GREAT FALLS – Louise Bean is your typical mom.
She’s happily married with three kids, has worked for school districts and the travel industry, and, for now, her family lives in Great Falls.
Oh, plus she’s also a national champion quarterback for the Utah Falconz semi-pro women’s football team. Last year, she was one of 36 inductees of the inaugural class in the Women’s Football Hall of Fame.
“I grew up playing football just in the backyard with friends. As I got older I played intramurals, because they didn’t have anything for girls, obviously. My mom felt it wasn’t good to have a girl play tackle at a young age,” said Bean. “So I just played a lot of intramurals, a lot of flag football growing up. I was always quarterback. Then when me and my husband were dating we would play a lot of pickup games and I was still quarterback and he was a wide receiver. So when it came to Utah, I just saw an article and it just went from there.”
After Bean helped start teams like the Utah Blitz and the Utah Jynx, it was onto the Falconz, where her skill truly shined brightly. In the five-year history of the team, the Utah Falconz are 49-2, owning appearances in the past four national championships and title wins in 2016 and 2017. For Bean, she doesn’t look at the gender aspect of playing in a predominantly male sport.
“That’s not why I played. I played because I purely loved the sport. It was just a game, I don’t get caught up in women this, men this, agenda that, because I’ve just always had to prove myself in anything I’ve done,” said Bean. “It didn’t matter what my sex was. So it’s just been fun, I love it when men are impressed. They’re still like, ‘I wonder if a woman can play that good?’ It’s awesome when guys are impressed. But I’ve been doing that my whole life, trying to compete and earn my spot in the world. To me, I don’t worry too much. I’m just a girl playing football.”
When Bean’s family moved to Great Falls, she still stayed involved with her Utah team and did the commute to play in their spring seasons. To help stay in shape, Bean practiced with one of the Treasure State’s best 8-Man teams last year.
“I threw with high school boys here. I actually spent time with (Great Falls) Central on their state championship run. I was their scout team quarterback. That’s a great program over there. They’ve got some great coaches,” she said. “So I have to do things at the gym different. I’ve thrown to junior high kids, I’ve thrown to high school kids. I would commute for certain practices and certain games, so it was definitely mentally and physically demanding. I’d never been around 8-Man football, unless it was flag. The Central guys were awesome, I was way impressed with their program and impressed with the coaches. I couldn’t even tell the difference between 8-Man schemes versus 11-man schemes as far as their ability to scout and also just to prepare. I can’t say enough about their program. Obviously it was reflected in their kids that got scholarships. That is a no-joke program.”
Bean will play in the third all-star game of her career in early March in Cancun, Mexico, this time as a member of Team USA. She’s uncertain of her football future, but Bean says she still loves the sport, so her already-impressive career might add another chapter or two down the line. When Bean’s career finally comes to an end someday, she said she might get into coaching.