Frank Beamer already is a member of four halls of fame.
In April, that number will grow to five.
Beamer, who was a prolific passing quarterback at Hillsville High School long before he became one of college football’s most successful coaches at Virginia Tech, will be inducted in April into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame.
Beamer set a VHSL record with 43 career touchdown passes under head coach Tommy Thompson, leading Hillsville to an 8-2 record as a senior in 1964.
Beamer was an assistant coach at Radford High School under Norman Lineburg before eventually becoming the head coach at Murray State.
He was Virginia Tech’s head coach from 1986-2015, retiring as the winningest coach in school history with a 239-121-2 record, and leading Tech to a spot in the 1999 BCS championship game.
Beamer is a member of the Murray State, Virginia Tech, College Football and Virginia Sports halls of fame.
Joining Beamer in the 2020 class is one of his former players, Jeff King.
King graduated from Pulaski County High where he was named Timesland male athlete of the year as a senior in 2001.
King starred for the Cougars as a football tight end and a basketball center before playing both sports at Virginia Tech and playing for eight seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals.
The induction ceremony will take place April 26 in Charlottesville.
The other 2020 inductees are:
- Barney Cobb (John Marshall H.S., Richmond), a track star who became an All-American at LSU and a qualifier for the 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 meters.
- Wheeler Hughes (Dunbar H.S., Lynchburg), who led his team to a VIA state basketball title in 1966 before becoming a Big Eight Conference
- second-team guard at Kansas State.
- Leroy Keyes (G.W. Carver H.S., Newport News), who scored 44 career TDs in football and 2,016 points in basketball. Keys led Purdue to the 1966 Rose Bowl and was the third overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1969 NFL draft.
- Cora Evern Jackson-Robinson (Essex), who starred in basketball, softball and track before a basketball and track career at Delaware State, where she joined the university’s hall of fame in 2014.
- Tara Sheets (Gate City H.S.), who finished with a combined 139-1 career singles and doubles record and won three VHSL singles titles, four doubles crowns and four team championships before a career at East Tennessee State.
- Jasmine Thomas (Oakton H.S., Vienna), who scored 2,598 career points and was named the Gatorade player of the year in Virginia in 2007. She became a two-time All-American at Duke and is currently playing in the WNBA.
- Gregg Conner, who has a 504-22-1 record with two state championships as the baseball coach at Powhatan High.
- Darnell Dozier, who has coached Princess Anne High of Virginia Beach to 10 state titles in 15 state tournament appearances.
- Jim Larkin, who has a 350-113-3 record with four state runner-up finishes as the field hockey coach at Chancellor High in Spotsylvania County.
- Charlie Cloe, a football and basketball official for 45 years.
- Tom Dolan, a former coach at three high schools and a former athletic director at Jamestown who now serves as the VHSL’s associate director.
- Valerie Kibler, a journalism instructor at Marion and Harrisonburg high schools.
Poindexter, Deane Sr. entering VIAHA shrine
The sport of tennis has taken Carnis Poindexter to many places.
Now the Roanoke resident is heading into a hall of fame.
Poindexter and fellow Roanoke native and Lucy Addison High School graduate Harold Deane Sr. are among 12 individuals in the 2020 class of inductees into the Virginia Interscholastic Association’s Heritage Association hall of fame.
The VIAHA hall was established in 2016 to recognize and preserve the accomplishments of African-American athletes, coaches and others who participated in the VIA from 1954-70 and its predecessor, the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic League.
Poindexter won the ATA national intercollegiate singles title for Arkansas AM&N University (now Arkansas-Pine Bluff) in 1959 and later captured three Roanoke City-County men’s championships after the tournament was integrated.
However, Poindexter is being inducted as a coach.
He started the tennis program at Burley High in Charlottesville and later won a VIA state title as the head coach at Addison. He also coached at Jefferson and Patrick Henry, helping Randy Dickey and Bob McIntosh to a VHSL Group AAA doubles championship.
Roanoke recognized Poindexter in May 2018 by renaming the tennis courts at the River’s Edge Sports Complex in his honor.
Deane graduated from Addison 1956 and went on to star in basketball and track and field at Virginia State.
He coached at VSU from 1969-79 and again from 1987-94, winning a CIAA title in 1988 and earning conference coach of the year honors four times. He was elected to the CIAA Hall of Fame in 2014.
Deane is the father of former Virginia basketball star Harold Deane Jr.
Joining Poindexter and Deane as athletes or coaches in the 2020 class are:
- Arthur Ashe (Maggie Walker H.S., Richmond), who won the U.S. Open tennis championship in 1968, the Australian Open in 1970 and the Wimbledon title in 1975.
- Donald Culpepper and Wheeler Hughes (Dunbar H.S., Lynchburg), who led Dunbar to the 1966 VIA Division I basketball state title and a runner-up finish in the National Negro High School Tournament in Montgomery, Alabama. Culpepper played at Norfolk State, while Hughes was part of a Big Eight Conference championship team at Kansas State.
- Willie Lanier (Maggie Walker), who led his team to a VIA championship in 1962 before starring for the Super Bowl IV champion Kansas City Chiefs and earning a berth in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
- Robert W. “Whirlwind” Johnson, who founded the ATA Junior Tennis development program in Lynchburg, assisting young players such as Ashe and Althea Gibson.
Other 2020 inductees are:
Actor Afemo Omilami and musician Jonathan Williams (Peabody H.S., Petersburg), corporate executive Carolyn Rudd (G.W. Carver H.S., Chesterfield County), academic administrator Melvin Stith (Central H.S., Sussex); clergyman Jack White (Beverly Allen H.S., West Point).
The induction ceremony will take place June 26 in Charlottesville.