Saturday, November 28, 2020

Board of Trustees unanimously approves Bill Beekman as athletic director

July 17, 2018
New athletic director Bill Beekman speaks after the meeting on July 17, 2018, at the Hannah Administration Building.
New athletic director Bill Beekman speaks after the meeting on July 17, 2018, at the Hannah Administration Building. —
Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve Bill Beekman's appointment to permanent athletic director in a special meeting on July 17.

Trustee Breslin moved that the Board of Trustees approve the appointment and was seconded by Trustee Ferguson. Trustees each offered their appreciation and approval of Beekman.

Announced at a press conference on Monday, Beekman took on the role of permanent athletic director.

Back in February, Engler said in a press release announcing Beekman as interim athletic director, that a nationwide search for a permanent athletic director would begin and that "no internal candidates will be considered in the search process."

Beekman has served the university in a few positions including vice president of the university, secretary of the Board of Trustees and executive director of the MSU Alumni Association.

This appointment has been met with controversy due to Beekman's internal candidacy and lack of athletic background. However, at the press conference on Monday, Men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo, women's basketball head coach Suzy Merchant and men's football head coach Mark Dantonio all expressed their support of his appointment.

Beekman said since his appointment to interim athletic director Feb. 5 a lot of behind the scenes work has been done to "make sure every student athlete has the safest possible experience."

He acknowledged the concerns surrounding his appointment, but expressed confidence in his ability in helping to prepare athletes and students for success upon graduation.

"That's fair. I think with any hire it's completely reasonable to have a dose of skepticism and what I'd say to that is, give us a chance. Give us a fair shake," Beekman said. "I think we'll make our Spartans around the globe very proud."

Beekman's predecessor Mark Hollis, retired back in January from the position amid controversy over MSU Athletics' handling of ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.


"I've been around the university for a long time so the components of it that deal with Michigan State, I'm pretty familiar with," Beekman said. "Certainly it's a new challenge. I've taken on new challenges before. I didn't have any experience running the alumni association when I did that. I didn't have any experience helping to run medical schools when I took that on. Certainly athletics is a very high profile assignment, but I'm confident we'll do a good job and continue to make our Spartan nation proud."

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