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Kindergartner surprised with one-day Panthers coaching contract (pics)


Six-year-old Braylon Beam received a wonderful surprise on Tuesday when the Carolina Panthers signed him to a one-day coaching contract during a pep really hosted by the NFL team at Rock Springs Elementary in Denver, N.C.

Beam is battling cancer and losing his vision after doctors discovered a tumor on his optic nerve. Through the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he will as an honorary associate head coach for the Panthers during the team’s Fan Fest on Friday Aug. 7.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Dave Gettleman couldn’t make it to the pep rally, but recorded video messages that were played during the event.

“We are thrilled to have Braylon Beam join our staff in August,” added Rivera, via WBTV. “Braylon brings a youthful energy and positive attitude that will no doubt help us rally to a third consecutive NFC South Division Championship and playoff run.”

“We received your application to be the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, and like everybody else that we bring into the organization, we certainly check their background, because character is very important to us,” Gettleman said in his video, via an ESPN report.

“You’ve certainly shown great character, perseverance, tough-mindedness in order to overcome your cancer and fight the fight. We love your energy. We love who you are, and we’ve reviewed and I’ve approved your contract.”

Beam has attracted national attention for his “#JustKeepDancing” social media campaign that raises money for pediatric cancer. He appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in May, which caught the Panthers’ attention in the first place.

Gettleman made note of Beam’s movement by stating in his recording message that the one-day deal has a clause “that will require you to show the team your dance moves.”

There’s little doubt that Beam will be more than happy to honor that clause. A huge Panthers fan, the youngster expressed faith that the team will do great things this upcoming season.

“They’re going to win the Super Bowl this year,” he said after showing off his dance moves and mimicking quarterback Cam Newton’s “Superman” celebration while wearing a No. 1 Panthers jersey.

When asked what play he will call first while serving on the Panthers’ staff, Beam put it simply, “Go deep.”


(image credit: David Newton/Twitter)