Hall of Fame NFL executive Bobby Beathard dies at 86

Bobby Beathard, the architect of four Super Bowl winning teams with two different organizations during his long career in football, has died. He was 86 years old.

A spokesman for the Washington Commanders said Beathard’s family told the team he died Monday at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, less than a week after his 86th birthday. The cause of death was not immediately available.

Beathard was the director of player personnel for two NFL championships by Miami in the 1970s and served as general manager for two more by Washington in the 80s. He also scouted for Kansas City when the Chiefs won the American Football League title and made Super Bowl I after the 1966 season and was GM with San Diego when the Chargers arrived there in the mid-1990s.

Part of seven teams that made the Super Bowl during his long front office career, Beathard was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. Washington inducted him into the organization’s Ring of Honor in 2016.

“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 in a statement. “He combined an eye for talent with a special gift for working with other people. The results speak for themselves.”

Bobby Beathard won two Super Bowls while he was Washington's general manager.
Bobby Beathard won two Super Bowls while he was Washington’s general manager.

Beathard also scouted for the Atlanta Falcons, but is best known for his roles with Don Shula’s Dolphins who won back-to-back Super Bowls and then hired coach Joe Gibbs and his time in Washington. Duran drafted Daryl Green, Art Monk and others.

“I came to the Redskins from the Miami Dolphins, and the years with the Miami Dolphins, including the undefeated ’72 season and being with Shula, I learned a lot more about football than I ever did,” Beathard said. said In 2016 at Washington’s training camp in Richmond, Virginia. “So coming into a situation like that I felt prepared because I never wanted to go into a situation that I felt was too big for me or where I wasn’t prepared.”

Beathard resigned from that job in 1989, before Washington won its third Super Bowl with a cover he created, and moved into TV before being hired as GM of the Chargers in 1990. He spent a decade with them, including overseeing the team to the Super Bowl before losing to the San Francisco 49ers, though he resigned before the 1994 season due to a dispute with owner Alex Spanos.

Bobby Beathard poses for a photo with his Hall of Fame statue after being honored by Washington during a 2018 game.
Bobby Beathard poses for a photo with his Hall of Fame statue after being honored by Washington during a 2018 game.

But Spanos’ son, Dan, 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 Chargers owner and chairman, Dan Spanos, called Beathard “one of the best judges of football talent in NFL history” in a statement.

“He was the best GM in football, but he was also the guy in the ocean on his surfboard that you caught waves with, jogged with and chatted with in the checkout line at the local market. ” “He was just a regular guy who was anything but. Bobby was, in fact, extraordinary. He was one of a kind. And he will be incredibly missed.”

In more than three decades in an NFL front office, Beathard abhorred first-round picks and reveled in taking chances on outgoing college players, a strategy that paid off down the road. In 1988, Sports Illustrated called him “the smartest guy in the NFL” — a title he didn’t like.

“It was kind of embarrassing,” Beathard said in 2018 before going into the Hall of Fame. “Whoever put it out there, I told them when it first came out, ‘Well, you better go back and ask my high school and college teachers if it’s true, and I don’t think so. that they would agree with it.'”

In a statement expressing their condolences, commanders called Beathard “a man of exceptional class and integrity” and said he “cared deeply for everyone he worked with and always put the team first.” gave.”

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