Pro Football Hall Of Famer Bobby Beathard Dead At 86
CANTON, OHIO – Pro Football Hall of Famer BOBBY BEATHARD has passed away. Beathard died Monday after a lengthy illness, only six days after his 86th birthday.
“Bobby not only built winning teams throughout his career, but he also built winning cultures that lasted beyond his years with an organization,” Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said. “He combined an eye for talent with a special gift for working with other people. The results speak for themselves. Bobby’s legacy will be forever preserved in Canton. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Christine, and their family during this incredibly difficult time.”
A member of the Class of 2018, Beathard was a highly regarded personnel administrator during his 33-year career that included stints with the Kansas City Chiefs (1966-67), Atlanta Falcons (1968-1971), Miami Dolphins (1972-77), Washington Redskins (1978-1988) and San Diego Chargers (1990-99).
Beathard, a longtime general manager and personnel administrator, played an integral role in the success of each of these franchises. He began his career as a part-time scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, but left to scout for the American Football League before returning to the Chiefs in 1966 when the team played in Super Bowl I. In 1972, Beathard was named director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins before the Washington Redskins hired him as general manager in 1978.
His visionary thinking soon became a template for the NFL, where first-round draft picks were weapons to be used in trades. His keen sense for talent was apparent on each team, but especially in 1982, when the Redskins’ Super Bowl-winning team included 27 free agents signed by Beathard since he had joined the team. In his 11 years in Washington, the Redskins made only three first-round selections. The team went to the Super Bowl three times and won twice.
Collectively, Beathard’s teams won 10 division titles, seven league/conference championships and four Super Bowls – Super Bowls VII and VIII with Miami and Super Bowls XVII and XXII with Washington.
Beathard was hired as general manager of the Chargers in 1990 and immediately brought hope to a city hungry for a winner. In just his third season in San Diego, the organization won its first AFC Western Division championship in more than a decade and by 1994, the team made its first Super Bowl appearance.
The flag at the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be flown at half-staff in his honor.