Ball State legend Beerman passes away from coronavirus

Photo courtesy of Ball State

One of the top players in the history of Ball State men’s volleyball has passed away.

Chris Beerman, 53, succumbed during the weekend to his battle with the coronavirus.

Beerman as a four-year starting outside attacker from 1987-90 was twice named an All-American — one of five Cardinals to ever earn All-American honors in multiple seasons. In addition, he helped lead Ball State to three consecutive MIVA championships and three NCAA Tournament semifinal appearances.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native concluded his college career setting program records in offensive and defensive categories.

Beerman broke the Ball State record for career kills by more than 500 kills and finished with 1,777 kills, which more than 30 years later is still in the top five in program history. He also held the record for career digs with 1,047 before All-American libero Ian Peckler broke the record in 2008.


Along with his career records, Beerman still holds the school record for kills in a single match. Beerman despiting playing with food poisoning had a program-record 44 kills in a four-game victory against Penn State in 1989.

The three-time All-MIVA selection transitioned from the court to sidelines after graduating from Ball State.

Beerman was hired as the James Madison women’s volleyball head coach in 1996, and in his first season guided the team to a 16-win improvement from the previous year. In addition, Beerman guided the program to two conference championships and a NCAA Tournament berth in 1999.

Beerman following that season departed James Madison to become the head coach of the Pittsburgh women’s volleyball team. In his eight seasons at Pittsburgh, Beerman led the Panthers to two NCAA Tournament appearances and was named the 2003 AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year.

After his time at Pittsburgh, Beerman moved to Lexington, Kentucky, and became a staple of the local volleyball community.

Beerman originally moved to the area to become an assistant coach for the Kentucky women’s volleyball team. He later became the director of the youth volleyball club Lexington United Volleyball.

A GoFundMe campaign was launched earlier this month to help the Beerman’s family after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus and eventually hospitalized. The campaign has raised more than $61,000 as of Sunday night.

Beerman was a Ball State men’s volleyball legacy. His father Tom Beerman played on some of the first Ball State teams in the early 1960s and was named the 1963 MIVA Player of the Year.

One Reply to “Ball State legend Beerman passes away from coronavirus”

  1. Prayers to the family & friends of this great man.
    I remember this young man very well, he was on the team at Ball State with my now son in law, Joe M & we loved the teams enthusiasm, spirit, and hard work. Joe had remained friends with Chris & my grandson went to UK for one year & Joe then caught me up on Chris’s career. I had not seen him in years.
    My heart breaks for the family.
    Brenda & Ed C.

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