For Frank Beamer, the signs were everywhere when he started his own coaching career in the Hall of Fame.
And yes, most fathers are prejudiced against their sons. But Beamer had no doubt his son Shane would one day become head coach.
Today Shane turns 36 on Monday. Head coach of South Carolina.
As a child he never missed anything, he didn’t think it would work, said Beamer, who won 280 games in his coaching career, including 238 in 29 seasons at Virginia Tech.
He has trained a lot, planned a lot and worked hard to achieve the desired result.
For the wireless headsets, Shane wore a rope for his father on the sidelines during the matches. Shane was just 11 years old and didn’t wear an umbilical cord, but he practiced at night in the family garage.
I think that’ll tell you everything you need to know about him, Frank. Most people on the sidelines take care of it, but Shane – even this young man – wanted to make sure everything was perfect.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Shane Beamer is often seen with his father and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. Virginia Tech. Athletics.
There was only one little hiccup. Shane came home one night after the game and told his mother, Cheryl, some of the colorful things his father had said during the game.
It was a difficult game, as I remember, and I took Shane aside and told him what was happening on the sidelines. After that, it was okay. Frank was joking.
There are never guarantees in the coaching world, but Frank is convinced that his son is more than ready for this job, a job that Frank says Shane told him a long time ago was his dream job after working in South Carolina as Steve Spurrier’s assistant from 2007 to 2010.
It’s so detailed and so organized, Frank said. That’s why he’s going after Mom. Oh, thank God. I’ve always said we have to take care of the little things and the big things will come. And this is Shane.
Frank and Cheryl will be proud to see on Monday, although it is almost due to the limitations of COWID-19, their 43-year-old son following in his father’s footsteps as a mentor.
You’ll remember Shane practicing hard in the garage at night to wear the helmet cord.
You will remember that he stood on the deck of his house in Blacksburg, Virginia, with his Fisher Price radio and the radio his little sister Casey played while the neighborhood kids were playing soccer downstairs.
You’ll remember that he wore a coat and tie and went through his father’s old travel plans as he had his first job as head coach at Murray State and was planning a mocking trip.
You’ll remember he buried old plays in Frank’s citadel as defense coordinator. Shane kept all those old notebooks in his parents’ drawers.
You will remember that as a child, Shane gave up soccer for a short time so that he could attend his father’s training and matches. When he returned to football just before high school, he booked an early Saturday morning flight to the Hokies’ away games and then returned with the team.
There were so many signs. The cards said we’d be here one day, and here we are, Cheryl said.
Frank is particularly proud that Shane has followed his own path as a coach and has only coached under his father’s guidance in recent years before Frank retires in 2015. Shane also played for his father in special teams at Virginia Tech.
He never asked me to call him, Frank said. He wanted to do it himself, and he did. He has worked for and learned from many great men. He has trained in many functions and has had the opportunity to learn a lot about football.
One of Shane’s hits as head coach is that he has never been a big player on offense or defense, but Frank believes that his son’s experience in offense, defense and special team coaching will be an advantage to him as head coach.
I identified Bobby Ross [under whose leadership Frank worked at the Citadel] as one of the most capable men I know, Frank said. He can sit there and talk to you about the attack, with you about the defense and with you about special teams. Shane’s the same. He’s very good at every part of the game.
As a recruitment specialist, Frank said it was Shane’s sincerity and ability to communicate with people from all walks of life that made him so effective. Shane was the South Carolina Recruitment Coordinator in 2009 and 2010 when Gamecocks collected some of the best recruitment classes in the history of the school, which formed the basis for three consecutive seasons of 11 wins and three top 10 finishes in final polls.
Many of the players in these classes were firmly in the corner and the audience of Shane to get a job in South Carolina.
Attitude is a job and a relationship, Frank said. Shane will take that extra note or make that extra appeal to find out who will actually make the decision. He cares about people. He takes care of his players. He respects and honors people, and that’s the problem.
Frank and Cheryl did their best not to disturb Shane during the search. At least twice in Frank’s career he has been lucky enough to come to the SEC as head coach, once in Alabama and once in Georgia. But he could never bring himself to leave his alma mater.
In Frank’s experience, when he was ready to work, we knew how stressful it could be, Cheryl explained. So we didn’t ask Shane many questions.
But finally, late last Saturday night, Cheryl got a call on FaceTime from Shane’s granddaughter and eldest daughter, Sutton. Cheryl and Sutton see each other a lot, so Cheryl didn’t know it was a phone call.
Sutton asked where Frank was. All his grandchildren call him Daddy. So Cheryl followed Frank to the other room where he was watching TV.
When they came back, Shane was standing there with his son Hunter, while Sutton stood beside him smiling.
Shane’s youngest daughter Olivia was with her mother Emily when she shot the whole scene.
They look at the new coach of the University of South Carolina, Shane told his parents.
Immediately Frank and Cheryl started screaming.
We were both crying and all we saw was joy on her face, Cheryl said.
She lost the weather the next day when she saw a photo of Shane looking emotionally at Williams Bryce Stadium after his Sunday flight.
He loves it, he loves his time there, him and Emily, both, Cheryl said. Shane was born in Charleston and his two daughters were born in Colombia. It’s such a blessing.
Frank, who in his first six years at Virginia Tech had only two winning seasons, had only one piece of advice for his son.
Just be who you are, Frank told me.
Roosters make bets that are pretty good.
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