Robert King Bearthard Jr. was born on January 24, 1937 in Zanesville, Ohio to Robert and Dorothy Falconer Bearthard. His father ran a tile company.

A few years after Bobby was born, the family moved to El Segundo, California, where his brother was born. Bobby played singles on his wing tailback for his high school football team. He turned down an opportunity to attend Louisiana State University and instead went to Cal Poly, where he was quarterback and defensive back on a team that won 18 of 20 games.One of his teammates is a future Hall of Famer. Coach and television his announcer, John Madden, blocked him.

“I loved football,” he later recalled. “I couldn’t get enough of it. Neither did John.”

Bobby Beathard had tryouts with several teams but failed to make the roster. In 1963, he became a part-time scout for the Chiefs. He left for an American football scout for his league and returned to Kansas City full-time in 1966. While he was away, in 1964 the Chiefs drafted his older brother, a Southern California quarterback. Peter Beesard backed up part of Len Dawson’s four seasons in Kansas City.

In 1968, Bobby was hired as a scout by the struggling Falcons, who had joined the NFL two seasons earlier. In 1971, their final year with the team, Atlanta finished their first winning season, 7-6-1. The following year, he was hired as the Dolphins’ director of player personnel and recorded his 17-loss record, the only perfect season in the NFL.

After a long run in Washington ended in a feud with Gibbs in 1988, Bearthard returned to California to surf near his home in San Diego. He worked as an analyst for his NBC television for a year, but he found he missed being around the team.

In January 1990, he became the general manager of the Chargers. In his third season with them, the Chargers won his first division title in over a decade. Two years later, San Diego made its first and only Super Bowl appearance, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 49-26. (The Chargers are currently based in Los Angeles.)

Beesard’s first marriage, to Lale Rich, ended in divorce. He married Christine Van Handel in his 1978. a daughter from his first marriage, Jaime; Also from that marriage are three sons, Kurt, Jeff, and Casey, a country music songwriter. Jacksonville also has many grandchildren, including his Jaguars backup, his CJ Beesard, and recording artist Tucker, his Beesard.

“Bobby has not only built a winning team throughout his career, but a winning culture that lasts well beyond his years with the organization,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement Wednesday. “He had an eye for talent and a special flair for working with others. The results speak for themselves. Bobby’s legacy will be forever preserved in Canton.”

Alex Traub contributed to the report.


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