He may be one of the most legendary college football coaches of all time, but he reminds you more of the kind of guy you’d expect to find serving ice cream at a church social. He keeps genuine perma-smile on his face, is well known for his generosity and selflessness, and maintains the kind of healthy competitive spirit that makes him want to win every hole of a friendly scramble.
Basically, Coach Frank Beamer pretty much becomes one of your favorite people within about ten minutes of meeting him.
There wasn’t any real incentive for Coach Beamer to agree to appear in this episode of Watch Lake Oconee. In case you haven’t noticed, we don’t have Hollywood (or even Atlanta) level budgets so we can’t pay our guests. He has nothing to promote, so there wasn’t much in it for him. But in getting to know him, it’s clear that Coach Frank Beamer just wants to help and enjoys people.
So he met us at Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee for a round of golf a few weeks ago. Whereas many who retire from powerful positions find a depressing void in their lives, Coach Beamer was… yes, it’s coming… he was beaming. He told us that he’s thoroughly enjoying retirement, splitting time between his home in Blacksburg and his second home at Lake Oconee. His lake house is less than an hour drive from Athens, where his son Shane Beamer has recently become the University of Georgia’s new special teams coach.
Beamer Ball lives on!
We talked about his favorite courses on the lake, golf swings, special teams strategies in college football (which, by the way, is akin to talking about acting technique with Kevin Spacey or Meryl Streep.) We talked about the time a few decades ago when he and his buddy and fellow football coach Ralph Friedgen made an impulse buy on a lot on Great Waters because they had heard that Jack Nicklaus was going to purchase the adjacent lot (though he never did). And, just as any self-respecting group of golfers would do, we talked a little trash about the friendly competition. We even called the Dawgs. Yes. You read that correctly. Frank Beamer called the Dawgs. Watch the video - it was epic.
Let’s face it, many celebrities can be aloof, rude or intimidating but Coach Frank Beamer is the antithesis. He treats everyone with the same level of respect and dignity and it’s a huge part of what made him so successful. Virginia Tech was fortunate to have a leader like Coach Beamer.
At Lake Oconee, we’re fortunate to have a neighbor like ole Frank!