Trials and Tribulations: Chad Beebe


Chad Beebe, redshirt senior wide receiver, runs the football in the Huskies’ 23-20 loss Sept. 1 against Boston College. The Huskies finished the season 8-4.

By Ryan Ostry

DeKALB — Chad Beebe, redshirt senior wide receiver, had aspiring dreams to become a player in the NFL, but major injuries throughout his high school and college career hampered his chances of fulfilling that dream.

The 185-pound Beebe started playing football at a very young age and was born in Buffalo, New York, wishing he could follow in his father’s footsteps.

Beebe is the son of former professional wide receiver Don Beebe, who played for the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers, and had six appearances in the super bowl.

“My dad would have me jumping outside barefoot because if you ever jump on concrete and hit your heels, it hurts really bad, so through that he taught me to be on the balls of my feet,” Beebe said.

His father was a very instrumental part of his life from the time he started being eager about the sport of football.

Beebe acknowledged his petite size as always being one of his best attributes. However, after attending Aurora Christian High School, he realized his size wouldn’t matter after having early success in his high school career.

Though Beebe has always excelled on the field, derailing injuries have been a significant factor in his football career for as long as he can remember.

“I can’t relate this just to college,” Beebe said. “This started when I was a freshman in high school. I’ve never had one year without an injury, so it’s just become a routine.”

Beebe’s first major injury came in the Huskies Mid-American Conference game in Dec. 2014 when he broke the ulna and radius bones in his left forearm at Ford Field in Detroit.

The Huskie receiver eventually would have two metal plates and 13 screws inserted in his arm to solidify the break.

“Things haven’t come easy, but that’s just sometimes how life goes,” Beebe said. “My faith and background have helped me climb out of the valleys that I’ve been in. I just say faith, family and football.”

Beebe, a devout Christian, has been a follower in his faith since he was young.

Whenever there has been hardship in the elusive receiver’s career, he said his go-to has always been his faith.

“I believe Christ is definitely the center of his and his wife’s lives,” former teammate Cameron Clinton-Earl said. “He had learned a significant amount from his father as far as character and many other qualities and traits he exhibits.”

The once aspiring NFL talent landed a second monumental setback when his hamstring tendon ripped off the bone in 2016. Beebe said he felt dejected after the injury.

“I had to have reconstructive surgery on that,” Beebe said. “This was definitely the hardest one, but it led me to get back, and I would overcome it eventually.”

Beebe came into this season, recording over 500 yards and two touchdowns. Beebe said he was in his best shape of his life coming into this season.

“Getting hurt in the second game of the year was very tough for me,” Beebe said. “I felt like I was in the best shape of my life, and I had my career game against Boston College, and I had really high hopes for the season at that point.”

During the second game of the season against the Eastern Illinois Panthers, Beebe had a helmet-to-helmet blow with another player, sidelining him for several games in his final season. 

The injury sidelined him for over half the season, resulting in more time away from what he loves — the gridiron.

“I knew it was a bad [injury],” Beebe said. “I knew I would have to miss some games, and I was absolutely devastated.”

Though he wasn’t making a difference on the field, he helped his team in other ways by mentoring on the sideline and helping his teammates in any way he could.

“He isn’t boisterous or in your face,” former teammate Sean Folliard said. “He is stoic and confident, always willing to serve and help to better his teammates.”

Beebe left the last game of the season against the Central Michigan Chippewas because of a shoulder injury where he dove spread-eagle and landed gruesomely on his side.

Head Coach Rod Carey is proud of his five-year receiver for what he accomplished during his NIU tenure, even with all of his injuries.

“I was very happy for him, and I’m glad he’s [played well], but that’s kind of the expectation,” Carey said. “I’ve seen him work every day, so I kind of know what to expect from Chad.”

Though he could never completely evade injuries through his tenure, all of the ups and downs he has endured in life, the impact he has made on other people and his spiritual passion have led him to become the unselfish and caring person he is.

“Chad Beebe is one of the most genuine human beings I have ever met,” Folliard said. “He’s the type of guy that no matter what he’s going through, he will always find the time to be there for those around him.”