Riley Adds Shane Beamer to Coaching Staff

Mike Houck
By Mike Houck
Assistant A.D. / Strategic Communications

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley announced Tuesday the hiring of assistant coach Shane Beamer, who served as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Georgia the last two seasons. Beamer will be OU's assistant head coach for offense and will coach the team's tight ends and H-backs. Riley said Beamer will also work with assistant coach Jay Boulware in overseeing the Sooners' special teams.

The hiring, made possible by a recent NCAA measure that allows programs to add a 10th on-field assistant coach, is pending approval by the OU Board of Regents.

Beamer, who served as associate head coach and running backs coach at Virginia Tech for five years (2011-15) before joining Georgia's staff, was also an assistant coach at South Carolina (2007-10) and Mississippi State (2004-06).

"I'm really, really excited to add Shane to our staff," said Riley. "He's a great coach with proven success who brings a wealth of experience from his time at Georgia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Mississippi State. He's a tremendous person and recruiter, and will do nothing but add to the great staff that we already have. We're very excited to welcome Shane and his family to Norman."

"He's a great coach with proven success who brings a wealth of experience from his time at Georgia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Mississippi State."
— Lincoln Riley

Beamer, who played at Virginia Tech in the late 1990s under his father, Frank, indicated he can't wait to get started at OU.

"My family and I couldn't be more excited about joining the Oklahoma family," commented Beamer. "I have a lot of respect for Lincoln Riley as a coach and as a person. We're excited about joining up with him going forward.

"I had a great job at the University of Georgia and they've been great to me. At the end of the day, the opportunity to work with Coach Riley and the rest of the staff at Oklahoma was one that I didn't feel like my family and I could pass up. Lincoln's reputation as an offensive mind and as a head coach is second to none. It's exciting for me to be learn from him and his system."

Georgia posted a 21-7 combined record the last two seasons, including a 13-2 mark in 2017 when the Bulldogs won the SEC Championship Game, beat OU 54-48 in overtime in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl, and lost 26-23 to Alabama in overtime in the CFP National Championship Game.

"I had a lot of respect for the Oklahoma program going into our game at the Rose Bowl, but had even more respect after playing the game," added Beamer. "I'm just excited to join up and be a part of it."

In his first season at Georgia, two of his players earned SEC All-Freshman honors: tight end Isaac Nauta and kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. In 2017, the Bulldogs ranked eighth nationally in net punting average (41.7 yards, after ranking 112th in 2016 at 34.9 yards) and 20th nationally in kickoff return average (23.5 yards). Georgia also improved 76 spots from 2016 in kickoff return defense, allowing 19.5 yards per return to rank 40th. Additionally, Georgia blocked four kicks on the year. Its three blocked field goals ranked as third most in school history. Blankenship made 21 of his 24 field goal attempts (87.5 percent) and led the SEC in PAT percentage, while punter Cameron Nizalek's 42.0-yard net average was the second-best mark in school history. Also, returner Mecole Hardman led the SEC in punt return average (11.8 yards) and ranked second in kickoff return average (25.3 yards).

In his first year as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, Beamer provided mentorship to David Wilson, who broke the school's single-season rushing record and was named an AP All-American and the ACC's Player of the Year, and went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the New York Giants. In 2013, his group of running backs didn't fumble the ball in 350 combined attempts, marking the first time in his father's tenure for the feat. His 2014 group suffered through several injuries that hampered production, but tailback J.C. Coleman stepped up late in the season and earned Military Bowl MVP honors, a game in which Shane Beamer served as the acting head coach while his father watched from the press box following throat surgery.

At South Carolina, Beamer coordinated the special teams and coached outside linebackers. In his final two years in Columbia, he also served as recruiting coordinator. He was nominated for the 2009 Frank Broyles Award, which goes to the assistant coach of the year.

In 2009, Beamer's special teams units recorded five blocked kicks, tying for the SEC lead and tying for the eighth-highest total in the nation. Beamer helped coach a defensive unit that ranked third in the SEC and 15th in the country in total defense, and second in the league and eighth in the country in passing defense.

Beamer joined the South Carolina staff in 2007, coaching the outside linebackers and serving as the co-coordinator of special teams in his first season in Columbia. He worked with the cornerbacks in his second campaign. That 2008 unit was one of the most productive on the field as they were part of a defensive squad that finished the regular season ranked second in the nation in pass defense and 13th in total defense.

Beamer's first class as South Carolina's recruiting coordinator (2009) was ranked as the nation's 12th-best class by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, and the 2010 and 2011 recruiting classes were again ranked in the top 25.

Beamer was hired by Mississippi State in January 2004 to coach the Bulldog cornerbacks. In his first two seasons at MSU he guided three defensive backs to SEC All-Freshman Team accolades. He made the move to running backs coach in the spring of 2006 and coached running back Anthony Dixon to SEC All-Freshman honors. He also served as the program's recruiting coordinator.

Prior to Mississippi State, Beamer spent three seasons (2001-03) as a graduate assistant at Tennessee, helping with the cornerbacks, coaching the placekickers, punters and long snappers, and assisting in all special teams areas. He also oversaw game opponent scouting and earned a master's degree in sport management in December 2003.

Before joining the staff at Tennessee, Beamer worked one season (2000) as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech, helping with the Yellow Jacket quarterbacks and wide receivers.

Beamer earned his bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech in 1999 and was the Hokies' starting long snapper for three seasons. He also contributed as a wide receiver. He played on four bowl teams and three Big East Conference championship squads.

He concluded his college playing career by helping the 1999 Hokies to a No. 2 final regular-season ranking and a berth in the national championship game against Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.

Born in Charleston, S.C., Beamer is married to the former Emily Gladney, a Starkville, Miss., native. The couple has two daughters, Sutton and Olivia, and a son, Hunter.

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