Frank Beamer, who guided Virginia Tech to three victories in four games against bowl-bound teams to close the season, is the top prospect to become football coach at Boston College, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Beamer, 44, met with Boston College's new athletic director, Chet Gladchuk, in Richmond Friday, the paper reported yesterday. Beamer flew from Roanoke to Boston on Saturday afternoon to spend Saturday night and most of yesterday visiting the Chestnut Hill, Mass., campus.

"Beamer has been number one on Gladchuk's list all along," the newspaper quoted a source as saying. "But Chet didn't contact him about the job until he was officially named BC's athletic director on Dec. 10." Before then, Gladchuk was athletic director at Tulane.

The Times-Dispatch said when it reached Beamer at his home in Blacksburg on Saturday, he answered "yes" when asked whether he had been in talks about another coaching job. Beamer, though declining to confirm that Boston College was the institution interested in him, said: "We're just in the talking stage. Based on the potential of the university in question, and the financial and security part of it, I owe it to myself and my family to look at it.

"This shouldn't take long. I'll have something to say about it by {today} at the latest."

The newspaper said BC already has offered Beamer the position and a six-year contract calling for wages and benefits surpassing $160,000 a year, not including money from TV and radio programs. He has just completed his fourth year of a six-year deal at Virginia Tech, which pays him about $110,000 a year.

Last week Virginia Tech Athletic Director Dave Braine said his university was preparing a new deal for Beamer. Braine said he and Beamer met for about two hours Friday night, but the athletic director would not reveal the topic of their discussion.

"Obviously, Frank is a very good football coach, and just as obviously we want to do everything we can do to keep him," Braine said.