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Don Beebe

Not to be confused with Dan Beebe.
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No. 82
Position: Wide Receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1964-12-18) December 18, 1964 (age 55)
Place of birth: Aurora, Illinois
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Career information
College: Chadron State
NFL draft: 1989 / Round: 3 / Pick: 82
Career history
Career highlights and awards
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Receptions: 219
Receiving Yards: 3,416
Touchdowns: 23
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Don Lee Beebe (born December 18, 1964) is a former American football wide receiver who played for the Buffalo Bills (1989–1994), Carolina Panthers (1995) and Green Bay Packers (1996–1997) of the NFL, and is considered one of the fastest players in NFL history with a recorded a 4.21 40-yard dash time.[1]

Early years

Don Beebe is one of five children of Don and Barb Beebe.[2] He attended Kaneland High School in Maple Park, Illinois where he lettered in basketball, track and football, graduating in 1983.[3] After attending Western Illinois University, he transferred to Chadron State College in Nebraska, where he set several school football records his senior year and ran a 6.3 60-yard dash on the indoor track team.[4]

Professional career

Beebe was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round (82nd pick overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft.[5] He posted impressive statistics in speed and agility drills at the 1989 pre-draft combine.[6]

In his nine NFL seasons, Beebe caught 219 passes for 3,416 yards, rushed for 28 yards, returned 81 kickoffs for 1,735 yards, and scored 25 touchdowns (23 receiving, one kickoff return, and one fumble recovery). He appeared in six Super Bowls as a player -- (XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII with the Buffalo Bills; XXXI and XXXII with the Green Bay Packers) -- an NFL record that he shares with former Bills teammate Mike Lodish and Tom Brady. While Buffalo lost its four consecutive title games, Beebe finally won an NFL championship in his first year with the Packers (Super Bowl XXXI).

Beebe is well known for making one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history. During the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XXVII, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett recovered a Bills fumble and advanced the ball toward the end zone. However, Lett began to celebrate prematurely by holding the ball out to his right side. Although the Bills were losing 52-17 at the time, a relentless Beebe streaked down the field and knocked the ball out of Lett's hands just before he crossed the goal line.[7] The loose ball went through the end zone and out of bounds for a touchback and preventing a Dallas touchdown which would have given them a Super Bowl-record 58 points. Beebe also caught two passes for 50 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown reception from Frank Reich earlier in the game.

Beebe has always been highly respected by players and coaches because of his strong work ethic and character. He was honored as an "Unsung Hero" in 1996 at the NFL Players Association Awards Banquet.

Post-playing career

In 1998, Beebe founded House of Speed, LLC,[8] a company that specializes in training athletes in the essentials of top performance, speed and character. House of Speed began franchise operations in 2006 and has locations in eleven states. Beebe also works with several professional, collegiate and amateur sports organizations in the area of speed, including the Chicago Bears, the St. Louis Rams, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and Club Fusion Volleyball.

In 2004, Beebe began coaching varsity football for Aurora Christian School in Aurora, Illinois.[9] He -- along with his brother, defensive coordinator David Beebe, and brother Dan, the school's athletic director), led the Eagles to the school's first state championship appearance in 2008, where the team finished as 4A state runner-up after losing to Bloomington Central Catholic 37–28.[10] Three years later Beebe and the Eagles returned to the finals, this time winning the 2011 IHSA Class 3A State Championship with a 34–7 win over Mt. Carmel. In 2012, Beebe led the Eagles to a second straight IHSA Class 3A State Championship by defeating Tolono-Unity 42–12 before stepping down as coach after the 2013 season and an overall 97-26 record. His brother succeeded him as head coach.[11]

Beebe has also written a book with Denise Crosby, "Six Rings from Nowhere".[12] As of 2014 a deal was in the works to develop the book into a feature film about Beebe's life and Christian faith.[13][14]

Don Beebe's son, Chad, is a wide receiver for Northern Illinois University.[15]

Beebe has served as the honorary chairman of the Wisconsin Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation, worked with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action, has made numerous appearances for charity organizations from the Cub Scouts to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and has held a golf tournament each year to benefit Chadron State College.[16]


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