I have a confession to make: I love sports memoirs. There’s just something about reading stories from behind the curtain, the anecdotes from the locker room or the fun things that happen when a team is traveling. They humanize coaches, players, front office personnel and officials. In fact, I must have two full bookshelves of sports memoirs at my parents’ house.
I also love the ACC, so imagine my glee upon learning that Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and writer Jeff Snook have penned a book with the ever-so-perfect title, Let Me Be Frank: My Life At Virginia Tech. Naturally, Bob Knight even wrote the foreword.
“Coach Knight visited here to do a TV basketball game,” Beamer said in an interview with SI.com on Tuesday, “and I came in off the practice field. I think we were practicing for a bowl game. We visited for some time. I’ve always been a great admirer of him. I thought he was a real teacher and disciplinarian. He got great effort out of his players. I always thought he was the best. It was quite an honor when he agreed to write the foreword for the book.”
This isn’t Beamer’s first book; he wrote Turn Up The Wick with Chris Colston after the 1999 season, and he later contributed to Mark Schlabach’s What It Means To Be A Hokie. But this new book brings fans up to speed on recent Virginia Tech history, touching on the Hokies’ move to the ACC, the dismissal of Marcus Vick, the school’s tragedy on April 16, 2007 and the Orange Bowl season the following year.
“I think there’s some insight into how we do things,” Beamer said, “and maybe people can gain something from that. It’s a little bit of an entertaining book and a little bit of how we have been successful here at Virginia Tech.”
The book is set to publish on Sept. 1, a day after Tech plays Alabama in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff. So plans for a book tour or release party aren’t exactly a priority for Beamer.
“Right now my mind is pretty well tied up with Alabama,” Beamer said. “They’re good enough to tie up your mind.”
The title alone, which Beamer said was the result of two days of sitting and talking with Snook, got us thinking: Which other coach-turned-author books can we expect on shelves and in Kindles in the near future? To get the ball rolling, we came up with a few ideas.
Les Is More -- By Les Miles, Foreword by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Don’t Just Stand There; Leach! -- By Mike Leach, Foreword by Eli Cash
Process Is My Recess -- By Nick Saban, Foreword by Nick Saban
My Time On The Force -- By Mike London, Foreword by Idris Elba
Mack The Knife (Like The Song Do You Get It) -- By Mack Brown, Foreword by Gene Chizik
Don’t Call Me Jim -- By Jimbo Fisher, Foreword by A Bowden To Be Named Later
Life’s A Boat, Row It -- By P.J. Fleck, Foreword by Victor Wooten
“Whoa!” -- By Joey Jones, Foreword by Melissa Joan Hart
Ruffin And The Temptations -- By Ruffin McNeil, Foreword by Captain Granville of the Mimi
Hello -- By Bob Stoops, Foreword by Lionel Richie
“No Dad, What About You?” -- By Lane Kiffin, Foreword by John Bender
Where Everybody Knows Your Name -- By Norm Chow, Foreword by Woody Harrelson
My Name Is Ron -- By Ron Turner, Foreword by Ron EnglishThis Is A Book