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The Daily Tar Heel

VT Coach Decides to Stay Put

Jim Weaver made the prediction last Tuesday.

"I full well expect - when the dust settles - that Frank Beamer will still be at Virginia Tech," Weaver, Virginia Tech's athletic director, told The Daily Tar Heel.

The dust finally settled Monday.

After three days filled with meetings with administrators in Blacksburg, Va., and Chapel Hill and talk of seven-figure salaries, Beamer made Weaver's wish come true.

Beamer announced at a press conference Monday afternoon that he would remain the head football coach at Virginia Tech. Beamer's salary, which was about $750,000 a year, will increase to $1.025 million.

The decision came a day after Beamer and his wife, Cheryl, met with North Carolina Director of Athletics Dick Baddour in Chapel Hill.

"When you get away a little bit, you realize how special a place like this is," Beamer said at the press conference. "The grass always looks greener somewhere else, but you actually sit back and look and see how green the grass is here."

The announcement marks the second time in about five months that a coach has held a press conference to say he wasn't coming to Chapel Hill. Roy Williams announced in July that he would not become the Tar Heels' head basketball coach. Baddour had a press conference of his own later that night, but this time he simply released a statement.

"We are disappointed that Frank Beamer withdrew from consideration for our coaching position," Baddour said in the statement. "He was one of several outstanding candidates we have been considering, and we will continue to vigorously pursue those other candidates. I am confident that we will secure an outstanding coach."

Those candidates must not be some of the coaches who are being mentioned as possible replacements for Carl Torbush.

Southern Mississippi Director of Athletics Richard Giannini and Western Michigan Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard said Monday they haven't been contacted about their respective coaches by anyone from UNC.

Giannini said last week it would take a special situation for Coach Jeff Bower to leave. He also said Bower has a self-imposed policy that restricts him from talking to other schools until Southern Mississippi's season has ended. The Golden Eagles play in the Mobile Alabama Bowl on Dec. 20.

Beauregard said Rutgers, Missouri and Oklahoma State already have asked for permission to talk to Coach Gary Darnell. She said other schools could call and get immediate permission to talk to Darnell, whose contract runs through 2002 and includes a buyout.

Western Michigan plays Marshall in the MAC Championship game

Dec. 2. Darnell served as the linebackers coach at UNC from 1976-77.

"We definitely know we have an outstanding coach here at Western Michigan," Beauregard said. "Right now we're concentrating on our championship game. That's really all I'd like to say about it."

UNC's players, who learned in a meeting last Monday that Torbush had been fired, were told in a previously scheduled meeting Monday that Beamer had decided to stay at Virginia Tech.

Junior cornerback Errol Hood, who was not at Monday's meeting, learned about Beamer's decision shortly after the start of his press conference.

"Well, I guess it's back to the drawing board," Hood said. "I'm sure they'll find somebody great for this university."

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