"More than five years," Cavanaugh said instantly.
Experience and cynicism remind that contracts are made to be broken — take a bow, Lane Kiffin, Bobby Petrino and Nick Saban — but this deal looks like a keeper.
At age 63, Beamer isn't about to wander off to the SEC or NFL. And with 17 consecutive bowl appearances, Virginia Tech won't be giving Beamer the bum's rush.
So why even bother extending when all parties are content?
Because recruiting is nastier than a Mel Gibson voicemail, and with Beamer approaching retirement age, rivals surely were whispering to prospects that he might soon be exiting to the first tee.
Now Beamer has ammo to return fire. Plus, the 2016 expiration is a perfect confluence.
That would be not only Beamer's 30th season in Blacksburg, but also the year in which he turns 70.
By 2016, Beamer might have his son on his staff. Shane Beamer, like his dad a Tech graduate, works for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, coaching strong safeties and coordinating special teams and recruiting.
By 2016, Beamer would be the Bowl Subdivision's longest-tenured head coach. This presuming Penn State's Joe Paterno, now entering his 45th season, isn't working at age 90 — hey, Robert Byrd served in the Senate until he died at 92.
By 2016, Beamer would have amassed approximately 280 career victories — he's at 229 — which would rank sixth all-time among coaches with at least 10 years' Bowl Subdivision experience. The top five are Paterno, Bobby Bowden, Bear Bryant, Pop Warner and Amos Alonzo Stagg.
Perhaps by then, Beamer will have filled the empty trophy case that Tech has reserved for national-championship hardware.
This marks Beamer's 24th season with the Hokies, and unless the NCAA record book deceives, next year he will match Bryant for the longest tenure of a major college head football coach at his alma mater. Resplendent in houndstooth hat, Bryant strolled the Alabama sidelines from 1958-82.
The Crimson Tide replaced Bryant with one its own, former receiver Ray Perkins, then the New York Giants' coach. Unless new Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham suddenly lands a head-coaching gig, no Virginia Tech alum is similarly positioned.
Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster will merit serious consideration, no matter where he's working come 2016, as will plenty of sitting head coaches who crave the opportunity to lead a top-15 national program.
But those are discussions for 2016, unless Beamer fancies himself the next JoePa.
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime. Sign up for text alerts by texting "BIGSPORTS" to 71593.