SPRINGFIELD, Mo–It felt more like fall then spring at Plaster Stadium Tuesday.

And that seemed appropriate with football on the agenda.

Tuesday was the first spring football practice for the Bears and new coach Ryan Beard.

Beard takes over the team from his father-in-law Bobby Petrino.

Beard was the Bears defensive coordinator before being named the new coach in December.

It was the first of 15 practices over the month, which will include three scrimmages.

One of those will be the Maroon and White spring game on Saturday April 15th.

Missouri State will be trying to improve on last year’s 5-6 finish.

83 players are in camp, 74 of them return from last year’s squad.

But Beard will need to replace some starters including quarterback Jason Shelley.

“We have to build a foundation, this is a brand new team. You look out there and there’s a bunch of guys who have played a bunch of ball here. And won a bunch of games. They’re not here. Somebody else has to emerge. We have to build some depth in certain positions. And really build a foundation so we can get into the summer healthy. And roll into some speed, quickness training. And then build on that into the fall,” said Beard.