Former Southeastern All-American quarterback Drew Beard was recognized this week at the NCAA Annual Convention as a member of the NCAA Division II 40th Anniversary Team.
At this year's convention held in San Diego, Calif., the NCAA held a reception in the Marina Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis at which the honorees selected to the team were represented with awards and given the opportunity to share with those on hand their own Division II stories.
Beard is a 2005 graduate of Southeastern who spent four seasons on the Savage football team. Throughout his playing career, he was known for his accomplishments both on and off the field.
He is a two-time Harlon Hill award finalist and two-time All-American. He holds 10 single game, season or career records and guided SE to its only Division II playoff appearance.
Off the field, Beard joined the reserves in 2002 and served throughout his playing career, often leaving after Saturday games to join his fellow troops for training. After graduating he joined the National Guard and was later deployed for a nine-month tour in Iraq.
Beard currently works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Oklahoma, an organization that he was active with throughout his college career.
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of NCAA Division II, 48 former student-athletes were honored by the NCAA throughout 2013. Developed through a partnership with the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, the 40th Anniversary Tribute Team highlights one male and one female from each of the division's 23 current conferences, plus two at-large nominees.
"This group of former student-athletes is meant to reflect the core values of Division II athletics," said Josh Looney, associate director of Division II. "Commissioners have helped identify a diverse group of championship individuals from Division II's 40-year history. Not only did these former student-athletes act as champions in athletics and in the classroom, they've gone on to live championship lives as well.
"This group is a true representation of Division II's commitment to providing its student-athletes a 'Life in the Balance' that extends beyond athletics."
Division II gained its own unique intercollegiate athletics identity when Divisions I, II and III were formalized during a special NCAA Convention held in 1973. Prior to 1973, the NCAA was organized into two divisions--"University" and "College."