The University of Toledo announced the hiring of former Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman as its head football coach at a news conference held today in the newly opened Sullivan Athletic Complex.
“We are very pleased that Tim Beckman has agreed to become the head football coach at The University of Toledo,” said UT Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Tim is an outstanding coach and an exceptional person. His experience in helping build winning football programs speaks for itself, but it only tells part of the story.
“Throughout this process, everyone had wonderful things to say about Tim. He is a man of great character, who we feel will be able to recruit student-athletes who will excel in the classroom and bring Rocket football back into national prominence. We are very excited for the future of Rocket football under Tim’s guidance,” O’Brien said.
Beckman becomes the 25th head football coach in the 88-year history of Toledo football. He succeeds Tom Amstutz, who resigned at the end of the season following eight years as the Rockets’ leader.
“I am truly honored to be named the head football coach at The University of Toledo,” Beckman said. “Being from Ohio and having coached in the Mid-American Conference, I have always had a great respect for the tradition and accomplishments of the Toledo football program. I feel this is one of the best, if not the best football programs in the Mid-American Conference, and I am honored that I have been chosen to carry on the tradition here.”
Beckman has been the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State for the past two seasons. During that time, the Cowboys have posted a 16-9 record, including a 9-3 mark this season. Oklahoma State has ranked as high as No. 6 in the BCS rankings and No. 7 in the AP poll this season, with all three of its losses coming to teams that were ranked in the top three in the country when they faced OSU (No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Texas Tech and No. 3 Oklahoma). In four of the Cowboys’ victories this season, Beckman’s defense held opponents to 14 points or fewer. In 2007, the Cowboys went 7-6, including a 49-33 win over Indiana in the Insight Bowl.
“We’re excited for Tim and his family,” said Oklahoma State Head Football Coach Mike Gundy. “We’re happy that he has the opportunity to fulfill his dream and become a head coach. We are grateful for everything he did for Oklahoma State University and we wish him success at Toledo.”
Beckman, who played his college ball at the University of Findlay, served as the cornerbacks coach at Ohio State under Head Coach Jim Tressel from 2005 to 2006. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons as the defensive coordinator/assistant head coach at Bowling Green; two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Elon; and six seasons as the secondary coach/recruiting coordinator at Western Carolina. Beckman has been a part of top 25 teams in each of his last eight seasons.
With Beckman mentoring the Buckeye cornerbacks in 2006, Ohio State ended the year No. 12 nationally in total defense, allowing just 280.5 yards per game. The Buckeyes were fifth in the country in scoring defense, yielding only 12.8 points per game, and Antonio Smith was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back.
Beckman helped coach an Ohio State defense that ranked No. 1 in the nation against the run and was fifth in total defense in 2005. The Buckeyes finished fourth in both major polls. During his stay at Ohio State, the Buckeyes were 22-3 with appearances in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl and the 2007 BCS Championship Game. Along the way he coached six all-Big Ten defensive backs. His final game as a coach with Ohio State was the 2007 BCS National Championship Game vs. Florida, where Beckman faced his former boss from his days at Bowling Green, Gators’ Head Coach Urban Meyer.
“Tim will bring great passion and energy to Toledo’s football program, the University and the community,” said Ohio State Head Football Coach Jim Tressel. “It is awesome to have Tim and Kim Beckman, along with their lovely family, back in the Buckeye State.”
At Bowling Green, Beckman was a three-time nominee for the Frank Broyles Award, presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach. He was a finalist in 2001 when the Falcons led the MAC in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, turnovers gained and scoring margin. The College Football News named him one of the country’s top defensive coordinators. During his stay at BGSU, the Falcons won two bowl games, a MAC division title, and finished ranked in the national polls three times.
He began his coaching career in 1988 as a graduate assistant at Auburn, where he earned his master’s degree in education. His first full-time coaching job came at Western Carolina, where he coached the secondary and served as recruiting coordinator from 1990 to 1995. He coached two of the top defenses in the Southern Conference during his time with the Catamounts. Beckman then served as the defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Elon College from 1996 to 1997 before moving on to Bowling Green.
Among Beckman’s coaching influences is his father, Dave Beckman. The elder Beckman coached on the collegiate level and served as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League for one season. He also worked for the Cleveland Browns and the San Diego Chargers in the NFL.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Findlay, Beckman majored in physical education and lettered in 1984 and 1985 on Oiler teams that qualified for the NAIA playoffs both seasons.
Beckman, 43, is a native of Berea, Ohio. He and his wife, Kim, have three children, Tyler 17, Lindsay, 15, and Alex, 11.