After a season marked by the school’s first national championship in 20 years, Pittsburg State University Head Football Coach Tim Beck today received the ultimate reward for his inspirational leadership both on and off the field. Liberty Mutual Insurance announced Coach Beck as its 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winner for Division II. The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award is the leading college football honor recognizing coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off field. Coach Beck is the second Pittsburg State coach to receive the Liberty Mutual honor, following his predecessor Chuck Broyles (2008).
Coach Beck rose above a group of five Division II coach finalists through fan votes cast December 6-22 at CoachoftheYear.com and ballots from elite selection committees of national media and College Football Hall of Fame players and coaches. Fans votes contributed 20 percent to each coach’s final score, and the media and College Football Hall of Fame accounted for 25 percent and 55 percent, respectively. The additional 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners are Les Miles, LSU, FBS; Rob Ash, Montana State University, FCS; and Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas (Minn.), Division III.
“When Liberty Mutual created this award in 2006, we set out to establish an award that is more than an acknowledgement of a great season, but rather the highest recognition of the responsibility coaches have to their schools and their communities, on and off the field,” said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. “Every year our winners use their award to positively impact so many people in their communities, and we are excited to help extend the reach of Coach Beck’s favorite charities in 2012.”
After 23 seasons on the Pittsburg State coaching staff, including 16 as offensive coordinator, Tim Beck took over the head coaching reins in 2010 with a goal of returning the Gorillas to Division II prominence. Two years later, after a 6-6 inaugural campaign, Coach Beck fulfilled that goal by leading Pitt State to a 13-1 record, an MIAA conference title and the 2011 national championship.
Coach Beck also places a high priority to the classroom: this year four Gorillas earned national or district academic honors, and the PSU football program has produced 17 Academic All-Americans since 2000 – the highest total among all Division II football programs over that period. During the fall 2011 semester, the 110-student team posted a cumulative 3.0 grade point average, with seven athletes achieving a perfect 4.0 and 17 others earning Dean’s Scholastic Honors.
Equally impressive is the MIAA Community Engagement of Excellence Award presented to Coach Beck and his team for the program’s civic and charitable activities, including the creation of Coach Beck’s “Ladies Night at the Pitt” fundraiser that has benefited the Via Christi Cancer Center and Angels Among Us. Additionally, Coach Beck and his team have visited Class LTD, a center for developmentally disadvantaged individuals; the Gorillas have been involved in the PSU Big Event, providing free yard and lawn service and trash pick-up for local elderly and disadvantaged families; and Coach Beck and the Gorillas have been involved in relief efforts to aid victims of the Joplin, Mo., tornados from last May. Coach Beck also is very active in fund-raising to further anemia research on behalf of his nephew, Bradley Richard, who suffers from aplastic anemia.
Coach Beck will be honored in the permanent Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year display at the College Football Hall of Fame. In addition, Liberty Mutual will make a $50,000 charitable donation on his behalf, which Coach Beck has designated to Angels Among Us, a Kansas-based cancer support organization; the Bradley Richard Research Fund of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Fund; the Mirza Shrine Center Hospital Dads Fund in Pittsburg; and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Memorial Fund in Pittsburg. Liberty Mutual also will make a $20,000 scholarship donation to the Pittsburg State Alumni Association in Coach Beck’s honor. With this year’s awards, Liberty Mutual now has donated more than $1.5 million to over 80 charities on behalf of the 21 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year winners since 2006.
“Today we celebrate Coach Beck for the latest honor he has brought to Pittsburg State University, our alumni and fans as well as the Pittsburg community,” athletic director Jim Johnson said. “Being named the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winner is a testament to his significant impact and positive influence on our students and our community.”
About the additional 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winners:
FBS: Les Miles, LSU – Since joining LSU in 2005, Les Miles has secured the Tigers a position among college football’s elite programs, winning the 2007 BCS National Championship and finishing in the top 10 four times. Coach Miles and LSU bring a 14-game winning streak heading into this evening’s BCS Championship Game against Alabama. The Miles Method – a system that puts players in position to have success in the classroom, contribute and give back to the community, and compete for championships – is working: LSU ranks second in the SEC in graduation rates, and the team’s 2011 APR score of 966 is significantly higher than the FBS average; and in the community, a week doesn’t go by where members of the football team are visiting hospitals, reading at schools or serving as motivational speakers to area youth groups. Miles himself is active in many charitable endeavors, including the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center annual fundraiser, the Special Olympics and the Children’s Miracle Network.
