Rev. Joseph Beattie

Class of


Coaching Salesianum to 13 state cross-country championships in 15 years, Father Beattie had the most consistent run of success of any Delaware high school coach in any sport. He also coached
Salesianum to four straight track championships, 1971-74, before stepping back to an assistant’s role, coaching hurdles, distances and relays – technique events where coaching is crucial – where the
Sals had 17 individual and 14 relay state champions in his 17 years. Before Father Beattie began coaching in 1966-67, the school had no success in track or cross-country, never finishing among the
top three teams in either sport. By 1969, Salesianum began a run of cross-country dominance that prevailed over a decade and a half, interrupted just twice through 1983-84. With six state champions
and 69 first, second or third team all-staters, the Sals comprised over one-fifth of the statewide All-State list. Yet, Salesianum could win without first-tier runners. Two title teams had no members
on the seven-man All-State team. Three others only had one first-team All-Stater. In 1984, Father Beattie moved to Fort Myers, Florida, to help the Oblates establish a new school, Bishop Verot, where
his teams won five district championships in eight years. Father Beattie’s advocacy secured many advances in both sports. Instrumental in creating the Brandywine Creek State Park course, he began
Delaware’s oldest cross-country festival in 1974, the Salesinaum Invitational. In 1994, he was in the first class inducted into the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame.



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