One of the greatest coaches in not only Murray State history, but in all of college football, the legendary Frank Beamer was announced Monday as one of three coaches and 13 total inductee as part of the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame, as announced by the National Football Foundation.
Beamer helped put the Murray State football program on the map in the 1980s, spending two years as the defensive coordinator and six years as head coach before leaving to guide his alma mater, Virginia Tech, to 238 victories over 29 seasons before retiring following the 2015 season. Beamer was hired by Mike Gottfried in 1979 and introduced the wide tackle six defense to the Ohio Valley Conference. It immediately made the Racers a national contender as the squad ranked second in the nation in rush defense and fourth in scoring defense his first season; that team ended up being one of four selected to the I-AA playoffs. A year later that defense allowed a nation’s-best 9.1 points per game.
As the program’s head coach he compiled a 42-23-2 overall record and numerous appearances in the nation’s Top 25 polls including a streak of 22-consecutive weeks ranked in the Top 20. During his final season in Murray, Beamer guided MSU to 6-1 record in the OVC, a regular season co-championship and berth in the playoffs. Overall, Beamer finished his coaching career with a combined 280-143-4 record (making him the 15th winningest coach in college football history and the winningest active coach at the time of his retirement), 22 bowl appearances and eight conference championships.
Already a member of the Murray State, Virginia Tech and OVC Halls of Fame, Monday’ honor is another well-deserved for an epic career. 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.
This year’s inductees were selected from the national ballot of 75 All-America players and six elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 98 players and 31 coaches from the divisional ranks. The announcement of the 2018 Class was made today live on ESPN’s Sports Center in Atlanta, the site of the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, which will be played tonight at Mercedes-Benz Stadium between Alabama and Georgia. Mack Brown joined the ESPN set inside the stadium for the announcement, representing the class and sharing his thoughts on induction. Frank Beamer and Matt Stinchcomb will join Brown in participating in the coin toss on the field during the championship game Monday night.
The tradition of announcing the College Football Hall of Fame class in conjunction with the CFP National Championship began in 2015 before the inaugural CFP title game in Dallas. The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, 2018, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Murray State fans will get a chance to see another legendary Racer football coach, Houston Nutt, enshrined in the MSU Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class. Induction weekend will be February 16-17 with a reception at the CFSB Center on Friday and special recognition at the Saturday basketball games when the Racers host Tennessee Tech. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. at the CFSB Center and the cost is $15 per person. All tickets must be purchased in person at the arena ticket office or by calling (270) 809-3000.