Fort Mill resident Brandon Beane loves his job.
Beane, the assistant general manager for the NFC South-leading Carolina Panthers, has worked for the organization for nearly two decades, said he’s just as enthused about his career as he was as a summer intern in the Panthers’ public relations office in 1998.
A graduate of UNC Wilmington, Beane was itching to work on the operations side of an NFL team and got his chance after a regular season intern position opened up with Carolina.
“That was so fortunate that intern left that year so I could show the people on this side of the building that I was qualified,” he said.
He’s worked his way up from the absolute bottom. In 2008 he got what he considers his largest promotion – to director of football operations. In 2012, after his boss, GM Marty Hunrey, was fired, Beane served as interim GM for the final 10 games of the season. This year, he was moved to his current position under GM Dave Gettleman.
“He’s living his dream,” said his wife Hayley. “There’s not many people that can say that. That can get up and want to go to work every day and are super excited about what they’re doing.”
The Beane family lives in Fort Mill’s Baxter Village. They moved to Fort Mill in 2001 so Hayley could take a teaching job.
“That’s what took us down there, and we decided we liked it so we never left,” Brandon Beane said.
Now Hayley stays at home with the couple’s two boys while Brandon, who grew up in Stanly County, N.C., makes the daily commute to uptown Charlotte. Their fifth grade and seventh grade boys both play football, and other sports in recreation programs and at school. Hayley said it’s not easy, but Brandon makes a point to attend their games and has even helped coach.
“During football season with them also playing football sometimes I think, ‘How can he do it all?’” she said.
Brandon Beane said it can be tough, but is grateful the Panthers organization is committed to helping employees put family first.
“I don’t want to be that dad that’s never at the games,” he said, “That starts with (team owner) Mr. (Jerry) Richardson. He stresses, ‘Find time with your family.’”
Hayley Beane agrees.
“He’s no so career driven that I feel like I’m alone. He’s crazy about his boys so he’ll make sure he’s there for all those big moments,” she said.
His ultimate goal is to be a team’s general manager one day, but until that happens, Beane said he’s perfectly content working hard at where he is now.
“At the end of the day, I’m not one of those guys who looks too far ahead,” he said. “If it’s meant to be it will happen.”
Katie Rutland: firstname.lastname@example.org, @kt_belle