Ryan Beard

Head Football Coach, Missouri State University

Ryan Beard Head Football Coach, Missouri State University
Photo by Brandon AlmsRyan Beard is Head Football Coach, Missouri State University Purchase Photo

Instant Boost
His backyard, with his wife, Katie, and four kids: Beau, Lainey, Jacob and Kailey

Top Event  
Hickory Hills Easter Egg Hunt

Meaningful Mentor
Bobby Petrino, Jeff Brohm, Jim McElwain and Walt Wells. “That’s my coaching brain trust. There are quite a few wins and championships in that group.” 

At his core, Coach Ryan Beard relies on two principles: hope and hard work. “My parents instilled that hard work was key to any success,” he says. “But having a positive attitude is the foundation for everything we do at Missouri State. Instead of focusing on what we lack, we celebrate what we have. Relationships and optimism build results.”

In 2020, Ryan Beard joined Coach Bobby Petrino’s staff as defensive coordinator. His dynamic approach to building a team focused on discipline earned a team that only gave up 15.8 points per game in 2022. That December, MSU promoted him to the top job at just 33.

With a smile on his face, Beard has a Ted Lasso style of leadership. A former All-Sun Belt Team player himself, he knows what it takes to win, but he also takes time and encourages his coaches to invest in their own relationships and keep imagining bigger, better. MSU coaches visited top college football programs to ask strategic questions, learn and dream of the possibilities.

“Ryan is very well connected with high school and junior college coaches,” says Kyle Moats, Director of Athletics for MSU. “His staff has strategic connections throughout the country. Today’s programs need to be able to understand the NCAA transfer portal and build relationships. Ryan stands out in this area. He understands talent, and his personality is contagious.”

To keep players excelling on and off the field, Beard has implemented a Fifth Quarter program. From financial planning to a new suit for job interviews after graduation, MSU football players are taught what Beard calls contagious confidence, an energetic, positive approach to life. Better men are better football players, and they perform better on the field. The scoreboard matters, but so do players earning meaningful college degrees and finding success after college, he says.

“Our players will go on to be leaders in their community and here in Springfield,” he says. “I want people to look back on the Ryan Beard era and be proud of what we accomplished as a team. I want this community to be proud of Missouri State University.”

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