Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman stepping down; national search for replacement to begin

Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman is leaving the department to become the university's vice president for strategic initiatives.

Beekman took over as athletic director in February 2018 as Michigan State was reeling from the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. He previously had been vice president and secretary of MSU's board of trustees and briefly served as university president in January 2018. Beekman became Michigan State's permanent athletic director in July 2018 and held the role longer than expected.

He hired football coach Mel Tucker in February 2020 following the retirement of longtime coach Mark Dantonio. Beekman led the athletic department throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

"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," Beekman said in a statement. "Great things are ahead for Michigan State athletics."

A national search soon will begin for Beekman's successor, and he will remain athletic director until his replacement is hired.