Cathedral football field to be named for former Coach Beesley

Published 11:52 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2017

After coaching for nearly 40 years, Ken Beesley dedicated much of his time to Green Wave athletics. Now, Cathedral’s football field will be dedicated in his honor.

The field will be officially named after Beesley on Sept. 15 at a ceremony during halftime of the Green Wave’s home football game against Simpson Academy.

“I’m at a loss for words, and I’m real grateful. It is a great honor,” Beesley said. “It’s something I didn’t start at Cathedral to have happen, but it kind of makes my career that much better. I couldn’t ask for a better way to be remembered.”

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Beesley began his coaching career at Cathedral in 1971 when he served as a junior high football coach. In 1978, he took over as varsity head coach and also headed the school’s basketball and baseball programs.

Football was the last sport Beesley stepped down from, departing the sidelines in 2006. He retired from full-time teaching in 2010.

“I’m enjoying retirement, but I still miss everyone,” Beesley said. “Cathedral is a family, and it has a special place in my heart.”

Following his goodbye from the Green Wave football program, Beesley’s son, Craig Beesley, — also the school’s current athletic director — led the Green Wave as head coach for the next three years.

Former Cathedral and current Brookhaven Academy coach Ron Rushing then led the program from 2010-15 before current head coach Chuck Darbonne stepped in two years ago.

Craig Beesley said though naming the field was something that had been in the works for a couple of months, nothing had been official until this point.

“Any time you rename a building or athletic facility after someone, it has to go through the proper channels,” he said. “The field had never been named, and the stadium will still be named D’Evereux Stadium.”

In additional to the recent completion of Cathedral’s new field house, Craig Beesley added his father’s name will be the perfect addition to the space and be proudly displayed.

“We will put up a sign, but right now the location has yet to be determined,” he said. “We are looking for the perfect place so once we get it up, it’ll be in a good spot where everybody can see it.”

C-Club president Dan Thibodeaux said the naming ceremony will likely draw a crowd of former players and Cathedral supporters.

“We plan for it to be a big event,” he said. “It’s really open to everybody and extended to full community of alumni and friends.”

Ken Beesley said while he still keeps up with many of his former athletes, he is eager to see who attends the ceremony.

“I’m always excited to see former players,” he said. “A lot of them have moved away so if any of them are able to come, I’m anxious to see them.”