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Published: Friday, 12/5/2008

UT hands football reins to Beckman

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
University of Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien, right, says he believes Tim Beckman's ties to Ohio will help him as coach. University of Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien, right, says he believes Tim Beckman's ties to Ohio will help him as coach.
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Tim Beckman has moved around the country for football coaching jobs since he was in diapers, first with his father Dave and then for his own career. One common theme prevailed - he has always returned to Ohio.

Beckman has again made the Buckeye State his home by accepting the University of Toledo's head coaching job, the school announced yesterday. A former assistant coach at Bowling Green and Ohio State, Beckman was most recently the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State the last two years. Born in Akron, he is a graduate of Berea High School in suburban Cleveland and the University of Findlay.

"He has great ties to the state of Ohio," UT athletic director Mike O'Brien said. "No one is going to outwork Tim and his staff."

UT and Beckman agreed to a five-year contract with an annual salary of $360,000 plus incentives. Beckman made $303,000 per year at Oklahoma State.

At 43 years old, Beckman has been an assistant for 21 years at six different schools. The last five years his teams have played in bowl games, and Oklahoma State will make it six with a 9-3 record this year. He feels like he's picked up a lot along the way.

"I've had a lot of luck and blessings in my coaching career," Beckman said. "Having the opportunity to sit in the staff rooms with national championships coaches like a Jim Tressel or an Urban Meyer was very rewarding.

"I can't give enough credit for my beliefs and this opportunity today to Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer. They have given me insight on how to build programs, how to be successful, and how to graduate football players."

The Rockets are coming off a 3-9 record in the final year for Tom Amstutz, who stepped down last month. Less than a week after the season finale, UT found Amstutz's replacement in a man whose previous northwest Ohio ties were to BG. Beckman, who worked as the Falcons' defensive coordinator from 1998-2004, said he won't have a problem being on the other side of the rivalry.

"It was a part of our lives with my family, but I'm here to be a Rocket," Beckman said. "I'm here to coach football and take our student-athletes and make them fulfill their obligations and win football games.

"It's a great rivalry. I've been a part of Auburn-Alabama, Ohio State-Michigan, and Oklahoma State-Oklahoma, and now we'll be playing for the peace pipe and the I-75 rivalry."

Beckman said the Falcons contacted him in their search to replace Gregg Brandon. O'Brien said UT's search was not expedited once BG's coaching job opened up last weekend, though.

"We had some time in November to get a lot of the search done, get it down to a workable number," O'Brien said. "When we talked to Tim, he rose to the top."

Beckman will get started right away, planning to hire some of his staff over the weekend and hit the recruiting trail on Monday. He'll attend the Cowboys' bowl game but won't coach in it.

"We need to get out on the road," Beckman said. "I want my face in all 770 schools in this state as fast as I can get there."

Joining Beckman at the announcement at the Sullivan Athletic Complex were several members of his immediate and extended family. His wife, Kim, is a Findlay native.

"We were on a cowboy adventure for two years," Kim Beckman said. "Oklahoma was so far away, so it's nice to be home."

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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