Tag Archives: Don Beebe

Publisher teams up with Beebe to tell story

by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Aurora Christian football coach Don Beebe has made a career and life out of transitions.

A 1983 graduate of Kaneland High School, he suited up for the Knights and went to school at Western Illinois and Chadron State College in Nebraska.

After working construction and putting up aluminum siding in nearby towns like Montgomery, he moved on for a shot at the NFL Combine and was subsequently drafted by the Buffalo Bills.

After several years and an infamous Super Bowl swat later, Beebe went to the Green Bay Packers, where he earned a championship ring in 1997.

Beebe then moved on to the next phase of his life, operating Don Beebe’s House of Speed, and most recently, head coach of the two-time Class 3A football champion Aurora Christian Eagles.

That’s where Jim Gibson comes in.

Gibson, owner and operator of Big Talk Publishing in Aurora, met with Beebe to put a book together. The result, “Six Rings from Nowhere,” was released at Aurora Christian High School last week.

It wasn’t hard for Gibson, a veteran of the television and movie industry, to get involved and tout the story.

“What’s great is that Don isn’t a blue-chipper, he’s blue collar,” Gibson said. “He’s the guy reading that book.”

Hoopla surrounding the book should continue with the NFL playoffs on the horizon. This season marks the 20th anniversary of the Bills’ historic Wild Card round comeback against the Houston Oilers, as well as the Super Bowl swat to rob Leon Lett of a defensive touchdown.

Gibson said CBS Sports is set to be in the area to interview Beebe and Lett about the play.

“(Beebe’s) so humble about all this. He’s a guy that showed up at the same combine with a pair of old tennis shoes and a duffle bag sharing space with Deion Sanders, Troy Aikman and Barry Sanders,” Gibson said.

The book is available for purchase at houseofspeed.com, sixringsfromnowhere .com, donbeebe.com, or at Aurora Christian High School.

“This book was a no-brainer, and comes after a long process,” Gibson said. “I knew of Don before this, and as I got to know him on a much deeper level, I felt he really needed to explain his story.”

“Six Rings from Nowhere,” co-written with writer Denise Crosby, has an introduction by Beebe’s Bills teammate Jim Kelly, and a forward by his Packers teammate Brett Favre.

Included in the book are tales of Favre giving a game ball to Beebe after their Super Bowl XXXI win over the New England Patriots, and his first catch in the NFL, a touchdown pass against Houston cornerback Cris Dishman.

“(Beebe’s) a guy that was out of college football for three-and-a-half years, and decided ‘I have to get back to football,’ and that’s the beginning,” Gibson said.

Big Talk Publishing’s effort is a story of faith, hope and triumph, plus plenty of anecdotes for the most ardent football fan.

The story of the Kaneland Knight-turned construction worker-turned-wide reciever-turned-championship coach and father of four has something for everyone.

“Working with him and talking about how he got his first ring and the winner of ESPN’s first Play of the Year was great,” Gibson said. “But it’s about a guy who has the heart of a champion.”

From small town to NFL star

Don Beebe comes home to share his story
by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—This year’s multi-denominational church service during Elburn Days will feature a well-known local boy who made good.

Former NFL star and Kaneland High School graduate Don Beebe is the guest speaker at the service at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, at Elburn Lions Park. Beebe will have some interesting stories to tell about his journey as a professional athlete.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to my home town and seeing a lot of old faces,” Beebe said. “I look forward to the event.”

Rev. Gary Augustine said Beebe will talk about his faith and how it helped him achieve what he did.

“He’s unique in that he’s a guy who has all this passion and drive, and overcame major obstacles,” Augustine said. “It was his faith in Jesus Christ that kept him on that course – focused, when a lot of other guys would have just given up.”

Beebe played nine years as an NFL wide receiver and played in six Super Bowls, winning a world championship with the Green Bay Packers in 1997.

But his road to the NFL is an inspiring story. Following high school, Beebe spent some time at Western Illinois University, then transferred to Aurora University for a year. He spent the next three years installing aluminum siding with his brother-in-law. He then attended unknown Chadron State College in Nebraska before the Buffalo Bills drafted him. Tryouts for the NFL are by invitation only, and when Beebe showed up in the third round as the 82nd pick overall in the 1989 Draft, he posted impressive times in speed and agility, leaving coaches wondering where he came from.

Beebe retired 14 years ago and devotes his time to the House of Speed (houseofspeed.com), working with young athletes to perform better and enhance their skills. But it’s not just about sports.

“I realized during my career, that I was put there for a reason, and it wasn’t all about me,” he said. “The reason was to be a role model. My passion is sports and kids, so what better way to do that than train kids in athletics and involve character building with that.

“We need more people out there to teach kids about character building.”

Augustine said Beebe epitomizes “what the fighting heart is all about.”

“Here’s a guy that never goes out unless he’s giving all he’s got,” Augustine said. “That attitude, that development, that thing he had to never quit, came from his faith; it was the soil that the character quality developed from”

Beebe said he will talk about his relationship with Christ and sharing his faith.

You can find out more about Don Beebe at www.facebook.com/DonBeebe82.

The special service is sponsored by area churches including Elburn Community Congregational Church, Elburn Hill Church and Hope Anglican Church.