Beloved Ex-Bills WR Wins Fourth Straight Title as College Coach

Don Beebe

Getty Don Beebe catches a touchdown in a Buffalo Bills game.

Don Beebe endured four straight Super Bowl losses as a member of the Buffalo Bills and now has reversed his fate as a college football coach, leading his team to a fourth-straight conference title.

The beloved wide receiver was named the head coach of Division III Aurora University in 2018, winning the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) title in each of his first three seasons. On Saturday, Beebe had the chance to go for a conference-record fourth-straight title and led his team to a resounding victory.

Beebe Wins Again

Beebe led Aurora to an 8-1 overall record this season. After a season-opening loss to Hope College, the former Bills receiver led the team to eight straight victories, all but one of them by 22 points or more.

On November 12, Aurora faced Concordia University Wisconsin with the NACC title on the line and once again won in a blowout. Beebe’s Spartans jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and won 42-0.

With the conference win, Aurora will move on to the Division III playoffs starting next weekend, with their opponent yet to be determined.

Former Bills Receiver Made Mark After NFL Retirement

Beebe played nine seasons in the NFL, reaching the Super Bowl in six of them. While he lost four times with the Bills — sitting out Super Bowl XXV with an injury — and once more with the Green Bay Packers, Beebe won a ring with the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.

Beebe stayed close to football after retiring from the NFL, founding the House of Speed in Aurora in 1998 to train athletes in building character and enhancing their speed. Beebe had one of the fastest 40-yard dash times in NFL history, tying Deion Sanders in 1989 with a 4.25-second time.

Beebe used his speed for one of the more memorable plays in Buffalo’s four-year run to the Super Bowl, chasing down Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett to save a touchdown in the final minutes of Buffalo’s 52-17 loss in Super Bowl XXVII. Had Lett scored, it would have given the Bills the biggest Super Bowl loss of all time.

As the university noted, Beebe eventually returned to coach his hometown college team. Speaking to FNF Coaches in 2019, Beebe said it was a natural transition to coaching after leaving the NFL.

“During my playing days, I knew I wanted to do two things: still be around sports, and be a mentor to young men and kids,” he said. “I started training kids around the country when I opened House of Speed. Now, we have 24 franchises. It gives us a chance to help boys and girls fulfill their dreams. I’ve been doing that for 21 years. After a while, I wanted to get more involved at an intimate level on a daily basis, so I got into coaching at Aurora Christian. I always knew I’d get into it in some form.”

Beebe added that coaching has been a natural fit, allowing him to remain in competitive football.

“I just love to coach,” he said. “Most coaches say they’re competitive people, and they’re no longer able to play the game they love, so they live vicariously through the athletes they coach. It still gives me the same feelings I had on game day as a player. It gives me a chance to strive for excellence and compete.”

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