June 17, 1996

Frankie's Beamin' for Five More Years

It was reported on Channel 10 out of Roanoke tonight that Frank Beamer has agreed to the terms of a five-year contract extension that would sign him up to coach Tech until the year 2000. The deal hasn't been signed yet, but if you follow Tech football, you know that the negotiations have been going on a long time, so the fact that the terms have finally been settled is good news to Hokie fans.

The terms of the new contract weren't disclosed, but knowing Frank's track record, he made the athletic department put a little something in there for everybody but himself. Beamer's generosity towards his assistants is legendary, and he also has a history of building things into his contract that are geared towards the improvement of his football program, not just his wallet. No doubt there were some specifics about the new football building and other facilities in the contract, as well.

Another big benefit of this announcement is the stability that it provides for the program. I firmly believe that stability among the coaching ranks is key to success at the college level these days. The teams that change coaches every two or three years, which mixes up the offenses and defenses and confuses the players, are not going to be successful teams at the collegiate level. I'd rather have Frank Beamer coaching the Hokies next year than anybody, because nobody could do as good a job next year as Beamer will, coaching the same players in the same system.

And oh, yeah, that stability thing is excellent for recruiting. High school kids want to know that the head coach who's in their living room this year is going to be there when they graduate four or five years later. So this is good news, indeed.

The Hokie Bird - Mere Mortal, or Mascot God?

Curtis Dvorak, the man inside the Hokie Bird costume, the Master of Mayhem, has done it again. He's going pro.

The Hokie Bird beat out 42 other competitors for the job of Jackson D'Ville, the mascot for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. This caps off an awesome year for The Bird, who distinguished himself by ridiculing "Bevo" at the Sugar Bowl and then went on to win the national collegiate mascot championship at the National Cheerleader's Association championships this year.

Anyone who's seen Curtis in person knows he's the best. Congratulations, Curtis!

(And who said college graduates can't get jobs these days? When was the last time you beat out 42 other applicants for one position?)

The Amherst Pipeline Spits Out Another Star for Tech (Camm Jackson)

Linebacker Camm Jackson of AA champion Amherst has followed in the footsteps of teammate David Pugh and has committed verbally to Tech. Jackson is a multi-talented football player who has distinguished himself by being named to the All-State Group AA Defensive Team the last two years, and he was Defensive Player of the Year in 1995. Not only that, but he rushed for 1500 yards last year. Jackson's commitment was no surprise, as he says that he's "always wanted to be a Hokie."

Wait a minute. Let's see that again:

Jackson says he's "always wanted to be a Hokie."

Ahh, sweet music to my ears. Not only is the kid a good football player. He's a freakin' genius.

I was looking over his physical stats, and I got to thinking that at 6'1" and 195 lbs, he's a little small for a linebacker, so he might wind up at safety or rover when he comes to Tech. And then I remembered that he's not even a senior yet. By the time he's a college sophomore or junior, strength coach Mike Gentry will make sure he's plenty big.

In other recruiting news, former Clemson running back Lamont Pegues (I think I got the name right) is transferring to Tech. Pegues led Clemson in rushing his freshman year, but his playing time tailed off last year, so he's transferring, and Tech is the lucky recipient of his talents.

For the complete scoop on Tech football recruiting, check out Chris McCrea's Hokie Football Recruiting Page. Chris is the Internet authority on Tech recruiting.

Turkey Bites

  • Conference USA members recently voted 11-1 to embrace football, with Louisville being the only dissenter. Now there are reports that the Cardinals are trying to block the entrance of one of my favorite non-Tech schools, ECU, into the conference as a football-only member. ECU must have the approval of all six football-playing schools in order to join the conference, so if Louisville says no, then the Pirates can't join. Great -- Louisville went from bullying the Metro to bullying Conference USA. Guess they're afraid to get smashed by ECU (which they would).
  • Athlon Sports Magazine, who was a big fan of the Hokies before the Hokies proved themselves at a national level, has picked the Hokies 11th in their preseason poll, and has also picked the Hokies first in the Big East. Other polls and publications are ranking the Hokies in the 15-25 range, with the exception of Lindys, who ranked the Hokies 31st (good drugs down there at Lindys, I hear).
  • Adam Burke, who in 1995 rushed for 2,785 yards and 35 touchdowns for Group AAA Lee-Davis High, will try to join the team as a walk-on. Burke is only 5-9, 165 pounds, and that's apparently why he didn't land a Division I scholarship, despite his gaudy high school stats. I say welcome to Tech, Mr. Burke, and give it your best shot. Tape a picture of Vaughan Hebron to your locker for inspiration.
  • Parade All-American kicker and Hokie recruit Shayne Graham's holder (that's right, holder) Caleb Hurd has been invited to try out as a walk-on at Tech. Pulaski County coach Joel Hicks (I've met him, by the way -- nice guy, great coach) says that the number of reps the two players have put in numbers "in the thousands. Hurd's been under fire and he's made some great saves. He's a real student of the game." Hey, whatever makes Shayne Graham more comfortable, I'm all for it.
  • Highly touted Tech baseball recruit Todd Zirkle of Powell Valley threw a no-nitter against Northampton High to win the State Group A championship, 8-0. See, there! I can too talk about something besides football and basketball!


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