Writing these posts has really given me a better understanding of the athletic greatness that has graced the fields and courts through the years at the University of Kansas. When researching a player, I sometimes find a player that genuinely surprises me. This happened to me when discovering the careers of Willie Pless, Bob Allison, and Bill Bridges. It happened again when researching former KU middle linebacker Terry Beeson
Terry Beeson came to KU from his native Coffeyville, Kansas in 1973. In that freshman season, Kansas went all the way to the Liberty Bowl, and the stage was set for a fine career at Kansas for Beeson. He led the team in tackles in 1975 and led the Kansas defense on the way to a berth in the Sun Bowl. His best season in Lawrence was his senior campaign. In the 1976 season, KU was the preseason #19 team in the land and ascended all the way to #8 in the polls before a late season skid left the team with a 6-5 record. Beeson again led the Jayhawks in tackles and was named to the first team All-Big Eight squad.
After that strong performance, Beeson was taken in the second round (41st overall pick) of the 1977 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and he made an immediate impact in the Emerald City. He led the Seahawks in tackles in each of his first three seasons. That rookie season yielded a franchise record 153 tackles for Beeson, and he had 18 individual tackles in one game against Earl Campbell and the Houston Oilers. Both are still franchise records in Seattle.
Beeson played with the Seahawks through 1981 and finished his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1982. A knee injury slowed Beeson down, and he no longer had the speed for the NFL. After that, he plied his trade in the USFL for the Oklahoma Outlaws and Jacksonville Bulls until finally calling it quits in 1985.
After retiring, Beeson returned to his hometown of Coffeyville and took a position as linebackers coach at Coffeyville Community College. In his eight years as a coach, Coffeyville won two JUCO national championships. He then signed on to be the athletic director and held that position for 10 years. Currently, Beeson is in the insurance business in Coffeyville.
Perhaps the greatest honor that will ever be bestowed upon him will occur this weekend when he is inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame this Sunday, October 4. It’s a well-deserved honor for an underrated KU great.