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Don Nehlen to be an honorary captain at Virginia Tech game

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Both Nehlen and former Hokie coach (and public enemy number one) Frank Beamer will be honorary captains at FedEx Field on Sun., Sep. 3

Don Nehlen Getty Images

Announced by both West Virginia and Virginia Tech on Tuesday morning, Don Nehlen and Frank Beamer will serve as honorary captains at the Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy on Labor Day weekend.

Nehlen, who coached WVU from 1980-2000, brought the Mountaineers big success in the 1980s and 90s including undefeated regular seasons in 1988 and 1993.

"I have all the respect in the world for Frank Beamer," Nehlen said in a statement. "Not only is he is class man and a great friend, he did an unbelievable job at Virginia Tech and took that program to its greatest period of success. When the Mountaineers and Hokies got together to play, it didn't matter whether either team was 10-0 or 0-10, it defined what a great rivalry was.

“Both teams played hard, physical and never quit the entire game. After I retired, Frank was still coaching, and I always followed the Hokies because of him. I am excited to not only see Frank on Sept. 3 but to see the rivalry renewed and to see both teams play another great game. I am honored to be an honorary captain with Frank and represent West Virginia University."

Beamer coached Virginia Tech from 1987-2015, leading the Hokies to success in the Big East and ACC. At the time of his retirement, he was the winningest active coach in Division I college football.

“Don Nehlen remains one of my all-time favorite people,” Beamer said. “Every time we played West Virginia it was a big game for our team and our fans. Going into Morgantown was always a challenge. You knew you were going to have to face a tough, well-coached football team for 60 minutes and that crowd wasn’t going to let up on you, either. I’m so honored that I’ll get to join Coach Nehlen on the field as our two teams meet again.

“I’m just relieved that I’m not going to need a ticket to get into the game. I’m looking forward to seeing our two teams play again. It should be a great evening for football as the Hokies and Mountaineers meet.”

The West Virginia-Virginia Tech game is scheduled for Sun., Sep. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and will air on ABC.