Fermi football coach recovering well after Manchester shooting

By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., May. 26, 2011
Manchester Police Officer William Beeler featured here as Fermi's football coach. File photo by Tom Phelan.
Manchester Police Officer William Beeler featured here as Fermi's football coach. File photo by Tom Phelan.

Manchester Police Officer William Beeler, known to Enfield residents and Fermi High School students as Coach Beeler, is at home and recovering, according to school officials. Beeler sustained a shoulder injury when he was shot during an incident he and other officers responded to in Manchester on Thursday, May 19, where an armed man was holding his family hostage inside a house.

Barry Bernstein, the athletic director for Fermi and Enfield, spoke with Beeler and saw him during the weekend that followed the shooting. Bernstein said the coach was doing very well, and several football players had also visited him. Fermi Principal Paul Newton said the athletes made their coach a large “Get Well Soon” card.

“We are fortunate to have individuals like Coach Beeler who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep the residents of Connecticut safe,” Newton said. “All of our hearts go out to Coach and his family, and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

A post attributed to Beeler on the Fermi Football Facebook page Sunday, May 22, read, “…The whole situation has been a blur, but with a great family at home and a strong support structure, you all better believe I will be back stronger than before…” The note also said that the motto for next year’s football season will be “Look up, get up and don’t ever give up!”

The 2010 season was Beeler’s first as Fermi’s head football coach.

“He’s a special kind of guy, dedicated to his kids, family and community,” said Bernstein. “The kids love him, and he’s very committed to what he’s doing in all aspects.”


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