Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Don Beebe has been named the head coach at Division III Aurora University in Illinois, the school announced Thursday.
“I am honored to coach AU football, drawing on my NFL, coaching and training experience and bringing it home where my roots are, where I was born and raised my family and still live,” Beebe, 53, said in a news release. “I knew mentoring kids was my calling when I retired and sports is my avenue to do that. I care about my players and want to instill in them the importance of never settling for mediocrity. I want our Spartan football players to think big. With hard work and commitment they can and will achieve great things.”
Beebe won two state championships as a high school coach from 2004 to 2013 at Aurora Christian. Among his top players was his son, Chad, now a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Beebe grew up in nearby Sugar Grove, Ill., and returned to the area after his playing career. He also founded the House of Speed, a training center in Aurora.
“Bringing in Don Beebe raises the ceiling quite a bit for recruiting and leading our drive to win conference championships and compete on a national level,” Jim Hamad, director of athletics at Aurora, said in a statement. “And while we are thrilled to have an NFL veteran coach our student athletes, it is Don’s mentorship on and off the field that gives us the most excitement. Don has led a life of character and integrity and we are confident our students will respond to his guidance. I think the future is brighter than ever for AU Athletics.”
Beebe, who was drafted by the Bills in 1989, spent nine seasons in the NFL, including his first six with the Bills. He is the first player to appear in six Super Bowls, four with the Bills and two with the Packers, including a victory. He had 219 receptions for 3,416 yards and 23 touchdowns.