During Indiana’s annual postseason banquet last week, Tom Allen handed out a new individual award.
And he named it after Chris Beaty.
Beaty, the former IU defensive lineman, was tragically shot and killed in Indianapolis last May in a senseless act of violence that rocked the city and the college football program he loved. Over the past 10 months, Beaty hasn’t been far from Allen’s mind.
Beaty was proud to be a product of IU. A month before his death, Beaty tweeted a screenshot of a Zoom call he joined with Allen and several other former Hoosier players, telling his followers that he believed Indiana was in good hands with Allen leading the team. As the Hoosiers made their mark on the program record book last fall, authoring one of the most memorable seasons in school history, Beaty was close to Allen’s mind. The Indiana coach knew how much the Hoosiers’ march into the top 10 would have meant to Beaty, and when the season ended, Allen decided to make Beaty’s memory a permanent fixture in the program.
That’s how the Chris Beaty Outstanding Walk-On Players of the Year Award came to be.
“I wanted to honor him with an award named after him,” Allen said. “He came here as a walk-on, earned his opportunity here, earned his respect, and continued to grow as he graduated from Indiana and then became an unbelievable supporter of our program from Indianapolis and everything he did for that community. I do not ever want him to be forgotten and that is special for us. I talked to his family and I know that it meant a lot to his family as well. He is a special, special person that we always want to honor.”
Beaty contributed on three state championship teams at Cathedral High School before joining IU’s program in 2000. He played for coaches Cam Cameron and Gerry DiNardo while in Bloomington, and remained an active presence around Memorial Stadium long after he left.
The first winners of the Beaty award were running back Davion Ervin Poindexter and receiver Christian Harris. In passing the trophies off to the recipients, Allen made sure to let everyone know about Beaty, his heart, his impact and his dedication to all things Hoosier.
“He loved Indiana. He loved Indiana Football. He loved people,” Allen said. “He was a very caring, passionate person towards the things that he valued in his life. That was a big emphasis on others. He was so selfless. I have said it before and I will say it again, he lived out LEO as a person. I did not know him prior to coming to coach here, even though I coached against him when he played at Cathedral and I was an assistant at Ben Davis. I coached against him on the field and did not even know him.
“Once I came here, everyone that I talked to was consistent … he really reached out to me in the beginning. He came down here, we met face-to-face, and we had some really great times together. It was very obvious from the very beginning his love and passion for Indiana Football. When I became the head coach, that continued. His support was unwavering. He is a special person to the program and to the University.”