Terry Beeson Born: September 19, 1955 (Coffeyville, KS)
Graduated: Coffeyville Field Kindley High School, 1973; University of Kansas, 1977
If you could build a prototypical linebacker from scratch, the end result would probably turn out a lot like Coffeyville native Terry Beeson. Combining instinct with instruction and technique with talent, Beeson excelled at every level during his illustrious career that today leads him into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Few today would realize all that Beeson has accomplished. Yet, by cracking open the record books of the programs and teams on which he played, it becomes clearly evident that Beeson was the anchor of the defense at every level from high school to the National Football League.
An All-State selection as a senior linebacker for Coffeyville’s Field Kindley High School in 1972, Beeson chose to play collegiately at the University of Kansas. Playing alongside fellow Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees David Jaynes and Nolan Cromwell, Beeson developed the skills and talent that led him to the National Football League. Beeson became a four-year letterman for the Jayhawks and led the team in tackles during both his junior and senior seasons. Following his senior season, Beeson was named an All-Big 8 selection and was invited to play in numerous all-star games, including the East-West Shrine Bowl, the Blue-Grey Game, and the Senior Bowl.
Selected in the second round of the 1977 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks as the forty-first overall pick, Beeson immediately stepped into the starting lineup of the young Seattle franchise. During his rookie season, Beeson led the Seahawks in tackles with 136, including 110 solo tackles. Beeson was the first of only three rookies in Seattle franchise history to lead the team in tackles.
Beeson’s biggest moment as a rookie came a little over halfway through the 1977 season against the Houston Oilers at the Kingdome in Seattle. Beeson put up a monumental performance that day that has been matched, but never beaten in franchise history when he recorded 18 tackles in a single game against one of the best offenses in the NFL. The performance left Beeson “totally dehydrated” as he played nearly every snap of the game.
Although his performance as a rookie was unprecedented, Beeson’s best was yet to come. During his second year in the NFL in 1978, Beeson set the franchise record for single season tackles with 153 while starting all sixteen games at middle linebacker. Beeson went on to start at middle linebacker for the next two complete seasons and didn’t miss a game.
After playing the 1982 season with the San Francisco 49ers, Beeson signed on to play for the expansion Oklahoma Outlaws of the United States Football League (USFL) in 1984 before signing with the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL in 1985.
Beeson’s playing career ended following the 1985 season, but his contributions to football in Kansas were far from over. While still a professional player, Beeson began coaching during the offseason in his hometown under the leadership of Coffeyville Community College head coach and 2004 Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Dick Foster. Beeson’s career continued to blossom and culminated with Beeson being named the Athletic Director at Coffeyville Community College in 1990, a position he held for the next decade. During his time as Athletic Director, Beeson spearheaded the fundraising and construction drive that created Coffeyville’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, which has hosted numerous National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) football bowl games and two NJCAA National Track Championships.
From high school to college to professional football as a player and as an influential coach and administrator, Terry Beeson of Coffeyville not only fits the prototypical mold for middle linebacker, but for a Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee as well.