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Goal to go for Hokies
It’s a night Shane Beamer thinks about every day.
“I was on the field in New Orleans that night when we gave up two touchdowns, on a blocked punt and a return punt for a touchdown,” he said with a sigh. “We’d been good on special teams all year long, and to be on the field and give up two touchdowns, that sticks with you.
“There’s probably not a day that has gone by in the last 11 years when I haven’t thought about that night. … You get that close, it’s tough and so you want to get back and win it.”
Beamer spent those 11 seasons cutting his teeth as an assistant coach before joining his father’s staff as running backs coach in the offseason.
Shane has another agenda, too - to help his father win a national championship.
Special teams’ mistakes helped put the Hokies in a 28-7 first-half hole that night in New Orleans. And though Virginia Tech rallied to take a 29-28 lead entering the final quarter, the Seminoles eventually prevailed, 46-29.
“We made some mistakes that night that I think really stay with you,” said Frank Beamer, whose program has become known for special teams prowess - or Beamerball. “I’ve heard [Shane] say he wanted to come back and help us win that thing. That would make a pretty good story.”
The younger Beamer’s title includes associate head coach, which raised some eyebrows with defensive coordinator Bud Foster. He essentially has has been promised the job if Frank Beamer retires, but both Beamers said Shane’s title was inherited from longtime assistant Billy Hite.
Hite is assistant to the head coach and senior adviser, and longtime recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh oversees all recruiting, instead of recruiting on the road.
Along with Shane Beamer, former Hokies All-America defensive end Cornell Brown joined the staff this season, coaching outside linebackers and assisting with the defensive line.
Beamer said that while taking Cavanaugh off the road was difficult, the timing was right for the changes. And Cheryl Beamer disputes the story that she insisted her husband hire their son.
“No sir,” she said. “Frank tells people that being funny, but I’ve never advised him about anything professionally and that’s the honest to goodness truth. … I knew he wanted to do it. I knew Shane wanted to do it before his dad got around to retiring and everything.”
By Tom Fitton
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White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow