In 1987 Virginia Tech named a new head football coach. Former Hokie player Frank Beamer was heading back home to Blacksburg, and he was bringing a Murray State assistant with him. Bud Foster arrived on campus not as defensive coordinator, but as the inside linebacker's coach. This began one of the most successful relationships in college football. In 1996, Foster was named coordinator and the Beamer/Foster combination grew a Tech program to unprecedented heights. The two have combined for 22 consecutive bowl appearances for the Hokies, the longest active streak in the FBS. The defense has had a huge part of that success.
The two have been stocking trophies and accolades all the while. Together the two coaches have won 7 conference championships, including 4 A.C.C. titles in 12 years. More incredibly, they have posted 13 seasons with 10 or more wins. Only Ohio State has more among power 5 schools since 1995. All this emanating from the quiet, sleepy town of Blacksburg nestled in the New River Valley. The two had their best season in 1999, when the Hokies went undefeated and played for the B.C.S. National Championship. They ultimately fell short to Florida State, but that season the nation found out who Virginia Tech was in a big way.
They have grown the facilities that support the football program. Lane Stadium is now regarded as one of the most hostile places for teams to try and escape with a W. Beamer and Foster were some of the first coaches to understand how important having College Gameday on campus is to a program. They used this to fuel the fan's fire and show recruits that Lane has the best atmosphere in the country.
The longevity aside, the two genuinely care for each other which is apparent to the young men they lead. This type of continuity has bred success and a familial aspect not found at most other programs. They develop these young men into outstanding football players and better people. The two have had 93 players drafted in the N.F.L., and have a 100% graduation rate of seniors since 2012. With that type of team success, the individual awards certainly followed. Foster won the 2006 Broyles award given to the nation's most outstanding assistant coach. He was a finalist three previous times in 1999, 2001, and 2005. Beamer won several national coach of the year honors in 1999 including the A.P. award as well as Paul "Bear" Bryant trophy. Virginia Tech would certainly not have achieved its level of success without these two amazing coaches.
The perfect combination of Foster and Beamer have transformed the Hokies from an irrelevant program to a national presence. The two have worked together for over 30 years total, and it's still inspiring to see them work at such a high level. The Virginia Tech story would be completely different had Frank Beamer not decided to bring Foster to Blacksburg, and the rest is history.