Michigan State Names Beekman Permanent AD

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A long-time Michigan State University official who had been serving as the school’s interim athletic director since February had the interim label removed this week.

Bill Beekman, who according to ESPN.com has been an administrator in various departments at the school since 1995, was hired as the permanent athletic director by interim president John Engler. He replaces former AD Mark Hollis, who stepped down in January in the wake of dramatic courtroom testimony by victims of former MSU team doctor Larry Nassar.

Beekman’s hiring was made official by a unanimous vote by the school’s board of trustees on Tuesday.

Engler had announced that he would conduct a national search to find the school’s next permanent AD, and many within the campus community were eager to find an outside voice to change the culture within the athletic department. But Engler said he was satisfied with Beekman’s outsider credentials, because he has never worked within athletics.

“I think we could have looked across the country and been hard-pressed to find somebody that knows Michigan State the way Bill does with the qualities he has,” Engler said at an introductory press conference. “We ended up not needing to do a national search.”

Beekman’s prior work with the school included posts as the secretary for the board of trustees, the executive director of the alumni association, and an assistant dean position within the College of Human Medicine. MLive.com reports that Beekman spoke to Warde Manuel, AD at rival Michigan, as well as other colleagues around the Big Ten, to help adjust to working in athletics.

Beekman said that he would be “laser-focused” on helping the school’s student-athletes find success, and build a culture within the department that would prioritize student wellbeing and safety.

“Our athletic department will only be successful if every student has the opportunity to succeed on the field of play, in the classroom and in life,” Beekman said. “While we will be judged primarily by our success on the field of play, we will have failed if we cannot also graduate our students and ensure that they are well prepared for life’s journey.”

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