Beamer, Tressel Named Head Coaches Of The Villages Gridiron Classic
College All-Star Game Will Be Played On January 15
July 25, 2004

ORLANDO - Coaches Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech and Jim Tressel of Ohio State have been named head coaches for The Villages Gridiron Classic College All-Star Game, director Matthew Sign announced. Tressel will be the North team head coach and Beamer will lead the South squad. The Villages Gridiron Classic will be played at The Villages Polo Stadium, in The Villages, Fla., on Saturday, January 15, 2005. Kickoff is slated for 11:00 a.m. (EST) for the ESPN2 televised contest.

"Coach Beamer and Coach Tressel are obviously two of the most successful and recognizable figures in the college game today," Sign said. "Their participation in The Villages Gridiron Classic will continue the long line of excellent coaches that have been a catalyst in the development of this game on a national level."

Beamer is preparing for his 18th season at Virginia Tech and his 24th year as a collegiate head coach. He currently ranks fourth among active Division I-A coaches in victories with 167. His Tech teams have posted a 101-34 record over the past 11 seasons and appeared in bowl games each year during that span, a feat equaled by just six other schools. He guided the Hokies to three Big East Conference championships and in 1999 helped direct Tech to the national championship game.

Jim Tressel has built Ohio State into a national contender almost overnight. Entering his fourth year with the Buckeyes, his resume in Columbus includes an overall record of 32-7, a perfect 14-0 season, a Big Ten co-championship and the 2002 National Championship. Tressel led his first Buckeye squad to a 7-5 record that included a dramatic road win over archrival Michigan in the regular-season finale and a berth in the Outback Bowl. In 2002, Ohio State came from out of nowhere to capture the school's first consensus national title since 1968. Last year, Tressel led the Buckeyes to an 11-2 record including a second-consecutive Fiesta Bowl victory.

Last year, The Gridiron Classic moved from Downtown Orlando to The Villages, Fla. In the first game played at The Villages Polo Stadium, Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez led the North squad to a 35-31 victory in front of a sell-out crowd over a South team coached by Georgia's Mark Richt.

During its first six years of existence, the college all-star game has been a success in terms of giving charitable contributions as well as offering NFL hopefuls an opportunity to display their skills in front of pro scouts. The primary benefactors of more than $750,000 in charitable contributions achieved by the game have been the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, The Rotary Foundation and the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation.

The Gridiron Classic has seen 130 alumni of its game drafted into the National Football League, while more than 275 players have signed NFL contracts as free agents. The previous format of the game pit college football seniors from the state of Florida against seniors from the rest of the nation, but this year's contest will again feature a North vs. South team setup.

Florida Citrus Sports (FCS) is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to increasing community spirit and pride, promoting tourism, stimulating economic development and ultimately benefiting charities, educational institutions and the quality of life in Central Florida. FCS strives to reach these goals through its seven signature events, the Capital One Bowl, FWAA All-America Celebration, The Villages Gridiron Classic, Tangerine Bowl, OUC Half Marathon & 5K, Orlando Citrus Parade and Walt Disney World Florida Classic. For more information, visit the FCS web site at