Frank Beamer is coaching less and enjoying it more.

The easy-going Beamer is not as heavily involved in offensive and defensive strategy as he used to be, saying he has total confidence in his coordinators at Virginia Tech.

"Now that I think about it," Beamer said, laughing, "it seems the less you coach, the more honors you get."

Yesterday, Beamer was chosen the Associated Press college coach of the year in balloting by AP member newspapers, TV and radio stations.

"It's a tremendous honor for our program," Beamer said. "You can't get this if you don't have a staff that has been together for some time. We have that."

Beamer, finishing his 13th season at Virginia Tech, received 27 of the 84 votes in the AP balloting. Hawaii's June Jones was second with 19 votes and Minnesota's Glen Mason was third with nine votes.

Beamer's staff includes defensive coordinator Bud Foster and offensive coordinator Rickey Bustle.

"I was very involved in the offense at one time, then the defense," Beamer said. "Now I let them do it. "

And the players responded so well that the second-ranked Hokies (11-0) will play No. 1 Florida State (11-0) for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.

"The key to us was how fast our offense would come along," Beamer said.

How does warp speed sound? Redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Vick was the surprise star of the season, throwing for 1,840 yards and 12 touchdowns and running for 585 yards and eight touchdowns. Add a menacing defense and the nation's best special teams, and Beamer had himself a sensational season.

The Hokies have been good for years, but not until this season have they gained so much national attention. Virginia Tech will be playing in its seventh consecutive bowl game.

All-American defensive end Corey Moore won the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman and the Nagurski trophy as the nation's top defensive player, and Vick finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting behind Ron Dayne and Joe Hamilton.

Beamer is Virginia Tech's most successful coach, compiling an 88-59-2 record and three Big East titles.