NEW ORLEANS (January 9, 2012) – 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."