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MSU AD Bill Beekman Stepping Down

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Michigan State University announced Thursday that Bill Beekman, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, is stepping down and taking on a new role as vice president of strategic initiatives.

A national search is already underway to find Beekman’s replacement.

“Bill stepped in to help our athletic department during a time of turmoil and change, and we thank him for that,” said  President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., in a statement. “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.”

Beekman was as named interim vice president and athletic director in February 2018, then appointed as the permanent leader in July 2018. Before transitioning to the athletic department, Beekman was named vice president and secretary of the Board of Trustees in 2008.

“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 in a statement. “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 the course of Beekman’s tenure, MSU won seven Big Ten Championships and recorded three top-four finishes nationally in men’s soccer (2018), men’s basketball (2019) and women’s cross country in 2021.

Beekman also oversaw significant achievements in academics, facilities, fundraising and student-athlete support. In the classroom, Spartan student-athletes posted the highest cumulative GPA in athletic department history — 3.3051 — in the spring 2021 semester. In addition, a record-tying 20 teams posted a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA in spring 2021 and an all-time high 545 student-athletes finished the spring 2021 semester with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher.

Beekman’s accomplishments in fundraising also contributed to the continued success of Spartan athletics, including securing the largest single cash commitment from an individual in the history of MSU when former men’s basketball player Mat Ishbia committed $32 million in February 2021.

A 1995 MSU graduate, Beekman earned his Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School and his undergraduate degree in justice, morality and constitutional democracy from James Madison College at MSU.