It’s now official. Former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Introduced by Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs, the architect of three Redskins Super Bowl trips and two championships took to the induction ceremony podium to reflect on his 33-year career and his legacy forever remaining in Canton, Ohio.
"Bobby's illustrious NFL career made him truly deserving of this honor, and the entire Washington Redskins family could not be prouder that the Pro Football Hall of Fame has secured the place in history he so rightly deserves," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said at the time of his election. "Bobby was the architect of many of our dearest memories as Redskins fans, and the run of dominance he helped build will always hold a special place in our minds and in our hearts. We cherish his contributions to the Washington Redskins, and we are proud tonight to see that his contributions to the game will be forever immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Beathard left an indelible mark on the Washington Redskins organization. In his 11 years as general manager [1978-88], Beathard led Washington to three Super Bowl appearances, including victories in Super Bowls XVII and XXII. Many of the players Beathard acquired remained on the roster for the team’s Super Bowl XXVI victory, too.
During Beathard’s time as general manager, the Redskins averaged 9.5 wins a year. The team posted a regular season winning percentage of .625 (105-63) in that time frame, best in the NFC, and second-best in the NFL. In addition, no team in that time frame posted a better postseason winning percentage (.786) than the Redskins, who went 11-3 in postseason play under his watch.
"I think working for Don Shula [in Miami] was probably the thing that really prepared me for my career in the NFL," Beathard said in his Hall of Fame speech. "When I got the call from Jack Kent Cooke and Bennett Williams to come up to Washington, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘I’ll go up there, but for this job I don’t know.’ So I took the job and it was probably the best decision I made."
Not only is Beathard honored for orchestrating teams that made a total of six Super Bowl appearances, he changed the way NFL general managers use first-round picks in trading today. Despite only making three first-round selections in his 11 years as general manager, Beathard scouted players that were often overlooked and allowed Gibbs to mold them into the Redskins' system.
Because of Gibbs' ability to give every player an even opportunity, the two worked to put together teams that made three Super Bowl appearances in the 1980's. Beathard mentioned that his coach's character is one of the reasons for his induction.
"Coach Gibbs, the kind of coach every guy in my position would want," Beathard said. "So it didn’t matter who we brought in, whether it was a first-round pick in the draft or the last pick in the last round of the draft, each one of those players got the same chance. And because of that, we ended up getting to three Super Bowls."
Not only did Beathard believe that his coaches helped him earn his way into the Hall of Fame, but his family did as well. Despite his job requiring him to be away from his home at times, his family always encouraged him to keep working with something he enjoyed.
The one person, however, that Beathard believed he could not do his job without was his wife.
"I want to thank my family, my kids, my grand kids," Beathard said. "I was gone a lot and they always supported me no matter what. Of course, I couldn’t of done all of this without my wife, Christine. She put up with a lot, but she understood it was a job I loved to do. I owe so much of it to her."
Beathard is the 31st Redskins player, coach or administrator inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 2018 class also included Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Brian Urlacher.
Grant Cohen contributed in this article