Jeff Gravley

Coaching 10 years at 1 ACC school, quite rare in football

Posted July 29, 2014

The coaches took center stage Monday on the second day of the ACC Kickoff at the Grandover in Greensboro, July 21, 2014.

Frank Beamer just completed his 27th year as head coach at Virginia Tech. That's four more years than the rest of the Coastal coaches combined have at their respective schools. The coaches in the Atlantic Division have worked in their current ACC job for a total of 13 years.

Beamer also has the distinction of being the only current football coach who has worked for a decade or more in the ACC.

Who among the 14 head coaches is most likely to hit the 10-year mark? The closest to that number are Duke's David Cutcliffe, Clemson's Dabo Swinney and Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson with six years each. Of those three I would put the strongest odds on Cutcliffe followed by Swinney and then Johnson. 

There are several reasons coaches don't reach 10 years of service. The most obvious is a lack of success. The money that college coaches earn today has shortened the leash of patience among athletic administrators and fans. Have a few bad years, winds of change begin to blow and the earth starts to move. 

Another factor is coaches leave for other jobs, especially if a top-tiered job opens. Most recently, Charlie Strong made a leap from Louisville to Texas. Doug Marrone departed Syracuse for the Buffalo Bills. How many times did we hear Al Golden's name mentioned as a possible replacement at Penn State? Let Will Muschamp get fired at Florida and there will be an ACC coach or two who taps their agent on the shoulder to get their name in the hat.

With the recent success of the ACC in football the hope is good coaches stay put, finding the grass as green and the money as comparable in this league as they would elsewhere.

Here's a breakdown of each ACC school and the football coaches who have lasted 10 years or more. Wake Forest, Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Virginia and Virginia Tech are the only ACC schools who have or had coaches reach 10-years of service in the 21st century.

Duke:  Wallace Wade (16), Bill Murray (15)

North Carolina: Carl Snavely (10), Bill Dooley (11), Dick Crum (10), Mack Brown (10)

NC State: Earl Edwards (17)

Wake Forest: DC Walker (14), Jim Grobe (12)

Boston College: Joe Yukica (10), Jack Bicknell (10), Tom O'Brien (10)

Clemson: Frank Howard (30), Danny Ford (11), Tommy Bowden (10)

Florida State: Bill Peterson (11), Bobby Bowden (34)

Georgia Tech: John McKee (20), John Heisman (16), William Alexander (25), Bobby Dodd (22)

Louisville: Frank Camp (23), Howard Schnellenberger (10)

Miami: Andy Gustafson (16)

Pittsburgh: Jock Sutherland (15), John Michelosen (11)

Syracuse: Ben Schwartzwalder (25), Dick MacPherson (10), Paul Pasqualoni (14)

Virginia: George Welsh (19)

Virginia Tech: Frank Moseley (10), Jerry Claiborne (10), Frank Beamer (27)



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  • Ted DeBord Jul 30, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    VT's demise?! Not hardly. Two relative down years is not cause for alarm for a program that is still solid. VT has lost some top recruits recently but their overall recruiting is still solid.

  • Jackson Smith Jul 30, 2014
    user avatar

    Beamer told UNC he was taking the job and then backed out. Not a cool thing to do. Glad he stayed at VT. I think his best days are in the past.

  • Doc Holliday Jul 30, 2014

    Beamer has had a great career. He's easily one of the most respected coaches in the country. However, we live in a "what have you done for me lately" society and when the wins aren't coming, the fans/alums start complaining. He's one of those coaches who should be able to retire when he gets ready. Question is, will the VT family allow that to happen?

    Remember Bowden? 304 wins & 2 NTs @ FSU. He was 80 years old but fans are fickle.

  • Toddler10-21 Jul 29, 2014

    Tidewater area is full of great football players.

  • vt94hokies Jul 29, 2014

    He's done the job up there, overall. His last 5 seasons has caused some huge boosters, and fans to become greatly concerned. The recruitment has slipped big time. We used to have a strong offense. VT was one of the worst in the entire Division I last season. Recruitment. Losing these 4 and 5 star guys to other schools has been VT's demise. The State of Virginia has great athletes.

  • coachkayhasmrsa Jul 29, 2014


  • jmcdow2792 Jul 29, 2014

    Not many ACC coaches have gone on to bigger and better things. I can only think of Mack Brown and Lou Holtz.

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