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Beathard back as OC

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ChaosMonster
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:27 pm

November 30, 2017
Beathard Returns To Redbird Football As Offensive Coordinator
NORMAL, Ill. – A familiar face will be returning to lead the Illinois State football offensive attack, as head coach Brock Spack announced the hiring of Kurt Beathard as the program’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Thursday.

“We are very excited to welcome back Kurt as a member of our staff,” Spack said. “He has great knowledge of our system and culture here at Illinois State and helped lead the best offense in program history in 2014. We need a spark right now, and we believe Kurt is the perfect person to bring that. His wealth of experience as an FCS coordinator and FBS assistant will be invaluable to our team and we can’t wait to get to work with him again.”

Beathard previously served as the Redbirds’ offensive coordinator from 2014-15, presiding over two of the most successful offensive seasons in Illinois State football history. In his first season leading the Redbird offense in 2014, Beathard’s offensive unit set 15 single-season school records, including points (574), total touchdowns (76), total offense yards (6,954) and rushing yards (3,619). Illinois State finished the season ranked No. 4 nationally in passing efficiency (155.58), No. 9 in scoring offense (38.3) and No. 17 in total offense (463.6) and powered its way to a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference championship and an appearance in the FCS National Championship game in Frisco, Texas.

Quarterback Tre Roberson earned Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Year honors in his first season with the Redbirds. A transfer from Indiana, Roberson finished the season ranked in the top 5 in the FCS in five different offensive categories, including passing touchdowns with 30.

The 2015 season saw the Redbirds earn a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference championship for the second-straight year with a 9-2 regular season record and a 7-1 record in conference play. ISU went on to finish the season 10-3 overall, marking just the third time in school history the Redbirds had won 10 or more games in a season, and headed into the FCS playoffs as the No. 2 overall seed. That season, the Redbirds finished in the top five of the ISU record books in rushing touchdowns (39), points (451) and rushing yards per game (234.2).

Following the season, Roberson earned First-Team All-MVFC honors for the second-straight year and finished the season with 2,225 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air. Roberson finished his time at ISU ranked No. 1 in career yards per rush (6.14), passing efficiency (150.3), average yards per attempt (9.0) and completion (16.7) and ranks No. 5 in career passing yards (5,446) and touchdowns (48). He also leads all quarterbacks with 22 rushing touchdowns and 1,806 yards rushing.

“I’m excited and humbled at the same time to have this great opportunity to return to the program at Illinois State,” Beathard stated. “I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with the players I worked with here at ISU in the past and getting to know those I haven’t had the pleasure to meet yet or met briefly during the recruiting process in 2015. We are going to evaluate every player at every position, see what our strengths are and play to those as best as we can here moving forward.”

In all, Beathard has 15 years of experience as an FCS offensive coordinator, previously serving as offensive coordinator for Gardner-Webb (2012), Eastern Kentucky (2003-06), Bucknell (2002) and Western Carolina (1996-2001) prior to his first stint at Illinois State. He also spent time as a collegiate assistant at Youngstown State, Illinois, Pacific, Towson, James Madison and Louisville.

Between stints at Illinois and GWU, Beathard was an assistant in the UFL where he coached the running backs for the Florida Tuskers (2010) and Sacramento Mountain Lions (2011). In Florida, he worked with current Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and in Sacramento, he was part of the staff under the direction of former NFL head coach Dennis Green.

A native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Beathard started his collegiate playing career at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, before transferring to Saddleback Junior College for his sophomore season and finishing up at Towson. In his two-year stint at Towson, Beathard passed for 4,768 yards and 38 touchdowns. In a game against Lafayette, Beathard was 40-of-51 passing for 466 yards and four scores. His effort in the game still ranks among the top passing performances in NCAA Division II history. He was inducted into the Towson Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

After his collegiate career was over, Beathard was drafted by the Baltimore Stars of the USFL in 1986 before moving on to the Arena League's Washington Commandos in 1987.

Aside from his extensive knowledge and experience, football runs in Beathard's genes. His father, Bobby, spent numerous years as the general manager of the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers. He also served as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons and director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins during his 38 years in the NFL. The teams he worked for appeared in seven Super Bowls, winning four, and he is a contributor finalist for the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. His brother, Jeff, is a scout for the Carolina Panthers, and his nephew, CJ, was a former quarterback at Iowa and is current member of the San Francisco 49ers.

Beathard and his wife, Karen, have three daughters: LaRae, Grace and Eva.

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TreRoberson4Heisman
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:41 pm

Great news

JHBird
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:43 pm

That's good news. Hope it makes Kolbe better.

MadBird
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:52 pm

I was skeptical he'd come back, but glad to see it. Hopefully he hasn't lost his touch!! Someone Spack knows and trusts, that seems like a very important component in this. No time needed for the HC and OC to get comfortable with each other.

Now let's get those other two slots filled so the recruiting can be firmed up!!

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Birdfan 4Life
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:14 pm

Talk about hot off the press, I have no complaints. Makes sense for Spack to mention wanting to get back to the offense in 2014 & 2015 and also firing all the coaches he did. I'm sure he talked it over with Beathard and he gave his terms/opinion on the coaches involved.

Kurt must be getting a nice little pay raise I'm guessing!
"“I think Illinois State has a lot of potential in football that has been untapped. When it comes time to move up to [the Bowl series level], it will happen, I truly believe that with my heart." - Al Bowman April 15, 2011

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StLRedbird
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:18 pm

Yes! The thing about the last couple years is that the play calling seemed to be disconnected from the ebb and flow of the game. Not something that happened under Beathard. This is really good news.

