July 8, 1925 — July 19, 2019

He was celebrated for being a legendary head men’s and women’s soccer coach. For teaching and guiding legions of students. For his warm smile and his love for Colgate University. 

John Beyer MA’63 came to Colgate in 1962 and coached the first-year soccer, basketball, and tennis teams while working toward his master of arts in history and administration. He was the head men’s soccer coach from 1966 to 1979, leading the team to eight winning seasons, three national rankings, and an NCAA tournament appearance. Beyer mentored All-American student-athlete Barry Small ’76, as well as six All-Region student-athletes — all while achieving a 81-66-15 record during his men’s soccer tenure. 

“John Beyer will forever represent the very best of Colgate, coaching, and teaching,” Small says. “He inspired me, and so many others, to challenge ourselves to fulfill our potential with humility and respect.” 

Beyer served as the director of physical education in 1973. He spearheaded the Colgate women’s soccer program as the first head coach in program history in 1982, leading the team to a 22-10-1 record. Accumulating more than 100 wins as head coach, Beyer’s all-time record stands at 103-76-16.

In 2005, Colgate established the John W. Beyer Endowed Coach for Men’s Soccer in his honor. Colgate inducted him into the Hall of Honor in 2011. And the Raiders’ home soccer stadium was named the Beyer-Small ’76 Field in 2014. The facility pays tribute to the partnership between Beyer and Small, who later served as a University trustee.

“He was a principled and extraordinarily revered leader of young men and women — a true Colgate treasure who impacted the lives of countless student-athletes, including me, as an educator, coach, mentor, and friend,” says Erik Ronning ’97, the John W. Beyer head men’s soccer coach. “John’s enduring legacy will continue to live on in our hearts and thoughts.”

Beyer is survived by six nephews and three nieces.