Bobby Beathard, Hall of Fame NFL executive, dies aged 86
Bobby Beathard, the architect of four Super Bowl-winning teams with two different organizations during his long football tenure, has passed away. He was 86.
A spokesman for the Washington Commanders said Beathard’s family told the team he passed away Monday at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, less than a week after his 86th birthday. Cause of death was not immediately available.
Beathard was player personnel director for Miami’s two NFL championships in the 1970s and served as general manager for two more Washington championships in the ’80s. He also scouted for Kansas City. when the Captain won the American Football League Championship and won Super Bowl I after the 1966 season and was the GM of San Diego when the Chargers got there in the mid-1990s.
As part of the seven teams that made up the Super Bowl during his long 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 a winning culture that endures after years of working for an organization,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement. “He combined an eye for talent with a special gift for working with others. The results speak for themselves.”
Beathard also sought out the Atlanta Falcons, but is best known for his roles with Don Shula’s Dolphins that won consecutive Super Bowls and later hired coach Joe Gibbs and drafted Darrell Green, Art Monk and others during his time in Washington.
“I came to the Redskins from the Miami Dolphins, and my years at the Miami Dolphins including the ’72 season of the unbeaten team and being with Shula, I learned more than I ever had up until that point in football,” he said. Beathard said in 2016 at Washington’s training camp in Richmond, Virginia. “So I feel when I go into a situation like this, I feel prepared because I never want to be in a situation where I feel too big for me or where I am. unprepared.”
Beathard quit that job in 1989, before Washington won his third Super Bowl with a self-made core and entered the television business before being hired as the Chargers GM in 1990. spent a decade working with them, including overseeing the team that made it to the Super Bowl before losing to the San Francisco 49ers, though he nearly resigned before that 1994 season because of a dispute with owner Alex Spanos .
But Spanos’ son, Dean, joined in and was put in charge of the day-to-day operations. Beathard stayed and the Chargers achieved the only Super Bowl in franchise history.
Now Chargers owner and president, Dean Spanos in a statement called Beathard “one of the finest football talent raters in NFL history.”
“He’s the best GM in football, but he’s also the guy who sits on his surfboard in the ocean where you catch waves, jog along the trails and chat in line,” Spanos said. Pay at the local market. He’s just an ordinary guy who happens to be anything but. In fact, Bobby is a special person. He is one of a kind. And he will be greatly missed.
Beathard for more than three decades at the NFL’s main office dislikes first-round picks and is passionate about seizing opportunities with players from unfamiliar colleges, a strategy that has paid off in all the way. In 1988, Sports Illustrated called him “The Smartest Man in the NFL” – a title he didn’t like.
“It’s embarrassing,” Beathard said in 2018 before entering the Hall of Fame. “Whoever put it in there, I told them when it first came out, ‘Well, you should go back and ask my high school and college teachers if that’s true, and I don’t think they’ll agree to that.’
Writer Bernie Wilson of AP Sports in San Diego contributed.