Perched on the family’s deck and using his sister’s toy walkie-talkie, a young Shane Beamer pretended to call plays down to one of his friends.
While the young offensive coordinator’s schemes may not have made it into his father Frank Beamer’s playbook, Shane Beamer’s passion for the game of football and admiration for his father was evident at an early age.
Now, at 34, he has returned to the sidelines of Lane Stadium 11 years after graduating as a player, to become the new running backs coach and associate head coach for his father’s team. He was hired this year on Valentine’s Day and took over for longtime assistant Billy Hite. Hite coached for 34 seasons on Tech’s staff and has moved into an administrative role this season.
“It’s neat to be back. Obviously a lot of things have changed since I left, but a lot of things haven’t,” Shane Beamer said. “A lot of the same people (are still here), and that’s what makes this program special is the stability of the people, and it’s good to be back with those guys.”
Growing up, Shane Beamer participated in all the different recreational league sports offered. However, his true passion was following in his father’s footsteps as a football coach.
“I think he always knew he wanted to coach, be it high school level or college,” said Cheryl Beamer, Shane Beamer’s mother.
During one Saturday when his father was coaching at Murray State, Shane Beamer had the opportunity to go down on the field before the game. Father and son stood identically with their knees bent smiling for the camera — a moment that particularly stood out for Cheryl Beamer during her son’s early years.
“I have a picture someone took of them,” Cheryl Beamer said. “He’s standing exactly like his daddy with his arms in his back pockets and his knees bent like his daddy.”
When he was 12, Shane Beamer carried his father’s headset cord to keep it from getting tangled with other players and coaches. As Frank Beamer put it, while they are coaching together for the first time, they’ve had experience on the sideline working with one another.
“Well, we’ve been on the sideline together before because before he started playing at Virginia Tech, he carried the cord for me on the sideline,” Frank Beamer said smiling, remembering his son’s help. “So we’ve been together on the sideline before. You always wanted it to happen, but it had to be the right situation for it to happen.”
“He just admired his father so much,” Cheryl Beamer said.
Although Frank Beamer’s stature as a football coach put him in the public eye more than the average parent, he still held true to his values.
“Frank had a TV show with Murray State and at the time, (Shane) and his sister just thought that was really neat their dad had a show,” Cheryl Beamer said. “He told them from the very beginning, ‘I’m no better than anybody else’s dad, I just happen to be in a profession where I’m on television sometimes.’”
While at Blacksburg High School, Shane Beamer played on the football team as a wide receiver and defensive back. However, he didn’t get to see much of his father because of his coaching commitment.
“A lot of times he didn’t get to see his dad, especially when he was in high school,” Cheryl Beamer said.