TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Two of the winningest coaches in NCAA football history will be on hand when Florida State and Virginia Tech open the 2018 season against one another Labor Day night.
College Football Hall of Fame coaches Bobby Bowden and Frank Beamer will serve as honorary captains for the September 3 game between the Seminoles and Hokies, both schools announced Thursday
Bowden and Beamer have a long history on the gridiron. The two men have faced off for a National Championship, an ACC Title and six other times throughout their illustrious careers. They are the architects of two of the most impressive bowl streaks in NCAA history and both men still rank at or near the top of almost every ACC coaching category. Bowden and Beamer rank first and third, respectively, in wins and bowl appearances.
“I am honored that Coach Bowden accepted our offer to be the honorary captain for our first game at Florida State," said FSU Head Coach Willie Taggart. "Growing up, I admired Coach Bowden for his success on the field as well as his passion for changing the lives of young men, and I could not think of a greater vote of confidence than having him on the field for our first game. This is also a great opportunity for our fans to show their appreciation to Coach Bowden and adds to what will surely be a fantastic atmosphere on Labor Day night.”
His legacy at Florida State includes two national championships (1993 & 1999), 12 ACC Championships, 31 bowl appearances, 33 consecutive winning seasons, two Heisman Trophy winners, 34 first round NFL Draft Picks, 107 NFL draftees from 1992-2009 and 118 ACC wins.
Bowden spent 34 years at the helm of the Seminole program which he resurrected, beginning in 1976. By far the winningest coach in school history, Bowden accumulated more wins than the previous seven head coaches combined. He finished his career as major college football’s second-winningest coach of all time. Under his direction, Florida State was one of the most dominant in bowl games, posting a 21-9-1 record with NCAA records for consecutive bowl wins (10) and consecutive bowl appearances without a loss (14).
He is the only coach in the history of college football to lead teams to 10 or more wins over 14 consecutive seasons, each season finishing among the Associated Press Top Five in the national rankings. In 2006, Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Beamer was the winningest active coach in FBS history at the time of his retirement following the 2015 season, tallying an impressive career record of 238-121-2 at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech football enjoyed unprecedented success, with 23 consecutive bowl appearances, a mark that the Hokies have extended to 25 under head coach Justin Fuente in 2017. Beamer was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2018.
In 2017, Beamer was appointed to the College Football Playoff selection committee and also received the Neyland Trophy for his contributions to the game. He was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was voted the Coach of the Decade in the BIG EAST Conference in 2000. In April of 2004, Beamer was presented with a Humanitarian Award by the National Conference for Community and Justice for his contributions to fostering justice, equity and community in the Roanoke Valley.
Beamer guided his alma mater to four Atlantic Coast Conference championships, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, three BIG EAST Conference titles, six BCS appearances, two "major" bowl victories and a trip to the 1999 national championship game. Including his tenure at Murray State (1981-86), he finished his illustrious career with 280 victories.
A three-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year (1995, 1996, 1999), Beamer was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005. He was the consensus National Coach of the Year in 1999.
A limited number of tickets for the season-opener are still available at numerous price levels. Fans can purchase tickets at Seminoles.com or by calling the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (850) 644-1830.