SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Missouri State introduced it’s new football coach Monday and there were a lot of familiar faces in the audience.
The Bears are entrusting the program to Ryan Beard.
He’s being promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach.
And keeping the Bears in the Petrino family.
Ryan Beard officially took the reigns of Missouri State football surrounded by family and friends.
And it only makes sense since the family business was handed down from Bobby Petrino to his son-in-law.
“Being the son-in-law, I don’t think I have as much heat as Nick, Bobby and Katie as the others. I want to do the best job not only for Coach Petrino. But for the people here. And it’s about the players. It will always be about the players as long as I’m head coach here,” said Beard.
Missouri State believes in the 33-year old and gave him a four year contract with a base salary of $275,000 dollars a year.
And going with Beard was a no brainer.
“My one directive to Kyle is to spend the afternoon with Ryan and tell me if he’s ready. He called me back that afternoon and said he’s ready. So we were without a football coach for about an hour and a half,” said Missouri State president Clif Smart.
Beard:”I told Kyle If I didn’t feel I was ready and this wasn’t the time. I wouldn’t have done it. LIke I opened the press conference with. God’s time is perfect and here we are.”
Where the Bears are is trying to pick up the pieces of a 5-6 season that followed back to back NCAA tournament appearances.
Bears Athletics Director Kyle Moats liked what he saw in Beard during the season.
“As I saw things in the lockerroom. As I saw how he reacted with kids after wins. After losses and how they responded. All those things make a difference,” said Moats.
The recruits also were excited.
A number that Beard recruited are staying aboard.
“That was one of the best parts. I didn’t expect the twitter stuff to shake out how it did. But the look on their faces when they face-timed and called. They know that I’m their head coach. You can’t put that into words,” said Beard.
Football’s in the blood of the Petrino family clan.
Bobby Petrino’s son Nick will remain on Beard’s staff as the offensive coordinator.
No sibling rivalry here.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to running the offense. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Obviously the last three years we’ve all worked together,” said Bears offensive coordinator Nick Petrino.
Beard:”It’s a great opportunity for him as well. It’s a chance for him to really step into the light and do his thing. And do it his own way.”
That’s something that should make the family patriarch proud.