PINEHURST, N.C. -- Frank Beamer doesn't look good, doesn't sound good and certainly isn't enjoying the unanimous support he used to in Blacksburg, Va. But, hey, outside of that, everything is great.
The 68-year-old, long-time coach of Virginia Tech is coming off a difficult few years. Off the field, he underwent throat surgery last December for undisclosed reasons and didn't appear to be back at full strength yet Tuesday when he met with the media at ACC media days.
It's also possible he's worn out by the problems on the field. The Hokies are only 22-17 overall in the last three seasons. They're coming off their first losing conference record (3-5) since Big East days (3-4 in 2002) and have lost more ACC games in the last three seasons (12-12) than in the previous eight (53-11). It's easy to wonder at this point if Beamer might get the Bobby Bowden treatment and get pushed out the door at this late stage of his career.
Asked Tuesday if he's driven to prove he can return Virginia Tech to contender's status, Beamer said, "Absolutely. That’s what we need. That’s what fans need. That’s what students need. That’s what the people donating money need."
Has he been hearing from that last group more of late? Beamer didn't give a direct answer to that question.
"I don’t listen or read very much during the season," he said. "But I think everybody understands where you are and what you need to do. Everybody understands your support people need to be happy."
For what it's worth, Virginia Tech is picked to finish second to Georgia Tech in the ACC's Coastal Division in a preseason media poll. In a vote for conference champion, the Virginia Tech ranked fourth with seven total votes, behind Clemson (84), Florida State (41) and Georgia Tech (20).
For more on Florida State, coach Jimbo Fisher and their image problems, click here.
For more in Georgia Tech, Paul Johnson and the potential mistake of raised expectations, click here.