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Frank Beamer to retire after 29 monumental years at Virginia Tech

The Hokies' head coach is officially retiring.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer will retire after the season, he announced Sunday.

Beamer is in his 29th season as the coach at Virginia Tech, the longest tenure of any FBS level head coach. Beamer has racked up a 235-120-2 record as head coach of the Hokies, with seven conference championships -- four in the ACC, three in the Big East -- and six ACC division titles in 10 seasons. In 22 bowl games, his Hokies are 10-12.

"I was going to wait until the end of the season to make this announcement, but I've always believed in being open and honest with my players and coaches," Beamer said in a statement. "I know Hokie Nation will continue to give our players and our coaches their full support in these last three games, and hopefully through a bowl game. I will be forever grateful to everyone who made these past three decades the best years of my life. It's an emotional day for me and my family. I am so honored and humbled to have served as your head coach."

Beamer's 1999 team, led by quarterback Michael Vick, lost to Florida State for the national championship at the Sugar Bowl, and Virginia Tech finished in the AP Top 10 six times during Beamer's tenure. A run of eight consecutive 10-win seasons ended in 2012, though, as Virginia Tech needed a win in the Russell Athletic Bowl to keep a streak of 20 straight winning seasons alive.

Beamer won every major national Coach of the Year award in 1999. He is also a three-time Big East Coach of the Year and two-time ACC Coach of the Year.

When Beamer arrived at Virginia Tech before the 1987 season, the Hokies program hadn't amounted to much. Out of 18 seasons in which the Hokies have been ranked in the final AP Poll, Beamer has been in charge for 16.

"Coach will always remain one of the most beloved figures in college football history," said Hokies athletic director Whit Babcock. "He's a future Hall-of-Famer, an educator and a role model. His contributions to Virginia Tech and the game of football - both on and off of the field - are unquestionable and beyond measure."

Prior to taking the job at Blacksburg, Beamer spent six seasons as head coach at Murray State and nine years as an assistant between Murray State, The Citadel and Maryland. He is a 1969 graduate of Virginia Tech, where he also played cornerback for the Hokies.

This season, the Hokies are 4-5 and languishing near the bottom of the ACC Coastal Division. Some Virginia Tech fans had called for Beamer's departure already, looking for lessons in the retirement of South Carolina's Steve Spurrier earlier in the fall.

As this story develops, you can follow along with our national coach tracker.