First off, this is not a bash Beamer article, so if you're looking for one keep searching. When I was first applying to Universities back in high school the very first question I asked myself was, do they suck in football but what's their stadium/program like? I know, 17 year old Matt wasn't that impressive mentally but I was raised by a Seminole father so going to games at Doak Campbell stadium quickly made me realize I needed the big school football experience and if it weren't for Frank Beamer I never would've considered VT in the first place. Lane Stadium is the house that Frank built, period. Having said that we all know what we're watching isn't the typical Beamer-Hokie football we've been accustomed to the past 20 years or so. Insane to say that but we've been spoiled for over 20 years!!! Just think what it's like to be a UVA fan!!
Coaching legends never get the finale they were hoping for as history has painfully shown us with Bobby Bowden/Joe Paterno/Mack Brown, but put yourself in the shoes of Athletic Director, Whit Babcock and truthfully answer the question: How in the world would you handle this situation and the graceful exit of Beamer & Co.? When is the time truly right to pass the torch from a living legend to a new leader of the football program? This article written by a colleague of mine obviously felt pretty strongly that Frank has lost his touch with the football program, but after reading the comments all over the message board/FB it was clear that there is a divide in the fan base on how to handle this situation. Half of the VT faithful will forever revere Frank and insist that the man deserves to leave on his own accord whereas the other half has already searched the country for the perfect replacement coach and has closed the door on Beamer turning around the program. Truthfully, not a single one of us would want the unenviable position of Babcock which is to decide how this amazing leader's career comes to a close.
Me personally, pretending to be Babcock for a moment I truly have no clue what I would do. After we lost to Pittsburgh in boring/awful/hate watching fashion of course I wanted change. I wanted to clean house and never look back, but then Sunday came along and I started thinking...Who in the world would we hire to replace Frank? Don't start naming tons of high profile coaches and float a hollow theory around that so & so would consider coming here.......(But on the that note, my wish list in order is #1 Mark Richt because UGA might be dumb enough to fire him #2 Craig Bohl look away from his 2015 Wyoming dumpster fire and check out his career at NDST, #3 Charlie Strong after Texas runs him out of town and people wake up/remember he was a damn good coach at Louisville). Back to reality....A college football coach isn't simply coaching a football team he's the leader of an entire brand, the Hokie brand. A successful coach at VT needs to be able to communicate with the fans, the athletic department, faculty, big time boosters, high school kids/parents, running football camps, helping the local community, and trying your best to find a personal life in it all. The next coach needs to be the whole package because your filling the shoes of a man whose statue should and will someday grace university grounds.
All I hope is that people sit back and really dive into your imagination/thoughts and be honest with how you would sincerely/professionally handle the VT football program/Coach Beamer. It's hard not to vent about the team in it's current state and for some it's hard NOT to lash out at all the Beamer haters out there that quickly forget the legacy he built. Give the decision facing Whit and the VT leadership the true respect it deserves, understand the ramifications behind the decision and the path it sets this University on for the foreseeable and unpredictable future.