Shane Beamer was one of head football coach Kirby Smart’s first hires in January 2016. This Saturday night, when South Carolina marches into Athens, Beamer will be wearing a Gamecock logo on his chest instead of the Georgia “G.”
Beamer became the Gamecocks’ head coach quickly after the conclusion of South Carolina’s disappointing 2020 season. Despite it being his first tenure as a head coach, Beamer has made a name for himself across many programs in college football, thanks in part to his time under Smart.
“I like to think that [Georgia] is a demanding place that we work at,” Smart said at SEC Media Days in June. “And [Beamer] did a tremendous job meeting those demands.”
Smart is not the only high profile college coach to leave an impact on Beamer. The Gamecocks coach is the son of college football legend and former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. He was able to play under his dad from 1995-1999 and later coached under him.
After college, Beamer’s career in coaching began at Georgia Tech, where he was a graduate assistant. The coach then jumped around the SEC between Tennessee, Mississippi State and South Carolina before taking a spot under his dad at Virginia Tech in 2011.
After Virginia Tech, Beamer came to Georgia as a tight end coach and special teams coordinator just a month after Smart joined the Bulldogs. He spent two years under Smart and even found his way into a role as one of the Bulldogs’ head recruiters. That was when Smart truly saw the potential Beamer had.
“I don’t know if we’ve got anybody left that he was involved in recruiting, that’s because your team turns over so fast,” Smart said. “When he was here, he was a good recruiter and he worked hard at it.”
Smart and Beamer’s relationship transcends the football field. The two have known each other for a long time, and grew as graduate assistants together.
“We both have been around Lake Oconee in the summers and always spent time together. His family is friends of our family,” Smart said. “I’m happy and excited for him to get the opportunity he’s got at South Carolina.”
After his time in Athens ended, Beamer took a position on Lincoln Riley’s staff at Oklahoma in 2018.
The role was his final stop before becoming a head coach at South Carolina. Smart saw the job at Oklahoma as the perfect stepping stone to get Beamer to where he is now.
“He’s always had leadership qualities that would make him a good head coach,” Smart said. “I think he took the job at Oklahoma so he would have an opportunity like this, and that’s what he has done.”