Virginia Tech legend Frank Beamer, the winningest collegiate coach in his NCAA division when he retired in 2015, will receive the 2019 Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. Beamer will receive the award presented by Marathon Oil Corporation at the 33rd annual awards dinner Jan. 9, 2019 in Houston.
Marathon Oil’s President and CEO Lee Tillman said Beamer’s contributions across three decades are profound. “Frank Beamer has always gone beyond winning, teaching players leadership skills for life,” said Tillman. “He won the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Coach of the Year Award in 1999, and his contributions to building communities and supporting healthy living reflect the commitments of Marathon Oil and AHA. He is deserving of this capstone lifetime achievement award.”
Beamer, who traveled to Houston for the announcement, said he is honored. “I am honored and humbled to receive the Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award. I’d like to thank all the fine young men who I had an opportunity to coach, as well as their parents who entrusted their sons to me. Without our coaches and support staff, we could not have built the program and enjoyed the success we did. A big thank you to them and their families for their commitment and loyalty,” Beamer said.
Last year, in his first year of eligibility, Beamer entered the National Football Hall of Fame and he is one of just 13 who serve on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. In 2017, he won the coveted Nyland Trophy for his contributions to the game – an award that Bear Bryant himself received in 1983.
The National Conference for Community and Justice honored Beamer with its Humanitarian Award in 2004 for his contributions for fostering justice, equity and community in Roanoke (Va.) Valley.
“I also owe a debt of gratitude to our fabulous fans, administrators and alumni at Virginia Tech who allowed me to enjoy a 29-year coaching run at my alma mater,” Beamer said. “Finally, and most importantly, I am especially grateful for my wife, Cheryl, and our family. I will share this award with everyone who made it possible and look forward to attending the ceremony. Go Hokies!”
Beamer, whose tenure as the Hokie’s coach spanned 29 years, has a Virginia Tech 238-121-2 record and an overall record of 280-144-4. He led the team to seven conference championships across his 29 seasons and made 23 straight bowl appearances. In 2000, he was voted the Big East Conference Coach of the Decade.
Beamer’s record includes four Atlantic Coast Championships, five ACC Coastal Division Crowns, three Big East Conference titles, six BCS appearances, two “major bowl” victories and a trip to the national championship game in 2000. Before returning to his alma mater, he served as head coach at Murray State from 1981 to 1986.
The Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award honors a coach for outstanding career accomplishments both on and off the field. Beamer joins a roster of the best in college football coaching, including Steve Spurrier (2018), Barry Alvarez (2017), Mack Brown (2016), Jimmy Johnson (2015), R.C. Slocum (2014) and LaVell Edwards (2013), and stands alongside the legendary Coach Bryant himself.
Now in its 33rd year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards recognize the country’s top college football coaches for their contributions both on and off the field. The Coach of the Year Award – presented each January – is the only college coaching honor selected after all bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association.
Behind the scenes, both awards are much bigger than a season or career success. These are opportunities to shine a spotlight on heart disease and stroke – the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 health threats. Since the adoption of the name, the Bryant Awards have raised more than $9.8 million for the American Heart Association, funding research, education and advocacy efforts and saving countless lives. “Bear” always talked about being bigger than something other than himself. The Bryant Awards offer an opportunity to do just that — to join the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease and stroke.
Marathon Oil Corporation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Bryant Awards for the past 10 years, underscoring the Company’s commitment to health and wellness and supporting initiatives that promote the well-being of workers and their families both on and off the job. The Company also values the communities in which its employees live and work and strives to partner with local community leaders to recognize and advance important public health initiatives that promote the common good and protect the public.
To purchase tickets to the Bryant Awards, contact 832-918-4009 or visit www.bryantawards.org.