Former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer has been named the 2017 recipient of the Neyland Trophy. The award presentation will be held Saturday, April 22, at the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame brunch.
The Neyland Trophy is awarded annually by the Knoxville Quarterback Club to an outstanding man who has contributed greatly to intercollegiate athletics.
Beamer will be honored in pregame ceremonies prior to Tennessee’s annual Orange & White Game on April 22 along with longtime North Carolina play-by-play announcer Woody Durham, who will receive the Lindsey Nelson Broadcasting Award.
The litany of past Neyland Trophy winners reads like a who’s who of college football icons, including Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Bobby Dodd and Bud Wilkinson just to name a few members of this prestigious coaching fraternity.
Beamer spent 35 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including 29 seasons at Virginia Tech before retiring at the conclusion of the 2015 season with 280 career coaching victories. He also served as head coach at Murray State from 1981-86. He finished his time at Virginia Tech with 238 wins and was the winningest active coach in FBS at the time of his retirement. After 29 seasons at Virginia Tech, Beamer retired following the 2015 season.
The Mt. Airy, North Carolina native led the Hokies to unprecedented success with 23 consecutive bowl appearances, four ACC titles, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, three BIG EAST Conference titles, six BCS appearances, two “major” bowl victories and an appearance in the national championship game.
Under Beamer’s guidance, the Hokies finished in the top 20 in 16 of his last 23 seasons, including four top-10 finishes during his final 12 years. He took the Hokies to the 1999 national championship game and garnered eight national coach of the year awards for the accomplishment.
Beamer was appointed to the College Football Playoff selection committee in 2017. He was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was voted the Coach of the Decade in the BIG EAST Conference in 2000.
In April 2004, Beamer was presented with a Humanitarian Award by the National Conference for Community and Justice for his contributions to fostering justice, equity and community in the Roanoke Valley.
Beamer started three years at cornerback for the Hokies and later earned his master’s degree from Radford University in 1972.
The Neyland Trophy is awarded annually by the Knoxville Quarterback Club to an outstanding man who has contributed greatly to intercollegiate athletics. The first presentation in 1967 went to Nathan W. Dougherty and Herman Hickman. Dougherty was the man who hired Gen. Neyland in 1926, and Hickman was Neyland’s his first All-American lineman who later became head coach at Yale. The permanent trophy is displayed in the Tennessee Hall of Fame Exhibit in the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center on the UT campus.
— Courtesy of VT Athletics