Will Shane Beamer be Virginia Tech's Next Football Coach?

As incendiary as that headline might be, it had to be one of the first thoughts for a lot of Hokie fans when they heard Virginia Tech hired Frank Beamer's son Shane on Monday.

Like his father, the younger Beamer wore No. 25 when he played for the Hokies. Unlike his father, the younger Beamer cut his teeth in the rough-and-tumble SEC as a member of the coaching staffs at Tennessee, Mississippi State and South Carolina. Frank Beamer's coaching stops included Maryland, The Citadel and Murray State before coming home to Blacksburg.

So with two potential successors to Frank Beamer now on staff in Shane Beamer and Bud Foster, what will Virginia Tech's football future look like?

It's been assumed for the last few years that the natural successor for Beamer would be Foster, the Hokies' long-time defensive coordinator with the steely glare and near un-matched devotion to the program. Foster has had certainly had his chances to go out on his own, but has stayed loyal to Beamer and Virginia Tech.

He was rewarded for his loyalty after last season with the addition of an annuity to his contract. If Foster is still Tech's DC after the 2014 season, he'll take home an extra $800,000.

However, Beamer signed a contract extension prior to this past season through the 2016 campaign. If Frank is still the Hokies head coach at the end of the current contract, he'll be 70 and Foster will be 57. Not many guys get their first head coaching job at that age, especially when the recent trend has been toward younger coaches.

Enter Shane Beamer. When his dad's current contract runs out at the end of the 2016 season, he'll be 39 and, in theory, entering his prime as a coach. So was the addition of Shane to Virginia Tech's coaching staff the beginning of his grooming process for an eventual ascendancy to the head job?

On the surface, I don't think it is. I think the addition of Shane was simply a smart move at an opportune time when Virginia Tech needed a young, proven recruiter to breathe life into the Hokies' efforts. However, if I had to guess right now, I'd say that Shane winds up taking over for Frank at some point down the line.

What does that mean for Foster? It's hard to say. There's no guarantee Frank doesn't retire before 2016, no guarantee the job is Shane's for the taking and no guarantee that it isn't Bud's. Five years is a long time in college football and only time will tell.

My only hope is that the addition of Shane to the staff doesn't rub current members of the staff the wrong way or create a divide among them. Shane's experience brings a lot of positives to the program, but there's no way of knowing what his last name will do to it over the long run.

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