Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Announces Gift From Beamer
Hokie football coach supports campaign with leadership gift
February 7, 2001

PORTSMOUTH, VA - Virginia Tech Football Coach Frank Beamer has joined a statewide team in supporting the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum with a leadership gift to the museum's $9 million capital campaign, executive director Eddie Webb announced today.

"We are delighted that Coach Beamer has so generously contributed to our campaign," Webb said. "As a Virginian who has made his own mark in sports and strongly supports educational efforts such as the museum, Coach Beamer has set the pace for other football fans to work with us as we gain yardage toward our goal line."

Beamer earned eight national 'Coach of the Year' honors for leading the Hokies during their stellar 1999 season. He and his staff may have done an even better job coaching in 2000. With eight new defensive starters and a new kicking team, and despite injuries to key players, Beamer led the Hokies to an impressive 11-1 season, their eighth straight bowl bid, a Gator Bowl win, and a final ranking of No. 6 in national polls.

As both a coach and educator, Beamer is a firm believer in the value of athletics and education. When asked to comment on why he chose to contribute to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Beamer said, "Recognizing outstanding athletes in Virginia is something that's really worthy.

These inductees have worked hard to accomplish what they have, and people should be made aware of what they've done to bring credit and recognition to our state. I'm happy to get involved on their behalf," Beamer said. "There are quite a few Hokies in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, and I am hopeful more and more Tech people will be going in there all of the time. We're certainly going to do our part to keep turning out people who are deserving of such an honor," he added.

In announcing this gift, Webb noted that the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and its inductees will be working closely with athletic directors and coaches at colleges and universities throughout Virginia in developing a Campus Champions exhibit in the new museum.

The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, designated by the General Assembly as the Commonwealth's official sports hall of fame, is conducting a capital campaign to build a new 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility featuring novel interactive exhibits, fascinating interpretive displays, legendary sports memorabilia, a 125-seat theatre, high school sports and Virginia Olympians exhibits, an education outreach division, and the Hall of Honor, a tribute to Virginia's legendary athletes that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Along with plans for the new state facility in Portsmouth, educational programs are being developed for presentation at both the new Museum and its satellite location to built in Salem. Coach Beamer commented, "It's a good cause and what makes it even better is that the Hall of Fame is branching out."

The Museum is committed to providing a wide range of quality programming related to health and fitness. At the core of the Hall of Fame's efforts will be the message that athletics enriches lives both on and off the field by instilling values such as leadership, honesty, teamwork, discipline and character. Students across the Commonwealth will benefit from the expanded outreach of the Hall of Fame's traveling displays, classes, workshops and community events.

To date the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum has raised $4.3 million toward its fundraising goal. Groundbreaking for the new Museum is set for fall 2001, with a grand opening scheduled for spring 2003.

For more information about the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, call 757-393-8031.

Established in 1972, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Portsmouth is the Commonwealth's official sports hall of fame, honoring 183 champions from every region of Virginia. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; admission is free. A new state-of-the-art Hall of Fame, offering expanded education outreach programs throughout Virginia and featuring hands-on, interactive exhibits, and the Hall of Honor, is scheduled to open in Olde Towne Portsmouth in spring 2003. For information call 757-393-8031.