Remembering Fred Beile
On Sunday, February 18, the Doane community was saddened to hear the news of the passing of legendary track and field coach Fred Beile. He was 86 years old. Coach Beile had been ill for several months, but that did not stop him from remaining active in the Doane Track and Field program until this past weekend.
Originally from Park Ridge, Illinois, Beile arrive at Doane in 1961 and served as head cross country coach, assistant track coach, instructor, and athletic trainer. He had previously served as head track coach at the University of Kansas City until the school elected to drop athletics in the spring of 1961. At the time, he believed it would be one year before he and his family would move on from Doane, but they found a place they could not leave.
"God had a reason for putting me on this earth and evidently part of that reason was to do some good with some kids from rural Nebraska," Beile said in an interview in 2015.
Beile took over the track and field program at Doane in 1973 and for the next 29 years, he coached 327 NAIA All-Americans, 101 NAIA scholar athletes, 60 individual national champions, and was named NAIA Coach of the Year six times. Beile led the Doane women to national outdoor titles in 2001 and 2002. His teams combined to win a remarkable 65 conference championships.
An NAIA All-American in the 880-yard run in 1953, Beile completed a bachelor's and master's degree in physical education at Northern Illinois University, as well as earning a second master's degree in physical education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In 1987, Beile was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Doane Hall of Fame in 1998, the third class of inductees, along with his good friend Robert (Bob) Erickson.
Fred's funeral service will be held Thursday, February 22 at 1:00pm at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Crete, Nebraska. A reception at the Fred Beile Competition Arena on Doane's campus will follow.
Thoughts from Doane coaches…
Coach Ed Fye (head track and field coach)
"Doane lost a great man in Fred Beile. He was a father to many of us and will be missed. This coaching staff will work hard to keep his legacy going. I stopped in after the GPAC Championship and told him we had won both men and women's championships and he looked at me and said, 'How do we keep doing that?' I told him it's because that is what he taught us - compete for what you want, draw a line in the dirt, and let's race. He will never be forgotten and his words will forever flow through Fred Beile Arena."
Coach Brad Jenny (head cross country, assistant track coach)
"Fred obviously impacted many, many people and was great at what he did. What tells you more is that when he spoke at the reunion he thanked all of the alums for making Doane track and field great. We were there to honor him and he put the attention back on everybody else. That is just how he was. He spent a large portion of his life trying to make Doane track and field great, but in the process, he helped shape many lives."