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Annual honor goes to coach or administrator for distinguished service
BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) — Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, who retired after the 2015 season following 29 years at the helm of the Hokies, is the winner of the Football Bowl Association’s 2017 Champion’s Award, as announced today by FBA Executive Director Wright Waters.
The Champion’s Award is presented yearly to a coach or administrator “for distinguished service to college football with an emphasis on supporting the student-athlete experience through postseason football bowl games.”
“Frank Beamer has meant so much to college football,” Waters said. “The example he has set over the years is something every coach should strive for. Frank’s coaching achievements speak for themselves, and speaking on behalf of our organization and membership, I cannot think of anyone in our industry who is more deserving.”
Beamer finished his career in late December of 2015 with 280 coaching victories during a head coaching career that began in 1981 after he was named the head coach at Murray State following two seasons as that school’s defensive coordinator. He had a six-year record of 42-23-2 with the Racers.
In 1987, he was named the head coach at his alma mater, beginning an illustrious 29-season tenure in Blacksburg. He won 238 games at Virginia Tech and led the Hokies to 23 straight winning seasons. He earned coach of the year honors five times overall, thrice in the BIG EAST and twice in the ACC. His teams won seven conference championships, including four in the ACC.
Beamer guided the Hokies to 11 bowl wins during his tenure, including three wins in their past four bowl appearances. His final victory came in the 2015 Camping World Independence Bowl, when the Hokies held on for a 55-52 win over Tulsa. The school’s 23 consecutive bowl games marks the longest active streak nationally as recognized by the NCAA.
Since 1995, only Ohio State  has more 10-win seasons than Virginia Tech’s 13. Beamer’s senior players have had a 100 percent graduation rate over the past five years. No current FBS head coach had been at his school for an uninterrupted term longer than Beamer before his retirement. Bill Snyder has 25 seasons at Kansas State in two separate stints. Next on the “uninterrupted” list are Kirk Ferentz of Iowa and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, each going into his 18th straight season.
The Champion’s Award was instituted in 2009. Previous recipients include former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer , retired Pac-12 Commissioner Tom Hansen , BYU coach LaVell Edwards , Florida State coach Bobby Bowden , AFCA executive director Grant Teaff , NCAA executive Dennie Poppe , Indiana coach and ESPN ‘College Game Day’ commentator Lee Corso  and retired SEC Commissioner Michael Slive .
The award marked the latest for Beamer, who has been honored twice recently by the university. In appreciation for his many years of service and extraordinary contributions to Virginia Tech and the game of college football, the school named the football program’s locker room to The Frank Beamer Locker Room in late March.
In August of 2015, Spring Road, which runs alongside the west stands and press box of Lane Stadium, was renamed Beamer Way to recognize the contributions made by Beamer and his wife, Cheryl. The official athletics department street address was changed to 25 Beamer Way in recognition of Beamer’s jersey number when he played football for Tech from 1966-68.
Beamer graduated Virginia Tech in 1969 and was a three-year starting defensive back for the Hokies. He was a member of Tech’s 1966 and 1968 Liberty Bowl teams and his No. 25 jersey was retired in 2002.