Spring Camp Report - OC Kurt Beathard Mic'd Up
Kurt Beathard is in his first season at Illinois State as the program's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Beathard has 12 years of experience as a FCS offensive coordinator and spent last season on the coaching staff at Youngstown State.
On the FCS level, he has been an offensive coordinator for Gardner-Webb (2012), Eastern Kentucky (2003-06), Bucknell (2002) and Western Carolina (1996-2001). He has coached in the Ohio Valley Conference, Southern Conference, Patriot League and Colonial Athletic Association in FCS circles.
Beathard worked with YSU's wide receivers in 2013, as the unit caught 126 passes for 1,741 yards and 14 touchdowns. Four wide receivers caught 21-or-more passes and had 300-or-more yards, while six caught a touchdown pass.
In 2012, Beathard served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Gardner-Webb. Quarterback Lucas Beatty enjoyed a career-best campaign with Beathard calling the plays. Beatty led the Big South Conference in passing yards per game, completing 215-of-334 attempts for 2,483 yards and 12 touchdowns in 11 starts. He established a school record for single-season pass completion percentage (64.4 percent) and topped the 300-yard mark passing in four games. Overall, Gardner-Webb's offense averaged 336.2 yards per game and ranked No. 2 in the Big South with 228.5 yards passing per game.
Prior to his role with the Runnin' Bulldogs, he spent three seasons at Illinois as a position coach working with the quarterbacks in 2009 and the wide receivers from 2007-08. Beathard was part of the Illinois staff that had some of the most productive seasons in school history and led the Illini to an appearance in the 2008 Rose Bowl. In 2007, the offense set a school record for total offensive yards in a season.
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 was the offensive coordinator at Eastern Kentucky from 2003-06 before moving on to Illinois. The Colonels won at least six games every campaign under head coach Danny Hope. In 2005, the Colonels set single-season records for completions (234), passing attempts (413) and passing yards (3,119) while leading the OVC in scoring (31.5 point per game), total offense per game (412.3) and pass offense per contest (283.5). Four players went on to earn 2005 first-team All-OVC honors under Beathard's watch, including quarterback Josh Greco and wide receiver Andre Ralston. Greco broke numerous program records, highlighted by throwing 25 touchdown passes, to earn OVC Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors. Beathard went to EKU after one year at Bucknell where he served as the offensive coordinator. Prior to his brief stint with the Bison, Beathard spent six seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Carolina.
He was a key component in the success of running back Brad Hoover, who broke the single-season rushing record with 1,663 yards in 1998. While at Western Carolina, Beathard coached David Rivers to the single-game passing yardage record in 2000, as well as the single-season record for total yardage.
His coaching career began as a student assistant at Towson in the spring of 1987, before moving over to Catholic University in Washington, D.C., for the 1988 campaign. He then spent two seasons on the Louisville staff as a graduate assistant from 1989-90. Beathard has also served time at James Madison, Bloomsburg, Colgate, Pacific and a second stint at Towson.
As the secondary coach for Towson in 1993, Beathard's unit led the nation in interceptions and was ranked 14th in total defense. He was inducted into the Towson Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
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.
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. His brother, Jeff, is a scout for the Carolina Panthers.
Beathard and his wife, Karen, have three daughters: LaRae, Grace and Eva.