Former Seahawk Beede is NFL Teacher of the Year

Frank Beede still remembers getting heckled by defensive tackle John Randle, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. No matter how hard Beede tried to block him out, Randle just wouldn’t let up throughout a Seahawks-Vikings game years ago.

The former Seattle guard also remembers Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon ”giving me a big ol’ smack” on the backside and yelling at him for jumping offside before a snap from the Raiders’ 1-yard line.

”The headlines the next day all said, ‘Beede Gets a Spanking,”’ he said, laughing.

On Wednesday, the 10th-grade world history teacher got his own slice of fame: $5,000 for himself, $5,000 for his Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif. — and the NFL’s Teacher of the Year award.

The league announced it had honored Beede, who played five seasons before retiring in 2000, with its annual award recognizing a former NFL player who is now a professional teacher.

Beede didn’t even know he’d been nominated.

”I had no idea. I was shocked,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview minutes after he received the award in front of students, faculty and family and friends inside Freedom High’s cafeteria.

Principal Erik Faulkner called Beede to the school for a meeting Wednesday, then casually told the nine-year teaching veteran on his way into the cafeteria ”by the way, you are the NFL’s Teacher of the Year.”

He says the Seahawks will honor him by having him raise their ”12th Man” flag representing their fans at the Aug. 14 preseason game against Tennessee at Seattle’s Qwest Field.

Beginning in 1990, the NFL invited players to nominate teachers who had the greatest impact on their educational and life-skills development. The program now invites school administrators to nominate former NFL players who became professional teachers after retiring from football.

A panel of educators and civic leaders selected Beede from among 10 finalists, with assistance from the NFL Alumni Association.

The voting panel includes commissioner Roger Goodell, former commissioner and current Georgetown University trustee chairman Paul Tagliabue, two members of Congress, former NFL players and current teachers Aaron Carver and Randall McDaniel, and the American Federation of Teachers.

”We are proud of the NFL alumni who are shaping future generations by working in education,” Goodell said. ”Their time on the football field taught them the values of integrity, preparation and persistence, lessons that carry over into the classroom. We honor these former NFL players for their dedication to the work of teaching.”

Beede also coaches Freedom’s High’s offensive line in Oakley, near where he was born and raised in Antioch, Calif., in the eastern edge of the Bay Area. He said many students are surprised to learn he used to play in the NFL.

Not that he advertises. He’d prefer to let his current work speak for itself.

”It’s about making a difference. Obviously, I don’t do it for the money,” Beede said. ”You get to make a difference in these kids’ lives. And you see it. You take a lot of pride in making an impact on a kid’s life.”