Legendary Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer shares leadership formula
Frank Beamer, who elevated Virginia Tech’s football program to national prominence before stepping down this year after 29 seasons at the helm, imparted words of wisdom to Liberty University students during Monday morning’s Convocation in the Vines Center.
Appropriately, Beamer was introduced by Flames Football Head Coach Turner Gill, who is preparing Liberty for its annual Spring Game on April 16 at Williams Stadium and its first-ever meeting with Virginia Tech, a season-opening showdown on Sept. 3 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va.
Beamer challenged students to become problem-solvers and respected professionals in their fields by following his formula for success.
“To be an effective leader, you’ve got to have three qualities — you’ve got to have high integrity, you’ve got to be able to communicate, and you’ve got to be highly organized,” Beamer said. “You’ve got to surround yourself with people who have these qualities, too.”
The legendary coach — who guided the Hokies to their 23rd consecutive winning season and bowl game appearance before retiring as the winningest active coach in FBS Division I with 280 victories — exemplified those qualities, as well as the value of hard work and time management, throughout his career.
“Time is the most valuable asset we do not own,” he said. “You may not realize it, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you.”
Before he became head coach of Virginia Tech’s football team in 1986, Frank Beamer was a starting cornerback for the Hokies in the late 1960s. Raised in the rural town of Fancy Gap, Va., Beamer overcame adversity early in his life — he was severely burned at the age of 7 and required 29 operations over the next four years — to reach the pinnacle of his profession.
“I know I’ve been blessed,” Beamer said.
He noted that in coaching, as well as in any other profession, it is imperative to “Say what you mean and mean what you say,” and noted that in football, as in golf — where players officiate themselves — it is important to play the game the right way, with personal integrity.
Beamer cited Proverbs 11:3 — “Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people” — as one of his favorite Scripture verses.
He shared that the key to success in any field is to develop God-given talents and find ways to use them constructively.
“When you work hard at something, you become good at it,” Beamer said. “When you become good at something, you enjoy it. When you enjoy doing something, there is a great chance you will become passionate about it. When you’re good at something, passionate about it, and working hard to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.”