Edit: I occurs to me that football schools probably don't operate during football season. Maybe we made an accommodation there? Anyway, still terrific news.
Last edited by StLRedbird on Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Humdinger
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:26 pm

WOW. Pleasantly surprised!

Humdinger
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:28 pm

Kind of feels like Spack knew who he wanted from the get go.

BallwinBird2012
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:38 pm

Just throwing another name out there- Kurt Beathard? I know he wanted to be closer to/spend more time with family, but was that a permanent retirement from coaching? When he left he cited one of the reasons being that his daughter was a senior in high school. She'd be in college now. Anyone know if that ship has 100% sailed?
I don't like to toot my own horn but... :D

Really excited about him coming back. Think it will be good for our offense as a whole, but ESPECIALLY for the development of our young QBs. Also really interested in seeing if he can get the most out of Kolbe and help him live up to the potential that he had when he came in. Beathard was OC when Spack was gushing about Jake's potential. I would think Jake might be the happiest person about him coming back.

fourthandshort
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:53 pm

Hey .. then I'll toot mine too !!

Great to hear .. Beathard has lot of knowledge, D-I experience, and great temperament for OC. It will be very interesting to see how they fill out his staff.

Great start to offseason correcting our issues on offense !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now time to find couple WRs !!
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DaveBird10
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:14 pm

Fantastic news. Last Saturday night I was told by a former player that kurt Beathard could dissect any defense and was always a step ahead. Great to hear that Beathard us back.

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Southbound
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:32 pm

Particularly if his contacts here in TN bring some players. Vandy and the Vols both being hot messes,

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crazzymark
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:34 pm

he will pick the the best QB.......

Birdswin
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:20 pm

This is FANTASTIC News!!!! Thank You for returning - makes you wonder if the folks who are no longer here, were part of the reason why he left to begin with. Next question, how much say does OC Beathard have in the hiring of the OL and WR coaches??

Redbird78
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:57 pm

👍😄

Great news!! Thanks Coach and Coach!!!

fourthandshort
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:31 pm

crazzymark wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:34 pm
he will pick the the best QB.......
I thought that was your job ?

:dance:
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JHBird
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:49 am

DaveBird10 wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:14 pm
Fantastic news. Last Saturday night I was told by a former player that kurt Beathard could dissect any defense and was always a step ahead. Great to hear that Beathard us back.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
That sounds exactly like what we were missing!

ISU_DirtyBird
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:33 am

This is exciting news. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for the team next year. I really do hope he was compensated well for returning.

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Virginia Redbird
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:58 am

Like virtually everyone else here on the board, I am very excited for the return of Coach Beathard to run the offense for the Redbirds next year. He will be a great benefit to the QBs who have been inconsistent the past two seasons. I would expect to see more creative game plans that take advantage of both the strong points of the Redbird offensive players and the weakness of the opposing team's defensive personnel. I also believe he is the guy that can make the adjustments as the game develops. I thought the Redbird offensive coaching staff the past two years was just awful at managing a game and making in game adjustments. Beathard knows the school and the program and a good number of the players still on the roster. I would expect his transition will be quick and seamless. Spring ball just got a lot more interesting. I am still expecting a spirited QB competition and Coach Beathard is the perfect choice to oversee that competition. Welcome back Coach Beathard! Great move Coach Spack!
“When you have great players, playing great, well that’s great football!”
John Madden

fourthandshort
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:19 am

For some perspective on Beathard's influence on QBs and pass game. I went to the spring game in spring 2014 ... this is before the Natty Run and before Tre Roberson transferred in June 2014. Remember Blake Winkler ? Good kid, good thrower, but a little undersized and not quite ready for speed of game at MVFC level .. but good QB otherwise. I mean this as a positive .. he was like Rex Grossman in that sense .. he could throw it in a strong pocket.

Also recall we just came off a 5-6 season in which the defense started season horribly, but made great in season improvements, and we're very respectable 2nd half of season. But offense was just the opposite, started promising with QB Jared Barnett (OK ST transfer) but he faded fast, and then Blake took job and he started very well but also quickly faded. Similar to now, it was partly on QB but moreso on OC.

Anyway, here's my point. We fired the former OL coach turned OC Barnett and hired OC Beathard that offseason. So at this point, we had very uncertain QB situation .. QB Barnett quit the team and QB Winkler had lost all confidence by end of 2013. QB Meredith had already turned WR for 2013 and did ok. RB Coprich had 900+ yards but showed some serious promise.

But then I went to spring game and witnessed the transformation of QB Winkler and a very dynamic pass attack .. I recall leaving that spring game thinking .. holy sh-t, we might actually have a pass game that had dwindled to nothing in 2013 with same QB Winkler under prior OC.

And then Roberson transferred in June 2014, showed up to OTAs and most assumed Roberson would easily win job. To further cloud matters, Tre broke his right hand middle of OTAs and so most of us assumed Winkler would be starter again. By August camp, Winkler and Roberson were splitting reps 50/50. Roberson was NOT impressing yet. But then the last week, they started working more on deep passing game and Roberson just lit it up and won the job.

Note, Winkler was far better thrower in short--intermediate pass game, but Tre could run and kills teams with deep ball. but Tre really struggled underneath and that was obvious the 1st half of season in which he had many weak performance before everything came together AFTER the UNI loss. Only then was Tre one of the best QBs in country due to his dual threat with deep ball.

Point being this ... Kolbe is taller more mobile version of Winkler. Winkler was barely beat out by Roberson last week of August camp for starting job because of how well Winkler was playing. New OC Beathard turned Winkler into a contender at QB after a very rough 2013. So I can't wait to see what Beathard can do with Kolbe this spring.

p.s. except we're going to NEED couple WRs for this to work.
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