On April 11, 2022, Rush Springs Public Schools hired Tim Beard as head football coach, once again. This is Beard’s third stint with the Redskins, previously presiding over the program from 2009-2014 and 2017-2018, going 35-48 during that time.
“I’m happy to be back,” Beard told the Rush Springs Gazette in an exclusive interview.
While he has been in this position before, he comes into this familiar role with a revamped perspective.
“I think I put a lot of pressure on myself. I was really going through a lot of self-doubt as well. Having the chance to be out this last time, it’s really just given me a better perspective on what my overall job is. My job is to teach them about being the best young men that they can be. We’re going to do all the things that football requires, which is difficult in itself, but at the same time, all that really matters to me is, they don’t have to believe like I do, but I’m going to teach them about Jesus, teach them how to work hard, learn how to be accountable, how to be respectable, how to carry yourself, the proper way to speak to people, and we’re going to win some football games along the way,” Beard said.
Beard takes over a bleak program that went 1-9 in the fall and were outscored by a whopping total of 412-116 points. Safe to say, changes need to be made in order to turn the ship around.
The initial stages of that plan began in May, when the Redskins began Spring Ball practices. The team had 35 kids suited up, including incoming freshman, an increase over the past couple seasons. Practices “went really well,” according to Beard.
“All we were trying to do was get the kids in tune with how we’re going to do it and worked on nothing but a lot of offensive installs.”
The new offensive philosophy will look quite a bit different under the tutelage of Beard, who will also be the offensive play caller this season for the Redskins. He is expecting them to be more “ball controlled moving forward.”
“We’re going to go back to, in my opinion, what gives us the best chance to win with our personnel,” Beard said.
He continued, “We are going to run some Wing T, which is a lot of misdirection. We’re truly going to emphasize three yards and making that our goal every play. Three yards leads to fourth and shorts, and we’re not afraid to go for them.”
Coach Beard believes the team can see some success from this approach.
“I think we’ve got a good chance. I think we can move the ball on people. I think we can control the clock, control the tempo of things, so I think we’ll be fine.”
As for the defensive philosophy, the Redskins will primarily be in a four-front base, meaning four downed defensive linemen, “but it will vary.” They also plan to play “a lot more zone and give different looks” compared to what they are used to. They will be willing to implement whatever it takes to shore up a defense that gave up an average of 41 points per game last season.
The next phase of the rebuild began this week, as the Redskins started their four-day-a-week, 6:30 a.m. summer pride workouts.
“There’s no substitute for hard work,” Beard said, and that is what the team is gearing up to do for the rest of the summer.
Along with the morning workouts, the team plans to start throwing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.
There is no doubt that the summertime is crucial for student athletes to become bigger, stronger, and faster, all key components for development and elevating your play on the field. An underappreciated aspect of the summer, however, is the sharpening of the mind and tools. Learning and developing physical motor skills, honing techniques, and learning the playbook are all highly important.
Summer pride workouts can be very telling for a football team. You can clearly see who wants it more, and who is willing to put in the work to develop into a better player. This is the time in which, perhaps, those who are less talented can surpass those of equal or higher talent levels simply by showing up every day and working hard.
The training and energy that is expended now will accumulate and, whenever August rolls around, players will be better conditioned and ready to be in “football shape.”
“We’re going to push them hard, so that way, when we get to August, it’s not going to be a shock when we get into practices and pads,” Beard said.
Every day, the Redskins inch closer to live action. A potential scrimmage opponent this fall are the Walters Blue Devils. This would take place exactly one week before their Week Zero matchup against the Empire Bulldogs on August 26.
So, it begs the question, from this day forward, what is it going to take to turn Rush Springs football around? It is certainly a difficult challenge and no easy feat to accomplish.
According to Beard, it all starts with a “culture change.”
“There’s a way our football players are going to act, a way they are going to be held responsible, and be accountable to each other, as well as me,” Beard said.
He continued, “Once we get our priorities in line where they should be, I truly think that’s going to reflect in when we’re throwing and catching a ball, putting up some points, and stopping people from putting up points.”
Essentially, the program must be rebuilt from the ground up. Each step of this process will act as building blocks, beginning with the most basic aspects of not only football, but of daily life itself.
“There’s a lot more things in life that are going to get us to our end goal of winning football games,” Beard said.
In order to see any measure of success, kids will have to buy into what the coaching staff is selling.
According to Beard, the players are ready to embrace a cultural change.
“They want it, they want to be held responsible… Again, it’s not only in the high school level that we’re talking about. This is all the way down to where we start, 6th grade, that it’s this way or the highway, and get kids to believe in what we’re doing and see the benefits of it,” he said.
In order to right the ship and get the program back on track for the long-term, the Redskins will need to rack up victories in the win column.
It is not so much that winning is everything, because it is not. There is much more to life than winning football games. However, the byproducts of having a successful program can be large reaching.
A winning program can help not only retain kids that would otherwise move but bring more kids into the school district via transfer. Rush Springs could become a more desirable destination if our program is solid. Success would breed even more community involvement and excitement, which is huge for a small town. As the old adage goes, “winning cures all.”
So, as the Rush Springs Redskins football team begins their full rebuild, there is a great man, ready and willing at the helm in coach Tim Beard. At a time like this, you need someone who is optimistic and can stay positive, two of Beard’s best traits as a coach.
Beard does have familiarity and perspective on his side as he begins his third stint, but it will undoubtedly take everything he, his staff, team, and everyone involved has in order to restore the prestige that the program once had.
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