Bobby Beathard, who served as an NFL manager for more than three decades, has died at the age of 86.
He died Monday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, his son Casey told The Washington Post.
Beathard was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor in 2018 and has served as chief human resources officer for five teams during his career, including Super Bowl champions in Miami and Washington. He was part of 10 division winners and four overall Super Bowl winners, including the 1972 Dolphins team that finished undefeated.
His greatest success was in Washington, where he served as general manager from 1978 to 1988. Beathard hired coach Joe Gibbs in 1981 and drafted Art Monk, Russ Grimm and Darrell Green for the Hall of Famers. Washington won the Super Bowl in 1982 and 1987.
Rest in peace Bobby 💛 pic.twitter.com/KPauvZdmU2
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) February 1, 2023
After leaving Washington, Beathard served as general manager for the Chargers from 1990 to 1999. Despite being criticized for picking draft-bust quarterback Ryan Leaf with the No. 2 overall pick in 1998 and trading the first-round picks, Beathard helped turn the Chargers around. In his third season as general manager, the Chargers won their Premier League title since 1981. They made the franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance in the 1994 season, losing to the San Francisco 49ers.
“Bobby was one of the best football talent judges in NFL history. For most, that alone would be enough. For Bobby Beathard, it doesn’t come close to doing the man justice,” Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a statement. “Bobby was what we all wanted to be – a kind, caring, generous, thoughtful individual who brought people from all walks of life together. He was the best GM in football, but he was also the guy to sit on his surfboard in the ocean catching waves, jogging along it, and chatting at the local market register. He was the guy you felt like you’d known your whole life, even if it was only five minutes at the gas station. He was just a regular guy who was anything but random.
“Bobby was indeed exceptional. He was unique. And he will be missed incredibly. On behalf of my family and the Chargers organization, we would like to offer our deepest condolences to his wife Christine and the entire Beathard family on the loss of one of the best people ever did, be it in football or in life.”
Beathard served as director of player personnel for Miami’s Super Bowl-winning teams in 1972 and 1973. He also worked for Kansas City and Atlanta before joining Miami.
He retired from football in 2000 and is a member of the Ring of Fame for both the Commanders and Chargers.
Beathard was the grandfather of quarterback CJ Beathard, who joined the NFL in 2017 with the 49ers and played for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.