Paterno's retirement to leave Beamer at top

It's ironic that Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer won the inaugural Joseph V. Paterno Coach of the Year Award last season.

The award, as described in Virginia Tech's weekly game notes, "is designed to honor the spirit of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, whose long-time success on the field has been matched only by his impact away from it."

That impact took on an entirely different meaning this week, as Paterno announced his intent to retire after this season, following allegations of child sex abuse against his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. Paterno's pending retirement will leave Beamer as the country's winningest active coach. Paterno currently has 409 wins and Beamer has 248. Mack Brown at Texas is third with 225. Once Paterno retires, Beamer will become the sport's most tenured coach, as Paterno is the only other FBS coach in the country who has been at his current school longer.

"My thoughts, you know Joe, he's a great coach and a great person," Beamer said on Wednesday's ACC teleconference. "He's a very charming, very thoughtful guy, and he's run a great program for a lot of years. I think Joe just has a unique way about him. He's got a lot of football sense, but he's got a lot of common sense, too. He's run his program that way for a number of years."

Unlike Paterno, Beamer can continue to run his.