Jacksonville Sports Day

GATOR BOWL: Beamer, Shouvlin Tapped for Hall Induction

Gator Bowl Sports Chairman, David Boree, announced today members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2016. This year’s induction class includes former Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer and Tom Shouvlin, member of the Gator Bowl volunteer leadership team for more than 40 years.

“We are extremely proud to honor these two outstanding individuals whose contributions have had such a positive impact in the world of college athletics and our organization in particular,” said Chairman Boree. The TaxSlayer Bowl Coaches Luncheon and Hall of Fame Induction will be held on December 30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 12:00 noon. Coaches Luncheon and Hall of Fame tickets will go on-sale this Friday at taxslayerbowl.com.

COACH FRANK BEAMER

Coach Frank Beamer and his Virginia Tech Hokies made their first appearance in the Gator Bowl in 1994…a memorable game against Tennessee that was played at Florida Field in Gainesville. The venue was changed because the “old Gator Bowl” stadium was undergoing renovations as a result of Jacksonville being awarded an NFL team. Coach Beamer made four more Bowl trips to Jacksonville following that game, in 1998 against North Carolina; 2001 against Clemson; 2002 against Florida State and in 2006 against Louisville. “Coach Beamer has a great history with the Gator Bowl and it is such an honor to pay tribute to his exceptional performance as head Coach of Virginia Tech in five Gator Bowl appearances as well as for his outstanding coaching career and support of college football,” said Gator Bowl Sports President Rick Catlett.

Virginia Tech made the final game for head coach Frank Beamer a memorable one too, beating Tulsa 55-52 in a record-setting performance at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 26. Beamer retired at the end of the 2015 season after 29 seasons as the Hokies’ head coach. The win marked the 11th bowl win for Beamer, who won three of his final four bowl games. Beamer guided the Hokies to a 238-121-2 record and retired with an overall record of 280-144-4 over a 35-year coaching career.

Under Beamer, Tech football enjoyed unprecedented success with 23 consecutive bowl appearances – the longest current bowl streak as recognized by the NCAA – four ACC titles, five ACC Coastal Division crowns, three BIG EAST Conference titles, two “major” bowl victories, six BCS appearances and a trip to the national championship game in 1999.

Tech won the BIG EAST title in 1995 and 1999, and shared it in 1996. Beamer was voted BIG EAST Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches each of those seasons and was tabbed the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year in both 2004 and 2005.

In 1997, he was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, becoming the first active coach at the university to be honored in that fashion. Following the 1999 season, he earned eight national coach of the year honors.

He is married to the former Cheryl Oakley of Richmond, Virginia. They have two children, Shane, a former member of his dad’s football team at Virginia Tech and now the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at the University of Georgia; and daughter Casey, a 2003 graduate of Tech. He has four grandchildren, Sutton, Olivia and Hunter, children of Shane and his wife, Emily, while Casey, who married former Virginia Tech wrestler Canaan Prater in 2012, has a 1-year old son, Hudson.

TOM SHOUVLIN

Tom Shouvlin moved to Jacksonville in 1973 after graduating from Ohio University where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. The fraternity slogan “Not for College Days Alone” inspired Tom to become involved with the Gator Bowl Association and many other community organizations.

For more than 40 years, Tom was an integral part of the Gator Bowl team, serving on the Board of Directors for a majority of that time. Tom’s hard work and dedication proved paramount in each role that he undertook whether it was as Chairman of Hospitality, Transportation, Game Coordinator, Summer Fun Hospitality, Team Entertainment, Stadium Club Parking, Basketball Tournament Ticket Drive or Area Entertainment.

“Tom was one of the most dynamic and dedicated volunteers this organization has ever had. He served in many leadership roles over his 40 year involvement and his contributions will be forever etched in Gator Bowl history,” said Rick Catlett, President and CEO of Gator Bowl Sports.

Over the years Tom was also a proud member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 1998, Chairman of the Greater Arlington/Beaches Citizens’ Planning & Advisory Council, Chairman of Full Service Schools Leadership Council, United Way Cabinet and Committee member, Board of Directors for the YMCA Arlington and a founding board member of the Katie Caples Foundation.

Tom passed away on September 21, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Lynn; daughters, Megan, Meredith and Melissa; and four grandchildren. Tom will be remembered for his bigger-than-life personality and keen sense of humor. He never met a stranger and filled his days with family and friends whom he loved like family. Though he fought many health battles over the years, Tom always maintained his positive outlook and commitment to the community that he loved.

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