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Beamer's Coaching Family Grows
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #472, February 18, 2011
To me, it has always said a lot about the Tech program that former players come back to Blacksburg in droves for games, and they send their younger brothers and cousins to play for the Hokies as well. It also says a lot about Frank Beamer that so many of his former players want to be on his coaching staff.
Beamer hired Cornell Brown and Shane Beamer this week, both of whom played football at Virginia Tech. They join Bud Foster, Charley Wiles and Torrian Gray as current football coaches who were former players under Frank Beamer. Of the nine current assistants on the staff, five played for Beamer at some point in Frank's coaching career.
Believe it or not, Bud Foster played under Frank Beamer. Foster was a defensive player at Murray State while Beamer was a defensive coordinator there. When Beamer was hired as the head coach in 1981, he made Foster a graduate assistant, and two years later he elevated him to full-time head coach.
They have stayed on the same coaching staff ever since, with Foster becoming co-defensive coordinator in 1995, and finally defensive coordinator since the 1996 season.
Another Murray State holdover is defensive line coach Charley Wiles. Wiles was an All-American at Murray State under Beamer in 1986, and came to Virginia Tech with Beamer as a graduate assistant in 1987. Wiles later went back to Murray State, where he was as a DL coach for five years and a co-defensive coordinator for one year before returning to Virginia Tech as defensive line coach in 1996.
Torrian Gray played rover and free safety for Virginia Tech from 1992 through 1996, before going on to play three seasons in the NFL. Gray coached at Maine, UConn and the Chicago Bears before returning to Blacksburg for the 2006 season.
Shane Beamer obviously grew up in his father's household, and he was the starting longsnapper at Tech during his career, which culminated in the undefeated 1999 season. Beamer has since coached at Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Mississippi State and South Carolina. He has been a recruiting coordinator in the SEC for the last seven years.
Cornell Brown was added to the coaching staff on Wednesday, with the title Outside Linebacker Coach and Assistant Defensive Line Coach. Brown played at Virginia Tech from 1993 through 1996, and was one of the first big-time in-state recruits to sign with Frank Beamer and the Hokies. Beamer often gives Brown credit for being the guy who turned in-state recruiting around.
Are there any other former Tech coaches who could possibly join the coaching staff at some point in the future? Three names come to mind.
Todd Washington: Washington played eight seasons in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans, and won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay. He was offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at the University of San Diego, before coaching the offensive line of the Hartford Colonials in the UFL last season. He recently joined the Baltimore Ravens as assistant offensive line coach.
J.C. Price: The former Virginia Tech All-American defensive tackle has coached the defensive line at James Madison since 2004. He is also JMU's defensive run game coordinator. Price recruits Richmond, Baltimore and Southern Maryland for the Dukes.
Chris Malone: Malone was a four-year starter for Virginia Tech from 1992-95. He has been on the staff at James Madison as offensive line coach since 2006. Before his time at JMU, he coached the offensive line and tight ends at VMI in 2005, and the offensive line at UMass from 2002-2004. That's almost ten years of OL coaching. He recruits Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg and West Virginia.
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