Dan Grant / Induction in 2009

Dan Grant


A fiery, unyielding tailback who refused to be brought down by any single tackler, he was an all-state lynchpin in what is considered by many to be the golden age of BHS football. As a senior, he tallied more than 1,800 total yards and 22 touchdowns, producing an area-leading 140 points. His three-year varsity career contributed mightily to three conference championships and a team record of 23-2-1, a stretch that stands to this day as the benchmark for team success in BHS athletics.


Associated Press Class C All State Second Team in 1970
Won All Sports trophy as a junior
Had a record of 1-1-1 vs. Gladwin as player
First suited up for the varsity team as a 13-year-old freshman; he didn't appear in this game
8-1 as senior and beat Gladwin
Lost 3 games in four years of football
Also played track and basketball
Served as Assistant Coach when Beaverton last beat Gladwin in 1986

No single pursuer ever stood a chance against Dan Grant. A key component of the late '60s early '70s BHS teams that to this day stand among the greatest eras in any BHS sport, he shed tacklers like they were horseflies; frankly, the HOF Q & A team was surprised to slow him down long enough to answer our questions.

Like many players in your day, you played multiple sports. Which was your favorite?

Football and baseball were the sports we played in the yard with neighbors and friends from the time I was in grade school. It was natural for those to become my favorite sports.

You enjoyed quite a bit of success on the playing field. Which teammates helped bring out the best in your game? How did they do that?

Bill Mishler and Tom Lang are two that immediately come to mind. Bill would have been an all-state halfback as a senior, but switched to quarterback for the good of the team. Tom was probably the best lineman I played with. He would have been all-state as a senior, but switched to fullback because that is where he was needed. These type of players are why the rest of us had the success we did. I was fortunate to have played with them.

Who were the players from other schools who gave your team the most headaches? What was your approach in trying to beat them?

Roscommon and Gladwin were always tough teams. Roscommon always had the hardest hitters. Gladwin had so many good players you couldn’t key in on any one player. Beaverton as a team had to give 100% during those games.

Who was the coach that you learned the most from, and what did he or she teach you?

Coach Van, for the following reasons: 1) He didn’t like me to hold hands with girls! 2) He wanted me to get good grades. 3) He told me to think football. 4) He wanted me to practice harder. 5) He wanted me to be as good as I could be. 6) He always told me you wouldn’t succeed in life unless you work at it. 7) He wasn’t just a coach; he was a life tutor. THANKS, COACH VAN!

What are your favorite three athletic memories from your playing days?

Running for five touchdowns in a game during my freshman year. After the game, a man asked me if I caught rabbits in my spare time. I was embarrassed until my dad told me it was a compliment.

Parents Night and having my mom and dad on the field with me.

I met a man from another town who told me his son was in the running for the Golden Helmet Award that year.  He said he had been up for it 25 years earlier in 1970, but some “so and so” from Beaverton won it.  I held out my hand and said, “I’m that so and so.”  What memories!

In football, who are your all-time BHS top five players?

Since I played with Mike Loar and scores of other great players, I would answer this a little bit differently. In addition to the standouts, there were the kids that practiced just as hard as I did, but didn’t always get in the game and never got their names in the paper. They gave it their all in spite of that, and without them we wouldn’t have been the team we were.

How has the game of football evolved since you played?

I think the average teen was in better physical condition when I played. Most of us played both offense and defense, played with injuries and never wanted to come out of the game for a rest or to catch our breath. We just wanted to play football.

What is your proudest BHS moment as a player, coach or fan?

As a player, receiving the Golden Helmet Award as player of the year. As a coach, coaching football with my brother, Tom, when Beaverton last defeated Gladwin. As a fan, watching my daughter Sally’s basketball team go to the state quarterfinals, as well as Jeni, Laura and Missy excelling in their sports and activities. There have been many Beaverton teams that gave it their all and made Beaverton proud.

Are there any thoughts or memories you can share on the other members of your Hall of Fame class:

Larry Gerow worked the chains at the football games for years. I asked my dad about him and Dad explained what a great person and athlete he was.  I can tell that my dad was right.

Ken Govitz was always around sports when I was younger. I’ve heard stories about him from my Uncle Bill, who played sports around the same time as Ken. It’s obvious he was a great athlete, and there is no question about Ken as a person.

Clarence Metzger was Mr. BHS while I was in school. My parents spoke highly of him years before I knew who he was. I always trusted their judgment.

Becky Phillips coached my wife, Patty, in basketball; Patty always liked her. I never knew her as a coach, player or teacher, but have since respected her as a youth teacher and active member of her church. She is a special lady.

Dick Van Wieren was the one everyone looked up to while I was in school. He taught physical education and coached football, basketball and track, but he was a lot more than that. He controlled the halls and had a shoulder pinch that would make you see things his way! A lot of other teachers were glad there was a Coach Van in the building.

How does it feel to be enshrined in the BHS Hall of Fame?

What an honor! To be inducted in the initial class is unbelievable.

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Dan Grant Brag Board

“I was here a couple years after his graduation, but I heard a ton about how good he was. Coach Van talked so highly of him and Mike Loar, and was so proud to coach them. Dan Grant receiving the Golden Helmet Award is amazing; those didn’t get handed out to just anybody. He was working at the elevator when I came to town a long time ago now.”

– Roy Johnston

“Dan: to say ‘We are proud of you’ seems so little to convey our thoughts – but we certainly are. When I was in high school, I knew you were a very talented athlete, but I am sure I did not appreciate how very gifted you were. I remember cheering from the sidelines for all of those yards you ran and the touchdowns scored. I remember seeing that Gold Helmet in the trophy case and it was just so cool that your name was on it. And I have proudly pointed out that trophy a million times to our children. The lessons learned through athletics of doing your best, working hard to be better, accepting the role that makes the team better, pride in your school and community all served you well on the football field. But more importantly, long after the glow of an award wears off, these attributes will continue to serve you well throughout your life. Those attributes have been evident in the way you and Patty have lived your life, raised your family and are reflected in the way you enjoy your grandson, Grant Leroy. Mom and Dad would be beaming with pride. They were always proud of you – but this would have been the icing on the cake. Congratulations, #32 – we are so proud of you.”

– Sue and Joe Mishler & family

“I only know Dan Grant from his athletic ability and his coaching days. He is a good, community-minded person.”

– Ken Govitz

“My grandpa lets me plow snow with him, and he teaches me how to fish and drive the mule. I think he’s very smart because he helped me fix my go-cart. I want to play football like him, but I don’t think I will be able to run as fast as he did, so I will probably tackle people.”

– Grant Brandon, Age 7

“Dan Grant has given so much to football. He was an all-state player, a natural runner who loved the game and gave it his all. He played on an undefeated team as a junior and his senior year they lost one game. He was a big part of that effort. I only remember one time when Dan was tackled one-on-one. Dan said he was trying a new move.”

– BHS Football Coach Dick Van Wieren

“When we were in high school, we were always very proud to walk by the trophy case and see our Dad’s awards, especially his ‘Golden Helmet.’ We are just as proud of him today and would like to say congratulations to a great Dad on his Hall of Fame induction.”

– Dan’s daughters Jeni, Sally, Laura and Missy

“I’d really like to thank my parents, coaches and fellow teammates for being so supportive through my career at BHS.”

– Dan Grant

“Working with Dan over the months and years has been so memorable. He has taught us all many, many things. He is such an honest and hardworking individual and continues to change our lives and those he comes into contact with everyday. We are all so very proud of you and your achievements, Dan. Congratulations on all you have done – you deserve it.”

– His Afternoon Partners: Nora, Karee, Carl and Vic