Bill Beekman to step down as MSU athletic director, stay with university


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University Athletic Director Bill Beekman will step down from his position.

School president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. officially announced that Beekman will move to a new position with the university.

“Bill stepped in to help our athletic department during a time of turmoil and change, and we thank him for that,” said Stanley. “That department is in a better place now and ready to look for long-term leadership to propel us to a new, nationally leading level. With his skills and extensive institutional knowledge, I feel Bill is an ideal fit for this new strategic initiatives role.”

The university has also hired an outside firm to help find his replacement. He will be the vice president for strategic initiatives. 

Beekman will serve as the interim AD while the national search is conducted.

“I have been honored to serve as athletic director at Michigan State, and I thank the Board of Trustees and our administration for this opportunity,” said Beekman. “While we’ve experienced the most challenging 18 months in the history of college athletics, we’ve pushed forward on many fronts, laying the groundwork for the future. Great things are ahead for Michigan State athletics. I’m also excited for this new role in the administrative team as the vice president for strategic initiatives, working with President Stanley to drive our great university forward.”

During Beekman’s tenure MSU got their biggest cash donation ever of $32 million for former men’s basketball player Mat Ishbia. He also hired MSU football coach Mel Tucker.

Beekman took over first as the interim athletic director in February of 2018 after former AD Mark Hollis stepped down. Beekman officially took over in July of 2018.

Prior to taking this job, Beekman had no experience in athletics.

During his tenure as athletic director, Beekman cut the MSU Swim & Dive program, a decision that was met with significant resistance from within the program.

Beekman made the announcement on Oct. 22, Michigan State University, citing budget issues and the need for new facilities.

6 News did an in-depth piece on the whole fight back in February.

You can view that in the link below:

In response to Beekman stepping down today, the Battle for Spartan Swimming and Diving group released the following statement:

The Battle for Spartan Swimming and Diving is optimistic about the future of Michigan State Athletics after today’s announcement and looks forward to working with the incoming Athletic Director. With our biggest obstacle removed, we are more committed than ever to bring back the Swimming and Diving program for its 100th season.

We will continue to impress upon MSU’s leaders the value of reinstating both teams, and how our proposed solutions will not only save and sustain swimming and diving, but also provide a model for supporting all Spartan Olympic sports into the future. This is a good day for Michigan State Athletics, and we are eager for a future focused on building and growing – starting with MSU Swimming and Diving.

Battle for Spartan Swimming and Diving

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