When Brian Beddow was coming out of college, after his time as an All-America kicker at Hardin-Simmons, he was in need of a coaching job and stumbled across a man named Joey Florence.
Florence was the head football coach at Cooper and was in need of an assistant coach. Beddow almost was hired at Cooper, but circumstances changed and Beddow chose to coach girls soccer at Amarillo.
Sixteen years later, Florence was in need of a head girls soccer coach. And the Ryan athletic director and football coach knew exactly where to turn.
Ryan hired Beddow at the end of May to become the school’s second head girls soccer coach. Beddow replaces Raiford Malone, who was the longest-tenured coach at the school before he resigned in April. Malone coached at the school since it officially opened in 1996.
“I really liked the opportunity to go to Ryan,” Beddow said. “I think their motto on the front of the school says it all — Home of Champions.”
Beddow is coming off a one-year stint at Saginaw Chisholm Trail, which went 3-20 in its inaugural year. Beddow said it was only the second time in his career he’s failed to reach the postseason. The 44-year-old coach has a career record of 224-65-35.
He coached two years at Amarillo, six years at Keller Fossil Ridge, one year at Plano John Paul II and seven years at Carrollton Creekview. Beddow said he’s planning to build a house in Pilot Point, and that’s one of the things that caused him to look at the Ryan opening.
Beddow will take over a Ryan program that went winless in district play before Malone resigned to spend time watching his kids play sports.
Florence said Beddow was highly recommended when he was at Cooper and was highly recommended again when the position at Ryan became available.
“We felt like he’s exactly what we need,” Florence said. “You can’t replace a legend like Raiford. Raiford is Mr. Ryan Girls Soccer. He’s been here forever and done such a tremendous job.
“We didn’t think just anybody could come in and take it. We feel like Brian’s got kind of the same temperament and some of the same philosophies. He really stood out.”
Creekview football coach Jay Cline, who worked with Beddow for two years, said the new Ryan coach is a passionate, high-energy man who sets high goals.
“They’re getting a great coach and an even better person,” Cline said. “He sets high standards for his program and he’ll work with the kids and get them to the point of succeeding, and he’ll treat your people right.”
Beddow, who helped out with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Creekview, said he’s interested in reviving the program at Ryan.
He also said he wants to revive Ryan’s playoff tradition and take a young team that struggled with injuries and a tough district back to the playoffs.
“That’s the goal,” Beddow said. “For me personally — and I think from them, too, by just talking to them — if they didn’t make the playoffs, it would be a disappointing year. That’s a tall order considering the district you’re in, but that’s how I’ve always approached it as a coach.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.