Tom Beck

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This article is about the American football player. For the German singer/actor, see Tom Beck (entertainer). For the fictional President of the United States, see Deep Impact (film).
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)
1962–1964 West Leyden HS (IL)
1965–1966 Lake Zurich HS (IL)
1970–1974 Illinois Benedictine
1975 Northern Illinois (OC)
1976–1983 Elmhurst
1984 Chicago Blitz (assistant)
1985–1990 Grand Valley State
1991 Notre Dame (OC)
1992 Illinois (OC)
Head coaching record
Overall 137–52–1 (college)
Tournaments 0–2 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
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 National Football League'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, Morgan and Thomas.

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 Bluejays (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) (1976–1983)
1976 Elmhurst 2–7 1–7 8th
1977 Elmhurst 5–4 4–4 T–4th
1978 Elmhurst 8–1 7–1 T–1st
1979 Elmhurst 7–2 6–2 T–2nd
1980 Elmhurst 7–2 6–2 T–1st
1981 Elmhurst 8–1 7–1 2nd
1982 Elmhurst 6–3 5–3 4th
1983 Elmhurst 7–2 6–2 2nd
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 NCAA Division II First Round
Grand Valley State Lakers (Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference) (1990)
1990 Grand Valley State 10–2 9–1 1st L NCAA 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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