CHARLOTTE - Carolina Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson and Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer will be honored with the Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner's Cup during festivities surrounding this weekend's Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium.
Richardson and Beamer will be just the 11th and 12th recipients of the award, given solely at the discretion of the ACC commissioner. They have been designated as honorary captains for the game and will take part in the coin toss Saturday when top-ranked Clemson and No. 10 North Carolina square off at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
"Frank Beamer and Jerry Richardson are both long-time friends of the league, who have had an outstanding impact on the game of football," ACC commissioner John Swofford said. "Their accomplishments go far beyond on-field success, and we are tremendously pleased to have them serve as honorary captains."
Richardson became the first former NFL player since George Halas to become a team owner when he was unanimously awarded the NFL's 29th franchise in 1993. He has long displayed his commitment to the college game, including when the Panthers welcomed the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game for the first time in 2010. The ACC has played its title game at Bank of America Stadium every year since and is scheduled to continue doing so through 2019.
"Jerry Richardson and his organization have been outstanding partners to the Atlantic Coast Conference and college football," Swofford said. "We are proud of our association with the Richardson family and the entire Carolina Panthers franchise."
Beamer, who will retire following Virginia Tech's participation following his 23rd consecutive appearance in a bowl game, stands as the winningest active Division I football coach and the sixth all-time with 279 career wins. He has posted 242 victories over the past 29 years with the Hokies, winning seven conference titles – including four as a member of the ACC – and posting 13 seasons with 10 or more wins.
"As one of the most respected coaches in college athletics, he has had an immeasurable effect on the sport of football, his players, staff and fans," Swofford said. "He is well-deserving of this honor based not only on his on-field accomplishments but also his constant integrity, class and humility."