"It was clear that someday we might be right here:" Meet the brand new South Carolina coach, Shane Beamer


The signs were everywhere for Frank Beamer as he developed his own Hall of Fame coaching career.

And yes, most fathers are prejudiced when it comes to their sons. But Beamer had no doubt that his son Shane would one day become head coach.

Today is that day Shane will be introduced as the 36th South Carolina head coach later on Monday.

"As a little boy, he never missed anything, never assumed it would work out," said Beamer, who won 280 games during his coaching career, including 238 in 29 seasons with Virginia Tech.

"He practiced hard, planned hard and worked hard to get the result the way he wanted it."

In front of wireless headsets, Shane wore the cord for his father on the sidelines during games. By the age of 11, Shane didn't wear the cord either, but practiced wearing the cord in the family garage at night.

"That probably tells you everything you need to know about him," said Frank. "Most of the people who will handle the line on the sidelines just go out there and do it, but Shane – even this young man – wanted to make sure he was perfect."

Shane Beamer was seen often with his father and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. Courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics

There was only one minor hiccup. Shane went home after a game one evening and told his mother Cheryl some of the "colorful" things his father said during the game.

"I remember it was a tough game and I put Shane aside and said, 'Look what happens on the sideline, stay on the sideline.' He was good after that," joked Frank.

There are no guarantees in the world of coaching, but Frank believes his son is "more than ready" for the job. Frank said Shane long told him he was his dream job after working in South Carolina as an assistant to Steve Spurrier from 2007-10.

"It's so detailed and so organized," said Frank. "He takes care of his mother in that regard. Thank God. I've always said to take care of the little things and the big things will come. And that's Shane."

Frank and Cheryl will be proud to watch, albeit practically due to COVID-19 restrictions, as their 43-year-old son follows in his father's footsteps on Monday.

You'll remember Shane diligently practicing wearing the headset cord in the garage those nights.

You will remember standing on the deck of their Blacksburg, Virginia home with his Fisher Price walkie talkie and his younger sister Casey's radio plays while the neighborhood kids played soccer downstairs.

You will remember putting on a coat and tie and going through his father's old itineraries from Frank's first job as a head coach in Murray State and planning a mock road trip.

You will remember looking through Frank's old playbooks dating back to Frank's days as Defense Coordinator at the Citadel. Shane kept each of those old playbooks in his desk drawers in his childhood home.

You will remember that Shane even quit football briefly as a kid just to be there for all of his father's drills and games, and then when he returned to football just before high school to catch up on Saturday morning to secure the earliest possible flight and to fly alone for the away games of the Hokies and then to fly back with the team.

"There were so many signs. It was on the cards that one day we would be here, and here we are," said Cheryl.

Frank is particularly proud that Shane found his own way in the coaching ranks and only trained under his father in the last few years before Frank's resignation in 2015. Shane also played on special teams for his father at Virginia Tech.

"He never asked me to call him a single time," said Frank. "He wanted to do it on his own, and he did it. He's worked for a lot of great people and learned from a lot of great people. He has coached a lot of positions and had the opportunity to learn a lot about football."

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One of the reasons Shane came out as head coach was because he was never a leading man in attack or defense, but Frank believes the fact that his son has experience coaching offensive, defense and specialty teams will be beneficial to him a head coach.

"I always said about Bobby Ross [who Frank worked under at The Citadel] was one of the most knowledgeable guys I knew," Frank said. "He could sit there and talk to you about offense, to you about defense and to you about special teams. Shane is just like that. He's very knowledgeable about every part of the game."

As a recruiter, Frank said that Shane & # 39; s authenticity and ability to relate to people from all walks of life is what makes him so effective. Shane was the South Carolina recruiting coordinator in 2009 and 2010 when the Gamecocks put together some of their best recruiting classes in school history and served as the foundation for three consecutive seasons with 11 wins and three consecutive top 10 finishes in the final polls.

Many of the players from those classes were stuck in Shane & # 39; s corner and public to get the job in South Carolina.

"Recruiting is about work and relationships," Frank said. "Shane is going to write that extra note or make that extra phone call to find out who is really going to make the decision. He cares about people. He cares about his players. He respects people and gives respect to those people, and it is all over. "

Frank and Cheryl did their best not to disturb Shane during the entire search process. During Frank's career, he has had at least two opportunities to go to the SEC as head coach, once to Alabama and once to Georgia. But he could never bring himself to leave his alma mater.

"We knew from Frank's experience when he was ready for jobs how stressful it all can be," explained Cheryl. "So we didn't ask Shane many questions."

But eventually Cheryl got a FaceTime call late Saturday night from her granddaughter and Shane & # 39; s oldest daughter, Sutton. Cheryl and Sutton FaceTime often, so Cheryl wasn't sure if this was the call.

Sutton asked where Frank was. The grandchildren all call him "Da". So Cheryl brought Frank into the other room where he was watching TV.

When they returned, Shane was standing holding his son Hunter right next to him with a grinning Sutton.

Shane's younger daughter, Olivia, was dating her mother, Emily, when she was filming the whole scene.

"You're looking at the new coach at the University of South Carolina," Shane told his parents.

Immediately, Frank and Cheryl burst into tears.

"We both cried and just saw the joy on his face," said Cheryl.

She lost it the next day when she saw the picture of an emotional Shane looking into Williams Brice Stadium after the flight on Sunday.

"He loves the place, loved his time there, he and Emily both," said Cheryl. "Shane was born in Charleston and both girls were born in Columbia. It's such a blessing."

Frank, who had only two successful seasons in his first six years at Virginia Tech, had only one advice for his son.

"Just be who you are," said Frank.

The Gamecocks are betting that that's good enough.


Melinda Martin