Bobby Beathard
Bobby Beathard. Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame

Bobby Beathard, a former general manager for the San Diego Chargers who spent more than three decades as an NFL executive, has died from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

He was 86.

Beathard died on Monday at his home in Franklin, Tenn., his son Casey told the Washington Post.

Beathard was the general manager of the San Diego Chargers from 1990 to 1999 and oversaw the team during its only Super Bowl appearance in 1995, when the team lost to the San Francisco 49ers 49-26.

In his third season with the Chargers, the team won its first division title since 1981.

He is also known for a historic bust – picking up quarterback Ryan Leaf with the No. 2 pick in the 1998 NFL draft and trading away several first-round picks.

In a statement, Chargers owner Dean Spanos said Beathard was “one of the best judges of football talent in NFL history,” but added that the compliment “doesn’t nearly do the man justice.”

“He was the best GM in football; but he was also the guy sitting on his surfboard in the ocean that you caught waves with, jogged trails alongside and chatted up in the check-out line of the local market,” Spanos said. “He was the guy you felt like you’d known your entire life, even if it wasn’t but for five minutes at the gas station. He was just a regular guy who happened to be anything but.”

Beathard, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, was an executive with five teams, including the Chargers, Miami Dolphins, the former Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.

He was the general manager in Washington from 1978 to 1988 and won Super Bowls with the team in 1982 and 1987. He was the director of player personnel when the Dolphins won Super Bowls in 1972 and 1973.

He retired from football in 2000 and is a member of the team hall of fames for the Commanders (the rebranded Redskins) and Chargers, who moved to Los Angeles in 2017.

City News Service