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Michael Savaloja / Forum Communications Co., Published July 13 2012

Winning with style: ND Sports HOF inductee Beyer remembered for his sport coats

Jamestown, N.D.

High school basketball in North Dakota has never quite been the same since Hillsboro’s Ed Beyer hung up the clipboard back in 1997.

Gone from the sidelines of the many gymnasiums where his teams found plenty of success during his 37-year tenure, were the countless eye-catching sport coats the legendary coach would don while directing his boys from the bench.

Worn in various styles and colors, Beyer would have made the always boisterously dressed NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager proud.

“Way back when I was young, when I went to church and Sunday school everyone wore a suit or a sport coat,” Beyer said. “My dad liked clothes, and he was always buying me new suits and sport coats. It kind of came natural.

“But when I look back at some of the pictures, they were kind of loud.”

Beyer will be enshrined in the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame today, along with Fargo Shanley graduate Rick Helling and Jamestown’s Darin Erstad. The induction ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Jamestown Civic Center, following a social and silent auction starting at 5:30 p.m.

Beyer is no stranger to receiving accolades, after amassing a career record of 688-195 while winning four state Class B boys basketball championships in 1973, ’74, ’77 and ’81. The 1981 Hillsboro Burros ran the table, going a perfect 26-0 en route to the title.

Beyer is already a member of the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame (’87) and he was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. the year after his retirement.

But being called into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, where the likes of famed NBA coach and Williston native Phil Jackson and other nationally recognized sports figures reside, came as quite an honor.

“This is a surprise to me. It has to (rank) way up there,” Beyer said. “I’ve had a lot of honors and won just about everything you can win as a coach, which shows how fortunate and lucky I’ve been. But this one kind of surprised me.”

Born in Appleton, Minn. in 1938, Beyer attended Concordia College in Moorhead after graduating from Elbow Lake High School in 1956, where he earned 11 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball. Beyer was the starting second baseman for the Cobbers for four years and batted .415 as team captain during his senior season.

Beyer came to Hillsboro in 1960 and taught vocational office education classes for the next 37 years. Beyer was the offensive coordinator and backfield coach for Hillsboro’s football team for 15 seasons, during which time the Burros posted a record of 103-19.


Savaloja writes for The Jamestown Sun