Remembering Terry Paul Beasley

February 5, 1950 – January 31, 2024

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Terry got into sports early, following his older brothers. He played baseball, joined the track team, and his football career started as a kicker for Capital Heights Junior High and continued until the tenth grade at Robert E. Lee High School when a leg injury ended his ability to kick well. He was then transitioned into the wide receiver position and became the Co-Captain for the 1967 team.

In December of 1967, Terry committed to play for Auburn University. He lettered from 1969 to 1971. In his college career, he amassed 141 receptions, four program records of 2,507 yards and 29 touchdowns while playing with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Pat Sullivan. Terry set an SEC Record of that time of 29 career receiving touchdowns. He led the SEC in receptions, receiving yards and scoring in 1970 with 52 receptions, 1,051 receiving yards and 72 points.

He was an All-American in 1970 and 1971. He was picked as the SEC Lineman of the Week multiple times. He, along with Pat Sullivan, Johnny Musso and John Hannan, were called to appear before a Joint Sesson of the Alabama State Senate to be recognized as outstanding players. He is one of three Auburn players to have their number retired by the Auburn University #88 along with Pat Sullivan #7 and Bo Jackson #34.

In 1971 he was named the College Pass Receiver of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus and was in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft selected by the San Fransico 49ers. He played with the 49ers until 1975 when injuries forced his retirement. It is estimated that during his football career, he had at least 52 concussions.

In 1982, SEC sportswriters named him to the first team of the All-Time SEC team covering 50 years from 1933 to 1982 and the Quarter-Century All-SEC Team which covered 1950 to 1974. He was elected into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 and in 1992 he, along with Pat Sullivan, where selected to Auburn’s Team of the Century. In 2002, he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

After leaving the 49ers, Terry had a successful landscaping business and later was a salesman for EZ GO Golf Cart Company.

While Terry was well known for his football career, there was more to him than football. He was a man who had a very difficult childhood that grew up to be a very generous man. As a child of five, he began working in a local barber shop sweeping the floor and shining shoes. His grandfather and mother ran a small lumber yard and sold sawdust to local factories. To save money, the sacks were reused and if torn, had to be repaired. As a young boy, he learned to sew these sacks and to shovel sawdust. As he got older, he worked at a local grocery store cleaning, sacking groceries and various other jobs to help out the family. He never was able to buy lunch at school until his senior year when he was allowed to work in the lunchroom in order to eat lunch. Because of this, he donated yearly to the St. Clair County School System Lunch Program so no child would go without lunch.

He set up a scholarship with the College of Agriculture, for first year students with financial needs through the Spirit of Auburn Scholarship program.

The Bible teaches us to help the widows. Only a few of those closest to Terry knew that he honored this scripture by often shaking the hands of the widows of his home church congregation and leaving a little money in their hand to help them out. He gave faithfully to his home church, many Christian ministries, Big Oaks Boys and Girls Ranch, foundations that support Israel and the Jewish Community. His generous donations are too numerous to list.

When preparing this remembrance, many recalled how he was generous of his time. When you talked to him, you had his full attention. He listened to you as if you were the most important person to him, and you were. This was even true with the children at church who all thought Mr. Terry was the greatest without knowing a thing about his football history.

Terry loved the Lord and he loved to study the Word. Terry loved to discuss the scripture during Sunday School class and Bible study. He could quote scripture and explain what they meant. He loved to serve at his church and loved when it was his turn to be usher. He was always first to come forward when it was time to pray for those who came to the front for prayer and he faithfully stood by his brother-in-law Ricky, who is recovering from cancer, each time he came for prayer.

With all that could be said about Terry, he would want you to know that nothing meant more to him than his relationship with God. If you don’t remember anything, remember this one thing that Terry was often heard saying, “It’s all about Jesus!”

He wrote the following Prayer, Heart of an Eagle:

In Lieu of flowers, the family request any donations be made to the Big Oak Ranch, to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for CTE, or to the charity of your choice. Maybe even plant a tree or two in his memory!