotions were like last week and whether that having that experience now maybe will take some of the emotions out of this weekend or if you still anticipate it being just as emotional for you?
FRANK BEAMER: Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think so many people would express their thoughts and their kindness to myself. It was just amazing, and I’m very appreciative, very humbled, very appreciative.
But I do know this. Your mind’s got to stay on your work. I think that’s something particularly important this week that your mind stay on your work. It gets into a lot of family and Thanksgiving dinners and a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The schedule is not normal. I’m a big believer in what you’re thinking when you step on the field is how you’re going to play. That is, we’ve got to have a purpose and understand the importance of playing well and representing their fans and alumni in the best way possible. That’s where I’m trying to be is keep your mind on what you can really control, and that is how a team plays on Saturday against Virginia.
Q. The fact that you’ve now been in a position where you’re playing for a Bowl game over these last couple of years against Virginia, where you’ve had to win to get in, do you think that does anything to prepare the players at all on Saturday for, obviously, a must win for you guys?
FRANK BEAMER: I think this year is this year. Not much has happened in the past really affects what’s going to happen Saturday. This is a good football team. They’ve got their quarterback throwing very well. They’ve got Mizzell running and catching very well. Several wide receivers, big tall guys that can go get it.
They’ve got a good streak going there at home as far as winning, and they’ve been close on the road in several games. When you look at it, it’s a very, very good football team. So that’s kind of what gets your attention right now.
Q. Talk about the three things, three keys for you guys to pull out a win against Virginia.
FRANK BEAMER: I think Mizzell is a guy that’s a threat both ways, but I think they have a lot of threats. I think when you have Johns that can throw the football and Thorpe and Severin and Hopkins and all those people, I think they’ve got the ability to score points.
Defensively, they get after you. They play hard, and you’ve really got to be able to score some points in this game. I think that’s going to be critical of our offense to get some points up on the board. I think kicking gets to be a big deal. Frye, their field goal guy, is very good. Conte, their punter, is very good. So they’ve got the ability to be good — they are good in the kicking game.
I know I’ve given you more than three right now, but it’s kind of this is a good football team. You look at it, and there’s three there, I know, that you could put in order, but there’s about 13 that I’ve got.
Q. What is the future going to bring for Frank, for you, after this game or after a Bowl game? What’s the future going to bring for you?
FRANK BEAMER: I’ve got a great wife. I look forward to spending time with her, traveling maybe a little bit. I’ve got grandkids that keep you moving. I would like to think that I could stay around football and maybe get into some TV work or radio work. I’d like a challenge like that. So I’ve got some things to look forward to.
Q. I know your mind’s kind of just been week to week on the games that you have to win, but I also know that a ton of NFL players and former players have left you notes and video messages. Have you taken the time to listen to any of those or read any of those? Or are you kind of saving it for after the season or after this game?
FRANK BEAMER: Some of them, and some of them I’ve got to get to. I’ve got a stack here on my desk of people I need to respond to. Like I said, I appreciate all those people, and I had a few guys from Murray State come here last weekend for the game, and guys who played for us here at Virginia Tech, a lot of those guys came back. Corey Moore and Michael Vick, two guys that led us to some wonderful times back in 1999.
It’s been amazing just to hear everybody and see everybody, but the other side of it is that you’ve got a job to do, and that is, let’s get our mind on Virginia Tech football against Virginia Cavaliers. I’m very appreciative, very honored, and very determined to have a great game plan against Virginia.
Q. Talking about when you mentioned kind of how you get your program set and everything, how much did it weigh on your mind that you’ve been with some of your coaches and some of the people on your staff since Murray State and they’re kind of affected by your retirement as well? How much did that factor into your decision?
FRANK BEAMER: A lot. I can assure you I gave it a lot of thought. It’s not just me. My wife and I were talking about that, and I thought about that before I ever made the decision.
They’re all good coaches. I’ve got the best coaching staff I’ve ever had, in my opinion. People are going to make a mistake if they don’t work to get them on their staff if they’ve got a vacancy. They’re all very capable. Good people usually end up landing on their feet, and I’ve got some good people here at Virginia Tech.