Every offseason, the college football coaching carousel gets more and more crowded. Fans want to see winners, and often coaches only get three or four years to build a program.
But the carousel hasn't made a stop in Blacksburg, Virginia, for nearly 30 seasons. That's where Virginia Tech has found success by hanging onto one coach since 1987, the longest current tenure in FBS.
Beamer became the Hokies' coach four years before even the oldest players on his current roster were born. He was 10 years into his current job by the time some of the players he's recruiting today were born. When he took over the eventual seven-time conference-champion Hokies, they were independents. He won national coach of the year awards 12 years into his tenure, then another one 11 years later. His 224-109-2 VT record is among the best at one school in college football history.
During his time, 20 power-conference schools have had at least six different coaches. Seven have had at least 10. Two have had eight. The 10 with the most have some familiar names:
Stanford: Jack Elway (1984-88), Dennis Green (89-91), Bill Walsh (92-94), Tyrone Willingham (95-01), Buddy Teevens (02-04), Walt Harris (05-06), Jim Harbaugh (07-10), David Shaw (11-present)
Vanderbilt: Watson Brown (1986-90), Gerry DiNardo (91-94), Ron Dowhower (95-96), Woody Widenhofer (97-01), Bobby Johnson (02-09), Robbie Caldwell (10), James Franklin (11-13), Derek Mason (14-present)
Arkansas: Ken Hatfield (1987-89), Jack Crowe (90-92), Danny Ford (93-97), Houston Nutt (98-06), Bobby Petrino (08-11), John L. Smith (12), Bret Bielema (13-present)
Boston College: Jack Bicknell (1982-90), Tom Coughlin (91-93), Dan Henning (94-96), Tom O'Brien (97-06), Jeff Jagodzinski (07-08), Frank Spaziani (09-12), Steve Addazio (13-present)
Kentucky: Jerry Claiborne (1982-89), Bill Curry (90-96), Hal Mumme (97-00), Guy Morriss (01-02), Rich Brooks (03-09), Joker Phillips (10-12), Mark Stoops (13-present)
Louisville: Howard Schnellenberger (1985-94), Ron Cooper (95-97), John Smith (98-02), Bobby Petrino (03-06), Steve Kragthorpe (07-09), Charlie Strong (10-13), Bobby Petrino (14-present)
Ole Miss: Billy Brewer (1983-93), Joe Lee Dunn (94), Tommy Tuberville (95-98), David Cutcliffe (99-04), Ed Orgeron (05-07), Houston Nutt (08-11), Hugh Freeze (12-present)
North Carolina: Dick Crum (1978-87), Mack Brown (88-97), Carl Torbush (98-00), John Bunting (01-06), Butch Davis (07-10), Everett Withers (11), Larry Fedora (12-present)
Pittsburgh: Mike Gottried (1986-89), Paul Hackett (90-92), Johnny Majors (93-96), Walt Harris (97-04), Dave Wannstedt (05-10), Todd Graham (11), Paul Chryst (12-present)
Washington: Don James (1975-92), Jim Lambright (93-98), Rick Neuheisel (99-02), Keith Gilbertson (03-04), Tyrone Willingham (05-08), Steve Sarkisian (09-13), Chris Petersen (14-present)
Even though eight (or even six) coaching changes seems like a lot, those schools are much closer to the norm than Virginia Tech is. Only Iowa and Florida State have had just two coaches since 1987, and only Kansas State, Penn State, and Virginia have had just three.
And while Alabama, USC, and Louisville have proven that you can win while cycling through coaches, Virginia Tech has found that its way works just fine too.