This is no cliché — Frank Beamer's career has truly come full circle.
The longtime Virginia Tech football coach will roam the sidelines for the final time when his Hokies (6-6) face Tulsa (6-6) in the Independence Bowl on Saturday in Shreveport, La. The game will mark Virginia Tech's 23rd consecutive postseason appearance under Beamer. The streak began in the same stadium in which Beamer, 69, will say goodbye to college football.
"Well, they've added a couple of big hotels," Beamer said of Shreveport. "The people haven't changed. That's for sure."
After six roller-coaster seasons to start his reign in Blacksburg, Va., an 8-3 effort by the Hokies finally earned that 1993 bowl berth.
"We needed to get to a bowl at Virginia Tech at that time; we'd gone through some tough years," said Beamer, who is 237-121-2 in his career. "I can remember how cordial and friendly and delightful the people were here in Shreveport. We were glad to be here, but they certainly made it feel like they were glad we were here."
Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery understands. "Obviously our guys are excited about our opponent. Virginia Tech is an outstanding program, they have a ton of tradition behind them and they have a Hall of Fame head coach in his last game.''