In just one year with the Redbirds, Illinois State assistant volleyball coach Rob Beam's defensive expertise and coaching skills made an immediate impact. In the three previous seasons, the Redbirds finished in the lower half of the conference in digs, but under Beam's direction, they recorded 1,982 digs last season, ranking third overall in the Valley.
He also mentored the 2005 Missouri Valley Conference Libero of the Year, Ashley Grubb. Grubb, a first team all-conference selection, played a large part in the ISU total as the senior had a record-setting season, achieving the No. 1 spot in the Valley with 5.19 digs per game. Prior to arriving in Normal, Beam earned rave reviews as a recruiter, scout, administrator and strategist at Wright State. During Beam's five seasons in Dayton, Ohio, the Raiders ranked in the top-15 in the NCAA in digs per game three different times: seventh in 2003, eighth in 2001 and 15th in 2002. They also achieved a best-ever win percentage of .750 in 2001.
Beam was attracted to Illinois State by the university's commitment, the community's support and Dingman's leadership.
He had coached against Illinois State when Wright State played in the Barker GMC Classic in 2004, so he was eager to be a part of the great atmosphere at Redbird Arena.
The 1992 Glenbrook South (Ill.) High School graduate was the 1996 Clarke College Athlete of the Year while serving as captain of the volleyball team. While completing his bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1996, he coached high school volleyball at Dubuque (Iowa) Senior High School.
Beam brings extensive club volleyball experience to Illinois State, having coached with both Adversity Volleyball Club and Dayton Juniors. His 2002 Blue Angels age 17 team took third in the Open Division at the Junior Olympic National Championships. He also served as Master Coach for the 16-18 age groups and wrote "Principles for a Competitive Practice," a guide to be used to help develop the club's coaches.
A native of Sycamore, Ill., Beam was an assistant for both men's and women's volleyball at Quincy University from 1999-2000 before joining the Wright State staff the following year. He was the Raiders' associate head coach for two seasons prior to coming to Illinois State.
Beam has also been a leader with the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in both service and research. His presentation at the 2001 AVCA Convention entitled, "Maximizing Coverage at the Point of Attack" has subsequently been published in both Coaching Volleyball Magazine and "Best of Coaching Volleyball Volume 2."
The 11-year veteran coach resides in Bloomington.