Tom Beck

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Tom Beck
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1940-12-21) December 21, 1940 (age 74)
Chicago, Illinois
Playing career
1959–1961 Northern Illinois
Position(s) Quarterback, halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
West Leyden HS (IL)
Lake Zurich HS (IL)
Illinois Benedictine
Northern Illinois (OC)
Chicago Blitz (assistant)
Grand Valley State
Notre Dame (OC)
Illinois (OC)
Head coaching record
Overall 137–52–1 (college)
Tournaments 0–2 (Division II playoffs)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
2 CCIW (1978, 1980)
1 GLIAC (1989)
1 MIFC (1990)
2x NAIA District 20 Coach of the Year (1972, 1974)
2x CCIW Coach of the Year (1978, 1980)
2x NCAA Regional Coach of the Year (1989–1990)
2x GLIAC Coach of the Year (1989–1990)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2004 (profile)

Tom Beck (born December 21, 1940) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Illinois Benedictine College, now Benedictine University, from 1970 to 1974, Elmhurst College from 1976 to 1983, and Grand Valley State University from 1985 to 1990. During his college football head coaching career, he compiled a 137–52–1 record, good for a .724 winning percentage. All three institutions where Beck coached had historically losing teams before he turned them into nationally ranked programs. Beck was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2004.

Beck played football at Northern Illinois University, where he started on offense, defense, and played special teams. He was the last two-way player in the history of Northern Illinois Huskies football. Beck was All-Conference on both offense and defense, an Academic All-American, and was inducted into the Northern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the athletic hall of fame at Elmhurst College, Benedictine University, and Grand Valley State University as a coach.

Beck served as the offensive coordinator at Northern Illinois University in 1975, at the University of Notre Dame in 1990, and at the University of Illinois in 1991. He coached one season in 1984 with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL before the league folded. While head coach at Grand Valley State, Beck gave Brian Kelly his first coaching job as a graduate assistant. Kelly was Beck's successor at Grand Valley State in 1991 and is currently the head coach at Notre Dame.[1]

After his coaching career, Beck spent time as a scout for the NFL's Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears. After scouting, he was an analyst for nine years for two different web sites, IrishEyes and Irish Today, that covered Notre Dame football.

Personal life[edit]

Beck is married to Joyce Beck, and has two daughters, Kelly and Laura, along with two grandchildren.

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Illinois Benedictine Eagles (Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference) (1970–1974)
1970 Illinois Benedictine 6–3
1971 Illinois Benedictine 8–2
1972 Illinois Benedictine 9–2
1973 Illinois Benedictine 7–3
1974 Illinois Benedictine 7–2–1
Illinois Benedictine: 37–12–1
Elmhurst Blue Jays (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) (1976–1983)
1976 Elmhurst 2–7 1–7
1977 Elmhurst 5–4 4–4
1978 Elmhurst 8–1 7–1 1st
1979 Elmhurst 7–2 6–2
1980 Elmhurst 7–2 6–2 1st
1981 Elmhurst 8–1 7–1
1982 Elmhurst 6–3 5–3
1983 Elmhurst 7–2 6–2
Elmhurst: 50–22 42–22
Grand Valley State Lakers (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1985–1989)
1985 Grand Valley State 6–5 4–2 T–3rd
1986 Grand Valley State 9–2 4–1 2nd
1987 Grand Valley State 7–4 4–1 2nd
1988 Grand Valley State 7–4 3–2 3rd
1989 Grand Valley State 11–1 5–0 1st L Division II First Round
Grand Valley State Lakers (Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference) (1990)
1990 Grand Valley State 10–2 9–1 1st L Division II First Round
Grand Valley State: 50–18 29–7
Total: 137–52–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


  1. ^ Flemming, Gretchen (September 2, 2004). "Brian Kelly brings linebacker's heart & hard-working spirit to Division I". Assumption College. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 

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