Ex-USC Football Assistant Dick Beam Dies
May 4, 2012
Dick Beam, who was an assistant coach on a pair of USC's national championship football teams and then became a front office executive with the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, died on Thursday (May 3) of cancer in Corona, Calif. He was 75.
Services will be held on Wednesday (May 9) at 10 a.m. at Whittier Area Community Church (8100 Colima Rd., Whittier 90605). A reception will follow at Friendly Hills Country Club (8500 Villaverde Dr., Whittier 90605).
Beam spent 4 seasons (1972-75) under head coach John McKay at USC, the first 2 seasons as a part-time assistant coach and scout while also teaching physical education at Alhambra (Calif.) High and then the final 2 seasons as a full-time assistant. The Trojans won the national championship in 1972 and 1974 and played in 3 Rose Bowls.
Beam then went with McKay for 5 seasons (1976-80) to the NFL's Buccaneers as an assistant coach and the director of administration. The 1979 Bucs played in the NFC championship game. He next was the director of operations for the Rams for 10 seasons (1981-90), as the team advanced into the playoffs 6 times during that span, before becoming the general manager of the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football for 2 seasons (1991-92).
He helped organize the NFL's American Bowl in London (1987), Tokyo (1989) and Berlin (1990). He also served as a consultant to the NFL at 29 Super Bowls, including Super Bowl XLV in 2011.
He began his coaching career as the freshman coach at Whittier College, his alma mater, in 1958. He then became an assistant for Whittier's varsity in 1959 under head coach Don Coryell. He spent 1960 as an assistant at Santa Fe High in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., before becoming an assistant at Montebello (Calif.) High for 6 seasons (1961-66). He was the head coach at Brea (Calif.) High in 1967, then spent 4 seasons (1968-71) as the head coach at Alhambra High, where he was named the San Gabriel Valley Coach of the Year in 1969.
He starred in 3 sports at Whittier (Calif.) High, earning All-CIF honors as a senior split end in 1954. He then played football at Whittier College, where he was coached by George Allen and then by Coryell, both future legendary NFL coaches.
Beam was named among the Top 100 Distinguished Graduates of Whittier College in 1986 and received the school's Alumni Achievement Award in 1990.
Beam is survived by his wife, Dorothy, son, Donn, daughter Cathy Crofts, and 3 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Whittier College Athletic Department.