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Published: Thursday, 12/4/2008

UT selects new head coach for football

BLADE STAFF
Tim Beckman Tim Beckman
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The Universitry of Toledo has hired Tim Beckman as head coach, picking the Oklahoma State defensive coordinator to take over its football program.

School officials said Thursday that Beckman will replace Tom Amstutz, who announced his resignation last month.

The Blade reported Wednesday night and in Thursday's editions that Beckman would be hired. Beckman also coached as an assistant at Bowling Green State University and Ohio State.

"It's great to be back in the MAC," Beckman said. "Being from Ohio and having coached in the MAC 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 MAC."

Booster Chuck Sullivan, who was on the search committee to find Tom Amstutz's replace-ment, said last night he expected the Rockets would have a new football coach "in the next 24 hours."

A native of Berea, Ohio, Mr. Beckman would become the 25th football coach in UT history, replacing Mr. Amstutz, who stepped down after eight years.

Mr. Beckman, 43, is a familiar name to northwest Ohio football fans after he spent seven years coaching defense at Bowling Green, six as the Falcons' defensive coordinator.

He was hired in 1998 by coach Gary Blackney and worked under coaches Urban Meyer and Gregg Brandon.

Mr. Beckman helped the Falcons to the 2003 Mid-American Conference West division title and victories in two bowl games. In 2001, his Falcon defense led the MAC in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, and turnovers.

In 2005, he left Bowling Green to become the cornerbacks coach at Ohio State. He worked under head coach Jim Tressel for two seasons, helping the Buckeyes to the national championship game in 2007.

He then took the defensive coordinator position at Oklahoma State under head coach Mike Gundy.

A University of Findlay graduate, Mr. Beckman has been with the No. 14-ranked Cowboys for two seasons. This year Oklahoma State finished with a 9-3 regular-season record, climbing as high as sixth in the polls in the middle of the season.

Their signature win at then-No. 3 Missouri on Oct. 11 was driven by the Cowboy defense's three second-half interceptions.

Mr. Beckman also has coaching experience at Western Carolina from 1990 to '95 and Elon College from 1996 to '97.

In addition to Mr. Beckman, Mr. O'Brien interviewed Missouri defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.

With four coaching openings in the Mid-American Conference, the Rockets are the first to fill their position.

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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