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Poet Award Recipient Dick Beam Dies at Age 75

WHITTIER, Calif. - Richard "Dick" Beam '58, who was an assistant coach on two of USC's national championship football teams and later became an NFL executive, died of cancer on Thursday in Corona. He was 75.

Beam began his nearly 40-year career in sports as a player at Whittier High School and then Whittier College, where he was coached by George Allen and Don Coryell, both future legendary NFL coaches. He then coached for the Poet freshman and varsity football teams under Coryell.

After obtaining his teaching credential, he spent the next 10 years teaching English, history, and P.E. classes and coaching football for local high schools before joining the coaching staff of nationally ranked college football team, the Trojans of University of Southern California. He served as assistant coach at USC for four years, then got the chance to move up to the National Football League, as assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Three years later, Beam shifted his professional track to sports administration, hired as the Buccaneers' vice president. In 1981, he was offered the chance to return to the West Coast as vice president for the Los Angeles Rams—a position he'd hold for the next decade. In 1992, Beam was named Chief Operating Officer for the the Orlando Thunder, one of only four U.S. teams operating under the newly-formed (but short-lived) World League of American Football. He also served briefly as player agent before finally choosing to retire from professional sports in 1994. Throughout his career, he served in 29 Superbowls as a Team Liaison.

Beam is survived by his wife, Dorothy, son, Donn, daughter Cathy Crofts, and three grandchildren.

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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. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Whittier College Athletic Department.