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Shane Beamer reflects on his father's legendary career

Other than Frank Beamer himself, nobody has had a better seat or a keener perspective of what "Beamer Ball" was truly about than Beamer's only son, Shane.

Shane has watched his father's Hall of Fame career unfold from seemingly every vantage point, and he'll be there alongside his dad Saturday at Lane Stadium when he coaches his final home game against No. 17 North Carolina.

It has been an emotional last few weeks for everybody in the Beamer family, but Shane shared with ESPN.com his own personal scrapbook from his father's three-decade career at Virginia Tech through the eyes of a son, player, opposing coach and now his father's right-hand man as associate head coach.

The memories flow.

Hokie beginnings

Shane was 9 when his father accepted the Virginia Tech job in 1987 and 10 when the whole family moved to Blacksburg, Virginia. Shane and his younger sister, Casey, stayed in Murray, Kentucky, to finish school.

"I remember they interviewed him in Nashville, and he was introduced on Dec. 23, two days before Christmas," Shane said. "As a kid, the thing I remember most is that they were flying back on Christmas Eve and had flight issues trying to get back to Kentucky, and he was doing everything he could to get back for Christmas. He made it."

Weathering the early years

Rebuilding his alma mater proved to be a massive undertaking, and Frank had only two winning seasons in his first six years on the job. In today's coaching climate, he would have never made it to Year 6.

Shane was a sophomore in high school that sixth season (1992) when the Hokies finished 2-8-1. He was old enough to know his dad was in trouble and was starting to hear comments from kids at school and people around town.

"Amazingly, our phone number was still listed, and we'd get nasty calls at home," he said.

The call he'll never forget was taken by his sister. She was only 11 at the time, and the caller asked for Frank. When she told him her father wasn't home, the caller unloaded on Casey and told her what a horrible coach her father was. She was naturally shaken, and so were Shane and his mom, Cheryl.

But Shane said his father was a rock, and his resolve and grace through those difficult times were a source of strength for the entire family.

"That was hard, but the thing I admire most about him is that he never brought it home with him and was never in a bad mood no matter how bad it got," Shane said. "He always had time for us and never let football get in the way of being our father. I've tried to remember that with my own kids. It was also great for me when I became a young coach because you saw what a fine line there is between winning and losing.

"There were six games that season we led in the fourth quarter and just couldn't get over the hump, but the administration hung with him. That next season, we broke through and went to a bowl, and he's been to one every year since."

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