On Friday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame named former Chargers GM Bobby Beathard a contributor finalist for the 2018 class. The contributor category was created in 2014 for individuals who made "outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching."
Beathard served as the Chargers' general manager for 10 years and most famously was the architect of the 1994 team that reached the Super Bowl.
"Having attended LT's enshrinement ceremony earlier this month, nothing would make me happier than to return to Canton next year and watch Bobby up on that stage," said Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos. "He's one of the best judges of football talent in NFL history and an even finer person. Bobby is immensely deserving of this tremendous honor, and I hope, come February, he goes from Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist to a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018."
Widely regarded as the game's preeminent General Manager by the likes of former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and others, Alex and Dean Spanos seized the opportunity to secure Beathard's services following his resignation from Washington in 1989. In 11 seasons as the Redskins GM (1978-88), Beathard's teams made five playoff appearances and won Super Bowl XVII after the 1982 season and Super Bowl XXII after the 1987 season.
The Chargers named Beathard general manager on Jan. 3, 1990 and once on board, one of his first acts was drafting future Hall of Famer Junior Seau fifth overall out of USC. In 1992, he hired Bobby Ross as head coach and acquired Stan Humphries via trade from his former team. Those three moves helped turn the Chargers' fortunes around. The Bolts clinched a playoff berth that season, and two years later, advanced to their first ever Super Bowl.
In order to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Beathard must earn a minimum of 80 percent of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee vote when they meet in Minneapolis on Feb. 3. Bill Polian, Ron Wolf, Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and Jerry Jones have all been elected to the Hall of Fame as contributors since the category's inception three years ago.
"There's nothing I love more than football," Beathard said after learning of the nomination. "I feel like I've gone through life without a job and got paid for it."