HAMILTON, NY: On Friday, July 19, 2019, John Beyer, a great friend and mentor to many of his former students/athletes at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, passed away at the age of 94 in his home facing the chapel on Colgate’s campus. He was born on July 8, 1925, to John and Ella Beyer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A gifted athlete, he captained both the basketball and tennis teams at Carroll College.
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John accepted a position at Colgate University in 1962, earned a Master of Arts degree there in history and administration, and coached the freshman tennis, basketball, and soccer teams. He was the head men’s soccer coach from 1966 –1979, took his team to the NCAA tournament in his first year, and compiled a winning record of 81-66-15. He also coached the first women’s soccer team to two winning seasons and achieved a combined winning record of 103-76-16. His coaching success and, far more importantly, his enduring impact on the lives of his former athletes, prompted them to endow the head men’s soccer coaching chair in his honor in 2005.
John demanded total commitment and intensity on the field of play, freely – and loudly – “encouraging” players. The better the player the more the encouragement. Off the field his occasional gruff Germanic manner was accompanied by a sly wit, understanding smile, and insightful words. He understood human nature well and often found the words or actions needed to elevate his players’ performances. Decades after his players graduated from Colgate many continued to visit John and share their lives with him.
Uncommon is the man who inspires the continued respect of other men and women; rare is the man who inspires as well the lasting devotion of such men and women. John was such a man.
In his last years he was cared for by a loving group of women whose dedication to John was reciprocated.
John loved Colgate and lived in Hamilton for 57 years. He is survived by three nieces and six nephews and scores of friends, including former players he coached, who were fortunate to have claimed him as a friend.
A memorial service will be held at 9:30 AM on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the First Baptist Church on 27 Broad Street in Hamilton.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sending contributions to Colgate University’s Advancement Office to support the John W. Beyer Endowed Coaches Chair.