( Via @WVUfootball) – Former West Virginia University football coach and Hall of Famer Don Nehlen and former Virginia Tech football coach and almost assuredly soon to be Hall of Famer Frank Beamer, will serve as honorary captains when West Virginia and Virginia Tech renew their rivalry for the Black Diamond Trophy at FedExField on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m., televised on ABC.
Beamer and Nehlen are anticipated to participate in the pregame coin toss, with the winning school’s honorary captain being involved in the presentation of The Black Diamond Trophy immediately following the game.
These coaches, fierce rivals and great friends, were two of the most respected head coaches, not only in the old Big East Conference but on the national level, as each built their programs and took them to the pinnacle of success. Each produced success on and off the field and mentored many student-athletes who were all-conference, All-American, academic award winners and NFL stalwarts.
“I have all the respect in the world for Frank Beamer,” Nehlen said. “Not only is he is class man and a great friend, he did an unbelievable job at Virginia Tech and took that program to its greatest period of success. When the Mountaineers and Hokies got together to play, it didn’t matter whether either team was 10-0 or 0-10, it defined what a great rivalry was.
“Both teams played hard, physical and never quit the entire game,” Nehlen added. “After I retired, Frank was still coaching, and I always followed the Hokies because of him. I am excited to not only see Frank on Sept. 3 but to see the rivalry renewed and to see both teams play another great game. I am honored to be an honorary captain with Frank and represent West Virginia University.”
Nehlen, the winningest football coach in WVU history, served as Mountaineer coach from 1980-2000, posting a 149-93-4 record in Morgantown and a career record of 202-138-8. He was the 17th coach in NCAA I-A history to reach 200 wins, and his 1988 and
1993 squads finished the regular season with undefeated records.