Bobby Bowden and Frank Beamer will serve as honorary captains when Florida State and Virginia Tech play on Labor Day night in Tallahassee, Florida, the schools announced Thursday.
Bowden and Beamer built the programs as they are known today: Bowden spent 34 years as head coach at Florida State, and Beamer spent 29 years leading the Hokies. The two combined for more than 600 wins and 20 conference championships. In December, Beamer will join Bowden in the College Football Hall of Fame.
New Florida State coach Willie Taggart has reached out to Bowden extensively since he was hired to get Bowden more involved in the program, and he extended the invitation for Bowden to attend the game. In the spring, Bowden attended his first practice since he retired in 2009.
"I am honored that Coach Bowden accepted our offer to be the honorary captain for our first game at Florida State," Taggart said in a statement. "Growing up, I admired Coach Bowden for his success on the field, as well as his passion for changing the lives of young men, and I could not think of a greater vote of confidence than having him on the field for our first game. This is also a great opportunity for our fans to show their appreciation to Coach Bowden and adds to what will surely be a fantastic atmosphere on Labor Day night."
Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente has also made it a priority to have Beamer around the program. Last season, Beamer also served as honorary captain before the season opener against West Virginia.
Bowden and Beamer have a shared history: The Seminoles beat Beamer and Michael Vick in the 2000 Sugar Bowl to win the program's second national championship.