John Beam now heading Laney’s football program

Laney College athletic director John Beam has become the head coach of the Eagles football team, after serving as Jay Uchiumi’s offensive coordinator the past seven years.

A local legend, the retiring Uchiumi stepped down in January but will remain as defensive coordinator for one final season. The Eagles are coming off a rare poor season, in which they finished 2-8 overall and 0-5 in the powerful NorCal Conference.

“It’s bittersweet, right?” said Beam of his new title. “It’s been such a pleasure working with Jay, we’ve had a great partnership. Not having Jay around anymore will be a little tough because he’s great mentor. He’ll stay on for one more year as a D-coordinator, and we’ll see what happens after that.”

Beam previously coached for 22 years at Skyline High-Oakland and two years as the offensive line coach at Serra High-San Diego. He expects the Eagles football team to rebound strongly next season.

While proud to be the head football coach, Beam said he is “more proud” to be the school’s athletic director. Beam is delighted with the program’s progress. The Laney women’s track team, led by the brilliant sprinter Ashton Purvis, won the Northern Regional title last week in San Mateo and stands a good chance to win the state championship. The baseball team made the Northern regional playoffs for the first time since 1997, and the powerful women’s basketball team won the Bay Valley Conference title.

“I’m excited about all the things here,” Beam said. “I’m excited because we’re a viable option for all the kids in Oakland and in Berkeley and in every area that we service. We don’t go out of state (to recruit). We stay local. We’re a place that the local kids can come to and perform.”

Beam chuckled when he said his administrative workload tripled with his new position. He is pleased that four football players from the 2011 team were accepted to Cal academically.

“We’re trying to maintain our 90 percent transfer rate, and so a lot of work has to occur,” Beam said. “You’re missing a guy (Uchiumi) who’s been doing that for over 30 years, so there’s some big shoes to fill right now.”

Matt Schwab

  • Congrats to Coach Beam. Right guy to run Oakland. Great to see Beam, Carter, & Calcogno all running JC’s now. Not 10 years ago they were all stud High School coaches. Good that they are showing there is some gold at the end of High School coaching if they are that good. They are all making a living at it now.

  • ManDown

    It is a great thing that Beam is now the head coach at Laney now. Is means a lot to the whole Oakland community and to have him as the head guy in charge is great. Hopefully he can recruit better players now that they have that new facility down there.

  • Fast and physical

    Recruitting is important, but kids are turned off by his negative recruitting, of other programs. Stop crying and play ball, stop being scared and play the real coach carter at CC. This is no secret of the new job, this was planned, but good luck, not to kill your Eagle Thunder. Run Rickey Run!

  • EarHustler

    Beam owned Carter while he was at Mac, and CC is not on the same level as Laney. Stop starting beef, when there is none.
    Keep it real, dog.

  • I see you

    #3 Fast And Physical

    Beam dose not have to go out of state to recruit players like Alonzo Carter. If you have followed Beam at Skyline you would know that he has beat Carter for years.

  • pirate football


    not sure i would say owned carter in the beginning of carter taking over yes beam won but carter won more later and its been word that carter called beam for a game this coming season and beam turned down the oppurtunity personally i think beam doesnt want to play carter anymore

  • I beleive Carter only Beat Beam 2 times. Same year. I want to say 01. Loaded team for Carter beat him in league then a close game at the coli & pulled away late. Other then that Carter never beat him all the years they coached against each other.

  • pirate football

    sorry the 01/o2 school year silver bowl game was played at laney i was there but if beam owns carter so much why did he decline to play ccc personally i think he scared

  • Could have my years mixed up. No idea why Beam wouldn’t want to play Carter they should play all local teams in non league. Laney is an A level team & I’m sure they are playing A level teams in the Non-League. San Mateo, City, I think they played Santa Rosa last year. No point in dropping those teams if they want to play in the Championship. I think CCC is a C level team.

  • Jus Some Guy


    You’re right, last season Laney was in the A Level division, they wanted to play the top teams not C level teams. Playin each other could be a possibility if Laney petitions down and CCC petitions up based on both teams win/loss records last season.

  • Im just saying….

    Hey I heard that there is a Nike Elite 11 Qb combine at Contra Costa college at three. I heard the qb from Odowd is going who else? Anyone know?

  • moreaufan2

    Congrats to Coach Beam. New this was coming, and he is the right person for the job. He has been an awesome coordinator and athletic director since he has been there and I know he will continue leading the football program and athletics overall to where they need to be!

  • FYI

    laney finished last place last season . . . they have now been dropped down from the A league conference they were in that included sf city college amongst others, and now they are in the same conference as chabot which is one step down

  • UC Rancher

    In regards to the Carter/Beam situation, I do recall there being a bench clearing brawl between Mac & Skyline during 2000-2001 season that resulted in coaches from both teams being suspended for a game. There might be animosity still between those two as a result of that. As for Beam being scared to face Carter….Please, though the OAL was not strong, it did not stop Beam scheduling strong opponents like DLS,Sierra,Logan,& Berkley. There was even one time Skyline flew out all the way to Hawaii to play Powerhouse St Louis. I don’t think he would be scared to play anyone.

  • Fresno State

    back in 1991 when the had Strothers

  • Reggie Hammond

    about Beam: great coach, great personality, hard working blue collar Oakland Cat, coached in plenty of big games, earned his stripes years ago, best there is in the game. One thing though: put your damn helmets on at workouts. Why arent you making this happen?

  • Carter is not Beam. Carter had a run at Mack, BHS was not a success and either is CCC. I did hear that Carter has recruited some Florida kids.
    Carter won in the OAL, at BHS he couldn’t win a NCS playoff game, lots of blow-outs.
    Beam has been a proven winner.
    Too bad Lad never went the college ranks, he could have started at Cal or Stanford.

  • I read that Blanton is no longer the coach of SPSV. BAD for that program new, tougher league. The next coach will really struggle replacing him

  • Blanton heading to Jesuit, big time program with some big time teams- Folsom, Eld Grove, Granite Bay, Grant and the Valley. Would not be surprised to see Jesuit on DeLa’s schedule within a year or two with Blanton’s DLS connection.

  • Blanton was very hot on that 23-3 back to backs, 06 and 07, including that 21 game win streak.
    Going to be tough replacing him, any news of replacement coach and if so will the veer stay?

  • Blanton has a lot of speed on that team- big time tracksters- Veer should be a good fit- give ’em a block and they’ll be gone.