Virginia Tech players have worn many different helmets in Frank Beamer era
Hokie uniforms have changed over the years, and that includes the helmets. That's just part of Coach Beamer's legacy.
The Hokies wore 42 different helmets during the Frank Beamer era in Blacksburg from 1987 to 2015.
"My favorite is the one where the VT was like that but it was maroon, but I always liked the white helmet and then I think the one other than that is this one right here, it's so unique, but they're all kind of special," Beamer said.
And now you can own a piece of that history with a commemorative print that includes each and every one of those helmets. City of Salem employee and Virginia Tech graduate Clark Ruhland designed the print.
"I grew up with my family going to football games. It was a weekly thing in the fall to go to all the games and once I first got to college, I wanted to cover the football team when I was the writer for the Collegiate Times and it really got me to research a little more about the history of Virginia Tech football. It's something that I really like from a uniform aspect. The uniforms changed so much under Frank Beamer. And the helmets are an intricate part of that," Ruhland said.
Ruhland has done lots of work for the Virginia Tech athletic department, including designing stadium cups. He's spent hours rendering each helmet on his computer.
"Some of them are fan favorites and some of them are not quite as big. For instance, the Hokie Bird helmet that was worn against Boston College and Virginia in 2012, people kind of frowned upon that one, but then you've got the black one that was worn against Boise State. That was a very popular helmet. People still talk about that uniform even though they lost the game. My favorite is the one that was worn against Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl that had the Fighting Gobbler on the side and had the stripes down the center. It had a matte finish which is the only matte finished maroon helmet that they wore under Coach Beamer. That was a very popular design," Ruhland said.
Only 500 of the prints have been produced and the proceeds will benefit Herma's Readers, Coach Beamer's charity in memory of his late mother, that encourages students to read. Coach Beamer has signed each one and the personalized matted and framed product is available online at Herma's Readers website at a cost of $350.
"They mean different things to different people for different games. I hope that fans will think they're special and take part in it," Beamer said.