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MSU appoints new football coach

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Missouri State University quickly moved to appoint a new head football coach after Bobby Petrino was hired by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Ryan Beard, defensive coordinator for the Bears football team, is slated to be formally introduced as head coach during a news conference on Monday.

"I look forward to working with Ryan in this capacity and continuing our success under his guidance," MSU Director of Athletics Kyle Moats said in a news release. "He is a young, dynamic coach who understands the nuance of today's recruiting world. He has worked with some of the best coaches in college football during his coaching career, including the likes of Willie Taggert, Jeff Brohm, Jim McElwain and, of course, Bobby Petrino."

Beard, 33, becomes MSU's 22nd head football coach. He's likely the youngest head football coach in MSU history, said Rick Kindhart, assistant director of athletics, noting "records don’t go back far enough to substantiate that."

He joined MSU in 2020 and is credited with managing a Bears defensive unit with 14 all-conference selections, three All-Americans and two professional players, according to the release. Beard also is Petrino's son-in-law.

The announcement this morning comes a day after Petrino accepted the role of offensive coordinator at UNLV.

"Coach Petrino did what we thought he would do," Moats said in a separate news release. "He was able to turn our team around and make it a successful, championship program. I know our fans will be forever grateful for having experienced his exciting brand of football and the many great memories he provided Bears fans over the past three years."

Hired in January 2020, Petrino led the Bears to two NCAA FCS playoff appearances. The team grabbed its first conference championship in 30 years during his tenure. Petrino’s overall record at MSU was 18-15.

Beard’s contract information is slated to be released on Monday, Kindhart said.


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