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Frank Beamer addresses cancer battle: ‘I’m a lucky guy’

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Even though the life of a college football coach is filled with 80-hour work weeks, former Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer said now at age 71 he remains as busy as ever.

Even though he stepped away as head coach two years ago, Beamer's name is still synonymous with Virginia Tech football. The most accomplished football coach in Virginia history is keeping himself just as busy in retirement as he did when he was winning all those games in Blacksburg.

Beamer will be inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 and is a member of the College Football Playoff Committee. The  committee that sets the field for the national college football championship.

During a recent interview with CBS 6 Sports Director Lane Casadonte, Coach Beamer shed some light on health issues he went through towards the end of his coaching career.

"How serious were the health issues that you went through towards the end of your career? How much of a concern was it for you and Cheryl?" Casadonte asked.

"Well, it was a concern. I think any time you're talking about cancer in any way, it's something you've gotta fight and control and we did. Had some wonderful doctors and it's under control. Feeling good and active. I'm a lucky guy."

During his time leading Virginia Tech football, from 1987 - 2015,the Hokies won 238 games and played for the National Title during the 1999-2000 season.

Over the course of the interview, Coach Beamer provided an inside look at life in retirement and his role on the College Football Playoff committee:

CASADONTE: "How are you feeling?"

BEAMER: "I feel good. I've been busy but i like busy. been doing a lot of traveling the last half of the season I spend every Monday and Tuesday in Dallas with the playoff committee. Been getting down to Shane's games at Georgia as much as I can and getting to Tech's games. We enjoy that."

CASADONTE: "How serious were the health issues that you went through towards the end of your career? How much of a concern was it for you and Cheryl?"

BEAMER: "Well, it was a concern. I think any time you're talking about cancer in any way, it's something you've gotta fight and control and we did. Had some wonderful doctors and it's under control. Feeling good and active. I'm a lucky guy."

CASADONTE "I know there's a lot that you can't talk about with your work with the playoff committee but what did you learn about the game that maybe you didn't know before joining this committee and what has opened your eyes about that process since you've been a member of it?"

BEAMER: "I know there's a lot of details that go into selecting the final four teams and the teams that will play in the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl and so forth. We have access to them. We sit around a room, there's 13 of us plus some other people that are there, we have these computers we look at. You can find out just about anything you want to know about or compare with another team, or two other teams or three other teams. It's all available to you. from every aspect, you should be able to make a good decision as to who is a better team."

CASADONTE: "Will you be more nervous watching [his son] Shane coach in a national semifinal than you were when you were a head coach going through it playing in the national championship?"

BEAMER: "I think so. I always told my wife, she'd get nervous watching the game and I said it's a lot easier on me down on the field because I'm involved, I'm doing things, I'm thinking. but when you get back up in the stands like I will be for that game just watching, I'm sure it's going to be a nerve-wracking experience."

CASADONTE: "What do you miss about coaching? I'm quite sure there's a lot about the schedule that you don't miss but what do you miss about it?"

BEAMER: "I think you always miss the players. The Sam Rogers, the Macho Harris's, you kinda go on and on with the kids we had here from Richmond. You miss players and you miss your time with your coaches. I look at it more as how fortunate I was to spend 29 years at a place I loved. It's just not done much in my business. I think more in terms of how lucky I've been more so than what am I not doing now."

CASADONTE: "You're not a numbers guy, but did 30 years or 300 wins ever creep into the back of your head. Is there any regret that you weren't able to get to those numbers? A lot of your fans had those numbers in mind but did they ever enter your mind at all?"

BEAMER: "Not really. I always thought more in terms of what kind of program are we running? are we doing the right thing for the kids? are we doing what's best in their interest? Are we doing things that will keep this program successful, other good players and kids coming to it? More than OK we've won so many games, come and help us win more games. I think you're remembered more by how you coached than by how many games you won."