By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Aurora Spartans have hired NFL legend Don Beebe as their new head football coach. He replaces Rick Ponx, who was left go this week.
The former head coach was 20-30 during his five-year tenure. In his final season, he guided his program to a 5-5 record with a four-game win streak.
“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 said. “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 is also the founder of the House of Speed that he started in 1998. This facility specializes in training athletes to improve their top performance, speed, and character.
The House of Speed began franchise operations in 2006.
The 53-year-old Beebe previously was the Aurora Christian High School football coach from 2004 through 2013. He guided the team to the 2011 IHSA Class 3A State Championship with a 34-7 win over Mt. Carmel.
One year later, he also guided the team to the IHSA Class 3A State Championship again with a 42-12 win over Tolono-Unity.
He left the school with a 97-26 record. He was replaced by his brother, David Beebe, who was the defensive coordinator while he served as the head coach.
“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,” said Jim Hamad, director of athletics at Aurora University. “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 played for the Buffalo Bills from 1989-1994. He played one season with the Carolina Panthers, before playing the final two seasons of his career with the Green Bay Packers in 1996 and 1997.
He became the first player to appear in six Super Bowls in his career. However, he has one Super Bowl Championship to his name with a Super Bowl XXXI ring.
He may be best remembered for a play that happened during Super Bowl XXVII. After Leon Lett recovered a fumble and ran towards the goal line, Beebe hit the ball out of his hands right before the goal line.