Beamer to Receive Prestigious Neyland Trophy For Career Accomplishments

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - 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 at The Foundry in Knoxville at 10 a.m. ET.

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 in 1972.

Gen. Robert R. Neyland Trophy
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 University of Tennessee campus.

Previous Recipients

1967 - Nathan W. Dougherty, Tennessee 


1967 - Herman Hickman, Yale 


1968 - Wallace Wade, Alabama 


1969 - Bobby Dodd, Georgia Tech

1970 - John Barnhill, Arkansas 


1971 - Jess Neely, Rice 


1972 - John Vaught, Mississippi 


1973 - Bud Wilkinson, Oklahoma 


1974 - Fritz Crisler, Michigan 


1975 - Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf, California 


1976 - John McKay, Southern California 


1977 - Darrell Royal, Texas 


1978 - Ralph "Shug" Jordan, Auburn 


1979 - Frank Broyles, Arkansas 


1980 - Bob Devaney, Nebraska 


1981 - Ara Parseghian, Notre Dame 


1982 - Bill Murray, Duke 


1983 - Paul "Bear" Bryant, Alabama 


1984 - Woody Hayes, Ohio State 


1985 - Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State 


1986 - Bob Woodruff, Tennessee 


1987 - Charles McClendon, LSU 


1988 - LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young 


1989 - Vince Dooley, Georgia 


1990 - Bo Schembechler, Michigan 


1991 - Murray Warmath, Minnesota 


1992 - Bobby Bowden, Florida State

1993 - Grant Teaff, Baylor 


1994 - Jerry Claiborne, Kentucky 


1995 - Dan Devine, Notre Dame 


1996 - Hayden Fry, Iowa 


1997 - Terry Donahue, UCLA 


1998 - Lou Holtz, Notre Dame 


1999 - Eddie Robinson, Grambling 


2000 - Tom Osborne, Nebraska 


2001 - Doug Dickey, Tennessee 


2002 - Gene Stallings, Alabama 


2003 - Johnny Majors, Pittsburgh 


2004 - John Gaglidardi, St. John's (Minn.) 


2005 - Barry Switzer, Oklahoma 


2006 - John Cooper, Ohio State 


2007 - John Robinson, UNLV 


2008 - Lloyd Carr, Michigan 


2009 - Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee 


2010 - Ken Sparks, Carson-Newman 


2011 - R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M 


2012 - Fisher DeBerry, Air Force 


2013 - Mack Brown, Texas 


2014 - David Cutcliffe, Duke 


2015 - Jerry Moore, Appalachian State 


2016 - Steve Spurrier 


2017- Frank Beamer

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