Hall of Fame NFL executive Bobby Beathard dies at 86 | Taiwan News
Bobby Beathard, the architect of four Super Bowl-winning teams with two different organizations during his long football career, has died. He was 86 years old.
A spokesperson for Washington Commanders said Beathard’s family told the team that he died Monday at his home in Franklin, Tenn., less than a week after his 86th birthday. A cause of death was not immediately available.
Beathard was director of player personnel for two of the NFL championships in Miami in the 1970s and was general manager for two more in Washington in the ’80s. He also scouted Kansas City when the Chiefs won the title of the American Football League and appeared in Super Bowl I after the 1966 season and served as general manager of San Diego when the Chargers arrived there in the mid-1990s.
One of seven teams that made it to the Super Bowl during his long front office career, Beathard was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. Washington added him to the organization’s Ring of Honor in 2016.
“Bobby has not only built winning teams throughout his career, but he has also built winning cultures that have lasted beyond his years with an organization,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter, in a statement. “He combined an eye for talent with a special gift for working with other people. The results speak for themselves.”
Beathard also did scouting for the Atlanta Falcons, but is best known for his roles with Don Shula’s Dolphins winning the Super Bowl back-to-back, then hiring coach Joe Gibbs and drafting Darrell. Green, Art Monk and others while in Washington.
“I came to the Redskins from the Miami Dolphins, and the years at the Miami Dolphins, including the 1972 season of undefeated teams and being with Shula, I learned a lot more about football than ever before,” said said Beathard. in 2016 at Washington’s training camp in Richmond, Virginia. “So I felt going into a situation like this that I felt prepared because I never wanted to go into a situation that I felt was too big for me or that I wasn’t prepared for.”
Beathard resigned from that position in 1989, before Washington won a third Super Bowl with a core he built, and ventured into television before being hired as general manager of the Chargers in 1990. He spent a decade with them, including overseeing the team that went to the Super Bowl before losing to the San Francisco 49ers, although he nearly quit before that 1994 season due to a dispute with owner Alex Spanos.
But Spanos’ son Dean stepped in and was put in charge of day-to-day operations. Beathard stayed, and the Chargers reached their only Super Bowl in franchise history.
Now owner and president of the Chargers, Dean Spanos, in a statement, called Beathard “one of the best judges of football talent in NFL history.”
“He was the best general manager in football, but he was also the guy sitting on his surfboard in the ocean with whom you caught the waves, hiked the trails and chatted in the queue at the local market,” said said Spanos. “He was just an ordinary guy who was anything but. Bobby was, in fact, exceptional. He was one of a kind. And he will be sorely missed.
Beathard in more than three decades in an NFL front office hated first-round picks and reveled in taking risks on players from distant colleges, a strategy that paid off along the way. In 1988, Sports Illustrated called him “The NFL’s Smartest Man” – a title he disliked.
“It was a little embarrassing,” Beathard said in 2018 before entering the Hall of Fame. “Whoever put that in there, I told them when it first came out, ‘Well, you better go back and ask my high school and college teachers if that’s true , and I don’t think they would be okay with that.'”
In a statement expressing their condolences, the commanders called Beathard “a man of extraordinary class and integrity” and said he “cared deeply about everyone he worked with and always passed on the team first.”
AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL