November 18, 2015
Brown offers nice insight on Beamer
Former Texas coach said there would never be another like the Tech head coach, who is retiring at the end of this season

BLACKSBURG – Former North Carolina and Texas head football coach Mack Brown, who now works as a color commentator for ESPN, made a visit to Blacksburg for Virginia Tech’s game against NC State earlier this fall and caught up with good friend Frank Beamer.

Brown is a household name in college football, having enjoyed a 30-year career as a head coach at stops such as Appalachian State, Tulane, North Carolina and Texas. He guided Texas to the 2005 national championship.

Brown and Beamer became good friends while attending coaching conventions and making the rounds to various Nike functions, and they share many similarities. Brown is five years younger than Beamer and got his first full-time coaching position in 1975. Beamer, now 69, got his first full-time gig under Bobby Ross at The Citadel in 1973. Brown resigned at Texas in 2013 and hasn’t gotten back into coaching. Beamer plans on retiring after this season.

“I think, Frank, from the time I met him in 1988 until today, is the best coach in college football – he and Bill Snyder [Kansas State head coach],” Brown said. “Those two guys are so sound. They’re not going too beat themselves. They’re going to out-coach you and out-tough you. It’s going to be simple. It’s not going to be complicated, but they’re going to disguise it in so many ways to make you think it’s complicated.”

Beamer shared the same thoughts of Brown. For more on their insights, please check out the video at the top of the page.

“I’ve known him for a long time and had great respect for him,” Beamer said. “What he’s done for the coaching profession … everything is right – good program, honest program, treat the players right, always wanted what’s best for college football and served up on the higher-up positions. This guy has been good for college football – and still is.”

Beamer and Brown coached against each other one time. That came in Beamer’s first season, 1987, when the Hokies traveled to New Orleans to take on a Brown-led Tulane squad. The Hokies got blasted 57-38 in what turned out to be a 2-9 season for Beamer’s inaugural campaign. Brown left after this season to go to North Carolina.

The two were set to match wits again in the 1998 Gator Bowl. But Brown, who had been the coach at North Carolina, took the Texas job shortly before that game, and Brown’s defensive coordinator, Carl Torbush, coached the Tar Heels to a victory over the Hokies.

In 2000, Beamer agreed to take the North Carolina head coaching position, but days later, changed his mind and decided to stay at Tech, where he will wrap up a 29-year tenure at the end of the season. One person he sought for insight from about the North Carolina position was Brown, who coached at UNC from 1988-97. Perhaps fittingly, Beamer’s final home game will be against the Tar Heels this Saturday.

Beamer’s change of heart allowed him to continue building to an impressive career in Blacksburg, one that will see him leave with more coaching victories than guys like Bear Bryant, Tom Osborne, Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes and Steve Spurrier.

“There are very few people like Frank Beamer in our world and there are very few people that could stay in one place this long – and much less, be successful,” Brown said.

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