William Beck ’60 Inducted 1989
If there was ever any truth to the old saw "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach," Bill Beck crushes it once and for all. A successful football teacher and coach for almost 30 years now, Beck established himself in the late 1950s as one of the great "doers" of Gustavus gridiron history. Beck joined the squad as a freshman in 1956, a low spot for the team during the decade. As he developed his skills on the defensive line, however, the team improved from a losing record that freshman year to two MIAC championships and a combined record of 16-1 his junior and senior years. He was named to the second string all-conference team in 1958, a year that saw the Gusties go to the NAIA playoffs. In 1959, Beck moved up to the first string all-conference squad, in addition to being chosen as a member of the Little All- America team and as the recipient of the Paulson Trophy as the team's most valuable player. Pro football regarded Beck so highly that he was drafted by both the New York Giants of the National Football League and the Dallas Texans of the fledgling American Football League. After a year in the pros with both teams and the Hamilton Tigercats of the Canadian Football League, Beck hung up the pads and picked up a pencil.
He earned his master's degree in math education from the University of Santa Clara and began his career in teaching and coaching, a career that has included 23 years as head coach at Irondale High School, where he has won three conference championships. Beck and his wife Diane live in Lake City, MN. They have four children: Philip, 23; Jeffrey, 19; and twins Sarah and Andy, both 10.