Kurt Beathard
Kurt Beathard

Quarterbacks Coach

Third Season--2009


  • Big Ten's No. 1-rated passing offense, 2008
  • 11 years as an offensive coordinator
  • OVC Player of the Year, Josh Greco, EKU

The Beathard File
2009- University of Illinois (quarterbacks)
2007-08 University of Illinois (outside receivers)
2003-06 Eastern Kentucky (offensive coordinator)
2002 Bucknell (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
1996-2001 Western Carolina (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
1995 Pacific (defensive secondary)
1993-94 Towson University (defensive secondary)
1993 (spring ball) Colgate (assistant coach)
1992 Bloomsburg (defensive secondary)
1991 James Madison (tight ends)
1989-90 Louisville (graduate assistant)
1988 Catholic (wide receivers)
1987 Towson University (student assistant)
Home Town: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Birthdate: January 4, 1963
Family: Wife, Karen; Daughters, LaRae, Grace and Eva
Education: B.S., General Studies -- Towson State, 1988
Playing Experience: Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, 1981, Saddleback Junior College, 1982; Towson State, 1983-85; Baltimore Stars (USFL), 1986; Washington Commandos (Arena), 1987
Bowl Games: Rose Bowl, 2008

THE BEATHARD FAMILY (pictured above left to right): Karen and Kurt; Grace, Eva and LaRae

Kurt Beathard recently completed his second season on the Illini staff as outside receivers coach after four seasons as Eastern Kentucky's offense coordinator.

During the 2008 season, the Illini saw its most production in the passing game since the 2002 season. In 2007, Beathard helped guide the Illini passing offense to more touchdowns, completions and yards per game than in 2006. One of his greatest works has been the conversion of tight end Jeff Cumberland to an outside receiver. After the switch, Cumberland caught 11 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, including a four-catch, 131-yard performance with a score against Northwestern.

The native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., helped guide the Colonels to single-season program records in completions (234), passing attempts (413) and passing yards (3,119) in 2005 while EKU led the OVC in scoring (31.5 ppg), total offense (412.3 ypg) and pass offense (283.5 ypg). In seven of the final eight games in 2006, the Colonels scored at least 30 points, including a season-high 52 in the homecoming win over Tennessee Tech.

Four players went on to earn 2005 first team All-OVC honors under Beathard's watch, including quarterback Josh Greco and wide receiver Andre Ralston. Greco broke numerous program records last year to earn OVC Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Ralston became EKU's all-time leader in receptions (165) and receiving yards (3,095).

In his first season at Eastern Kentucky in 2003, Beathard directed the offensive unit to an impressive 391.4 yards per game, including 241.4 yards passing per game. The Colonels ended the year ranked first in the OVC in total offense as well as second in pass efficiency with a rating of 131.7.

Beathard went to Eastern after one year at Bucknell, where he served as the offensive coordinator. Prior to his stint with the Bison, Beathard spent six seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Carolina. He was a key component in running back Brad Hoover, now with the Carolina Panthers, breaking the single-season rushing record with 1,663 yards in 1998.

Also while at Western Carolina, Beathard coached David Rivers to the single-game passing yardage record in 2000, as well as the single-season record for total yardage. Beathard's high-powered Catamount offense saw two receivers go over 1,000 yards during the 2000 campaign.

Beathard started his collegiate playing career at Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo before transferring to Saddleback Junior College for his sophomore season. He then moved on to Towson State (now Towson) for the final three seasons of his career, setting several school records along the way.

In his two-year stint at Towson, Beathard passed for 4,768 yards and 38 touchdowns. In a game against Lafayette, Beathard was 40-of-51 passing for 466 yards and four scores. His effort in the game still ranks among the top passing performances in NCAA Division II history. His leadership under center also helped lead the Tigers to the 1984 Division II playoffs.

After his collegiate career was over, Beathard was drafted by the Baltimore Stars of the USFL in 1986 before moving on to the Arena League's Washington Commandos in 1987. Beathard's coaching career began as a student assistant at Towson in the spring of 1987 before moving over to Catholic University in Washington, D.C., for the 1988 campaign. He then spent two seasons on the Louisville staff, as a graduate assistant from 1989-90. Beathard has also served time at James Madison, Bloomsburg, Colgate, University of the Pacific and a second stint at Towson. As the secondary coach for Towson in 1993, Beathard's unit led the nation in interceptions and was ranked 14th in total defense. He was inducted into the Towson Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Aside from his extensive knowledge and experience, football runs in Beathard's genes. His father, Bobby, spent numerous years as the general manager of the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers. His brother, Jeff, is a scout for the Carolina Panthers.

Beathard and his wife, Karen, have three daughters: LaRae, Grace and Eva.

What They're Saying About Beathard...

"Kurt is a great teacher and good coach. He has a quiet approach but knows how to get his points across. He really helped me get ready for the NFL by teaching sound technique and fundamentals. I think he has a bright future ahead of him."

- Former Western Carolina Fullback and current Carolina Panther Brad Hoover
"Kurt is a great coach and was very influential in my football career in the time I was with him. He is probably one of the reasons I am still in the profession today. Kurt has the ability to break the game down and make it understandable for anyone so they can maximize their talents. When I was a player, he could always relate to any player, no matter who they were. He was able to talk to you in a way that made you just understand the game. He was a very efficient and organized coach and just makes the game easy."

- Former Western Carolina Tight End/Wide Receiver and current Lenior-Rhyne assistant coach Brian Rucker
""Kurt is definitely a offensively-minded person. He has the ability to create plays that puts people in the position to take advantage of their opponents. Just a great offensive-minded coach. He helped me in my career as far as getting and achieving the stats that I have had by putting me in the right position and giving me the chances to make those plays.

"Personally, I have known him for three years and he is a great person with an open-door policy. He helped me on the field and personally, helping with my father when he passed, while I have had the opportunity to get to know his family too. He is just a great guy."

- Former Western Carolina wide receiver Michael Banks

(updated 5/09)