SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Missouri State Athletics Director Kyle Moats promoted Bears defensive coordinator Ryan Beard to head football coach Friday.

This less than 24 hours after Bobby Petrino left to go to UNLV.

Moats said in a statement that it was important to keep continuity of staff based on the teams recent success.

Ryan Beard has been the Bears defensive coordinator since 2020.

His defense has produced 14 All-Conference players and three All-Americans.

In a tweet Friday afternoon Beard said “his family and I are humbled and excited to serve this university as your head coach.”

He said, “our football team will be committed to a standard of excellence on and off the field.”

Beard has been an assistant at Western Kentucky where he played football, along with Louisville and Central Michigan.

Beard is the son-in-law of former coach Bobby Petrino.

Missouri State will officially introduce him on Monday at 11am.

A number of Missouri high school football seniors will sign letters of intent next Wednesday.

It’s the early signing period for football.

Included in those, three Ozarks area players who are committed to the Bears despite the coaching change.

Glendale quarterback Cole Feuerbacher, Reeds Spring linebacker Caden Wiest and Kickapoo defensive end Andrew Link are all sticking to their committments.

Feuerbacher told me he’s still committed to the Bears and is excited about Beard taking over as the new coach.