EAST LANSING, Mich. - John Engler tapped an insider as Michigan State University's new athletic director, who will work to rebuild trust in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.
After serving as acting president when Lou Anna Simon resigned, and then stepping in again when interim athletic director when Mark Hollis resigned, Bill Beekman appeared to be Michigan State's versatile stopgap man.
But Monday, he became a major player in the university's future, as the interim tag was removed from his title.
"Without further ado, the next athletic director, Bill Beekman," Engler said.
The overall theme of Beekman's promotion to permanent athletic director might have been looking forward, but the new boss acknowledged the elephant in the room: the Nassar scandal and sexual assault allegations that continue to loom over the athletic department.
Engler said he started hearing great things about Beekman from the coaches after Beekman was appointed to temporarily take over for Hollis, and the endorsements by Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo weighed heavily.
In the end, MSU didn't need a national search, and nobody else was interviewed, despite Engler guaranteeing that that would be the case from the start. In fact, Engler pushed back on that Monday, saying Beekman is the new blood the athletic department needs, even though he's worked at Michigan State for 23 years.
"He's fresh," Engler said. "He's new."
Beekman's appointment will be approved Tuesday morning at a special board of trustees meeting.
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