FCS: Rob Ash, Montana State University – In just his fifth season at Montana State, Coach Ash is already among the program’s most-winning coaches with 39 victories and led the Bobcats to a second straight FCS playoff berth in 2011 before falling in the quarterfinal round to finish with a 10-3 record. Off the field, Coach Ash prioritizes academics and since 2006 has seen Montana State’s academic progress rate improve more than 60 points. Coach Ash and his team also are renowned leaders in the Bozeman area and throughout the state. In the past year alone, Bobcat players and coaches have compiled over 800 hours of community service, benefitting Big Brothers/Big Sisters programs and local elementary schools. Coach Ash is personally involved in several charitable endeavors, including Coach to Cure MD, and is a spokesman for United Way and the Jason Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to youth suicide prevention.
DIVISION III: Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas (Minn.) – Taking over a two-win team following the 2007 season, the Tommies have become a national force, and reeled off consecutive undefeated regular seasons in 2010 and 2011. This year, Caruso – the first two-time winner of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award – led St. Thomas to a school-record 13 wins, the Division III semifinals, and earned a season-ending D3football.com ranking of #4 in the nation. Under Coach Caruso’s leadership, UST football has won CoSIDA academic All-American honors five times, has had an NFF Scholar-Athlete, and two AFCA Good Works Team honorees. Off the field, Coach Caruso and his program make a great impact in the community as well. With his award from the 2010 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, Caruso founded “Bucky’s Pride,” a foundation named for his father to support families of children dealing with cancer and blood diseases. He is a founder of a Reading Recess program, and the Tommie players and he participated in the Up ‘Til Dawn Benefit writing 2,000 letters to raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Selection Committees
College Football Hall of Fame Voters included:
Archie Griffin, Archie Manning, Billy Joe, Bob Anderson, Bob Griese, Bob Reade, Brian Kelley, Bruce Smith, Carmen Cozza, Chad Hennings, Chuck Cecil, Curt Warner, Dan Dierdorf, Darrell Mudra, Dick Farley, Don James, Don McPherson, Don Nehlen, Fred Martinelli, Frosty Westering, Gordie Lockbaum, Herschel Walker, James Saxton, Jeff Davis, Jeff Siemon, Jessie Tuggle, Jim Ballard, Jim Christopherson, Jim Dombrowski, Jim Donnan, Jim Houston, Jim Sochor, Joe Dudek, Joe Fusco, John Cooper, John Robinson, Johnnie Johnson, LaVell Edwards, Lou Holtz, Marino Casem, Mark May, Paul Wiggin, Randall McDaniel, Reggie Williams, Richard Wood, Roger Brown, Roger Harring, Ron Johnson, Ron Yary, Ronnie Lott, Roy Kidd, Rueben Mayes, Ted Kessinger, Teel Bruner, Terry Donahue, Tom Beck, Tom Brahaney, Tom Osborne, Tubby Raymond, Vince Dooley
National media voters included:
Bill King (Rivals Sports Radio Network), Bob Eblen (D2football.com), Brandon Misener (D2football.com), Bud Withers (Seattle Times), Chris Childers (Rivals Sports Radio Network), Christine Brennan (USA Today), Clyde Hughes (D3football.com), Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio), Craig Bennett (USA Today), Dan Jenkins (Sportswriter/National Football Foundation historian), Gordie Mann (D3football.com), Greg Dewalt (D2 Hall of Fame), Ivan Maisel (ESPN.com), Jack Bogaczyk (Charleston Daily Mail), Keith McMillan (D3football.com), Kelly Whiteside (USA Today), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Marcus Fitzsimmons (Maryville Daily Times), Patrick Stevens (College Football Columnist/Washington Post), Ryan Tipps (D3football.com), Steve Conroy (Boston Herald), Stewart Mandel (Sports Illustrated), Teddy Greenstein (Chicago Tribune), Tim Brando (CBS Sports, Sporting News Radio)
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on A.M. Best Company’s report of 2010 net written premium. The Group also ranks 82nd on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2010 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual Insurance (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 13,500 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
About the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.