Meet John Beam: Last Chance U coach's career, family and more explored

Last Chance U is returning to Netflix for its fifth and final (football) season on Tuesday, July 28th. 

The docuseries, created by Greg Whiteley of Cheer fame, has amassed millions of fans since it started airing in 2016. Offering an inside look at some of the junior colleges in America with the best football programmes, Last Chance U in its approach to the players and the institution of football.

Season 5 will head to Laney College in California, which is one of the top West Coast junior college teams. The Laney Eagles have been overseen by Coach John Beam since 2012, and while under his guidance they have become one of the top teams in the country.

So, with Last Chance U returning this summer 2020, we thought it high time to get to know John Beam better. Find out everything you need to know about the Laney College coach here.


Who is Coach John Beam?

John Beam is currently the head coach and athletic director of the Laney College Eagles.

John started his coaching career back in 1979 at Serra High School in San Diego. His first job was as the offensive line coach and he helped Serra High School reach the playoffs for the first time in the school’s history. This was a good indicator of what a success Coach Beam would be, as he continued to train champion teams.


In 1982, John moved to Oakland, California and began to coach at Skyline High School as the defensive coordinator. In 1987, John Beam was promoted to the Head Football coaching position at that school. During his time as Head Coach at Skyline he had 15 league championships, 11 section championships, 4 undefeated seasons, and went undefeated in league play in the 90s. During his time at Skyline High School, John Beam produced more Division 1 players than anyone else in Northern California, sending more than 100 football players to the Division 1 level.

John has also won many personal accolades as well as football titles. In 2014, he was honoured in his induction in the Bay Area Multi-Ethnic Hall of Fame. He also was voted the 2018 CCCAA Football Coach of the Year.

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John Beam and Laney College

John started out at Laney College as the Running Backs coach in 2004. A year later, he was promoted to the Offensive Coordinator position.

As the Offensive Coordinator, John lead an offensive team that helped the Eagles win 3 conference championships and 5 straight bowl game appearances. His success as a coordinator and coach earned him the spot of Head Football Coach in 2012. John has held this position ever since.

In 2018, the Eagles took both the title of state and national champions. They are returning for the 2019 season – which we will follow on Last Chance U season 5 – with a reputation to uphold.

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Coach Beam talks Last Chance U

John Beam has been vocal about his praise of Netflix’s Last Chance U series, but has said Laney College differs from the previous schools. Instead, John argues that Laney College is far from a last-ditch destination for players who can’t get into better schools, and says that Laney is one of the most sought-after football programmes.

John explained:

I told them we’re not ‘Last Chance U.’ We’re your first chance. We’re your Best Chance U. I said you’re not [rejects]. All those kids from the other shows either left school, got kicked out from a four-year school or something. Well, that’s not us. You’re the kids who came here for a reason. To better your grades or better you football outlook. We’re your best chance.

Follow Coach John Beam on Instagram

You can follow Coach Beam on Instagram @coachjohnbeam to see what he has to say about Last Chance U.

John also has been using Twitter under the handle @beam_coach to talk everything football related.

In his both his social media bios, John describes himself as a “proud husband” and “proud father.” John has two daughters who he regularly posts about on Instagram.




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