The Day The Voice of UVA's Football Promos Met Frank Beamer

By Bill Black (Jim Quinn) | July 31st, 2014

Bill Black (Jim Quinn) tells about a chance encounter with the VT coach.

Editor’s note: Many WRVA-AM listeners will remember radio host Jim Quinn, though he departed from the local airwaves 15 years ago and now lives under his real name in Georgia. For BOOMER’s football package, he shares this story.

After years of creating occasionally award-winning promos for University of Virginia football, the Witness Protection Service has given me a new identity and placed me in the sleepy town of LaGrange, Ga. But a careless Facebook photo posting of myself recently watching Virginia trounce Maryland in baseball was my undoing:

There on my wall was an autographed photo of Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer.

My friend Jay Hart with Clear Channel Sports noticed it in the photo and like any good reporter wanted to know … “Huh?”

Here’s the story.

One afternoon in 1997, Coach Beamer came by WRVA to cut a commercial for a restaurant in the Slip that he’d bought part of. I was to produce it. But the genius copywriter hadn’t written the spot in coach-speak. Stilted phrases like “culinary experience” and “comfortably elegant decor” don’t roll trippingly off the tongue. I offered a replacement:

“Heck! I didn’t know I had this many friends so close to Charlottesville!” The coach loved it.

I also sharedan embarrassingstory with him:My future wife and I had been talkingabout “the ring“ and what I was looking at was way more than I’d thought it would be. I mean, spots for jewelry stores would say “an 18-karat total-weight bracelet, only $999 this weekend,“ so naturally I assumed a two- or three-karat would be, oh, much less.

Coach Beamer’s jaw dropped. “You had no idea what you were promising your girl?”

“No, coach, not a clue.”He offered me tickets to a Virginia Tech game, including the one with Virginia. I had to grin and say, “Thanks, coach, but I’m already taken care of for all the tickets I need … by Mr. Jefferson.”

Beamer looked at me, laughed and said: “Wait a second. … I know your voice. … The guy who does those UVA promos, right?” We were friends now. I told him I would like an autographed photo, however. He agreed.

Within a week, an envelope from the football office at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University arrived in the mail. Inside was a photograph the coach had signed:

“Don’t make promises your Wahoo butt can’t keep!!”

It’s on my wall – and always will be.

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