Beckman, who has been at Bowling Green since 1998, fills the void left by Mark Snyder who recently became the head coach at Marshall University. At Ohio State, the 39-year-old Beckman will work with the Buckeyes' cornerbacks and will be involved in all aspects of the defensive operation.
"We wanted to attract the best person to fill out our staff on our defensive side and we feel very fortunate that we've been able to do that," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said. "We feel extremely blessed to have Tim Beckman join our staff. Tim has spent the last six years as the defensive coordinator at Bowling Green where they've had great teams.
"He worked under three extraordinary guys. Gary Blackney – who we all know – I've known him for my coaching lifetime. Gary tells me that (Beckman) is the best coach he's ever had.
"He worked with Urban Meyer as defensive coordinator. Urban told me the other day that Tim's just one of those special guys and an extraordinary person, as well as a great coach.
"And Gregg Brandon, the current coach at Bowling Green, really has two emotions. He's very sad for his troops there at Bowling Green, but very happy for his friend Tim Beckman to be moving on and have a different opportunity."
Tressel went back to his roots to find his next assistant coach.
"Tim is a graduate of Berea High School, which is a scholarly place," Tressel quipped about his alma mater. "He graduated from Findlay University and spent his coaching life moving from the likes of Auburn, Western Carolina, spent quite some time at Bowling Green and knows the state of Ohio. We've faced him first hand and had trouble scoring points against his defense a couple years ago. So, we're excited that he brings his expertise.
"I've known his father (Dave) longer than he's been born. His father played his final year of college in 1958 for my dad in his first year at Baldwin-Wallace."
Beckman says he is realizing a lifelong dream by becoming a coach at Ohio State.
"I can't be more happy to be involved with, in my opinion, the best football program around in the United States," Beckman said. "Being a young man that was born in Ohio and was raised in a coaching family that got to see his dad roam the sidelines, and then decide to take that step and be involved with the same thing that your father did… to have the opportunity to come to Ohio State and work for a great football coach in Jim Tressel and his staff that he has brought to Ohio State, it's a dream come true. It really is. I can honestly say that. I owe a lot to the people I learned this game from."
One of Beckman's strengths is working against spread offenses – something he learned in part from Meyer.
"Urban is a great, great friend of mine, I've known him for a long time," Beckman said. "He taught me a lot about the spread offense and how to defend it, because we had to do that quite a bit.
"I had an opportunity to follow Urban out to Utah, but there were some things in life that I think are very important. My family is very important to me and I had an opportunity to stay at Bowling Green because of a family crisis (his wife's father had just passed away).
"So, we've had some great times at Bowling Green, but I really look forward to being with Coach Tressel and (defensive coordinator Jim) Heacock and the defensive staff and continue the success that Coach Tressel has had here."
As soon as he knew there would be a job opening at OSU, Beckman was interested.
"No question," he said. "I became real close with Coach Snyder. Throughout the years of him being here, and (Mark) Dantonio being here, we came down and spent some time. In fact, about a month and a half ago, we decided to all come together. Ohio State, Maryland, Marshall and Bowling Green came down here to talk about how to defend the spread offense.
"So, when Coach Snyder was fortunate enough to get that Marshall job, he informed me right away that there would be an opportunity to come down here to Ohio State. And I think, just as every college football coach feels about Ohio State, I got my resume in as quickly as I could to Coach Tressel and asked if there would be an opportunity to meet with him. And the wish was granted."
New assistant Tim Beckman speaks with the Columbus media
Beckman says the spread offense has become a staple of the college game.
"Well, I think it's the up-and-coming offense that you're seeing throughout college football," he said. "At Bowling Green, we went 2-9 in Coach Blackney's last year. And then, with the same guys the next year, we went 8-3 and it had a lot to do with the offenses. I think it's up and coming. It gives people a chance to spread the field and I've worked against it everyday out there on the practice field.
"So, I imagine it might have had a little bit to do with what brought me here. But, I also feel as though I do an excellent job of recruiting and do an excellent job of coaching and scheming against any type of offense."
Beckman's experience as a recruiting coordinator was another factor in his hiring.
"Big reason. Big reason," he said. "When you have to coordinate and get 10, 11 individuals involved in your recruiting, I take pride in the way I recruit. I think that's the backbone of your team. I've been very successful recruiting in the Cleveland area. I consider it another game. The football season is over and now we've got to compete against your opponents in the recruiting battles on the streets."
Beckman does have experience working with linebackers, in addition to his background as a secondary coach.
"I've got 13 years of experience as a defensive backs coach," he said. "All four of them. I also worked with linebackers at Bowling Green the last few years."
Beckman plans on developing a personal relationship with OSU's cornerbacks.
"I think it's very important for myself to get involved with my position players," he said. "I'd like to think of them as my extended family. I want them over to my house, I want them to meet my children. I think it's very important that I treat them like my extended family. So, I think that will be the next step after I get off the road from recruiting within a week. I'm looking forward to just sitting down with Coach Heacock and just talking ball."
Heacock explained why he felt Beckman was the right man for the job.
"What we did was sit down with Coach Tressel and basically analyzed the situation and tried to figure out what would be best for the players on our defense," Heacock said. "We kind of went through a list of things that we felt as a staff that we really needed to help our defensive staff be successful and give our defensive players what they need to be successful.
"So, it was interesting, we set down four or five things that we felt could really help our staff. It was interesting, now we feel like the guy we got fits everything. It just feels real good for us that all the pieces of the puzzle are there. Tim really fits in well with our staff. He brings a lot to the table and we're excited to have him on board and I'm excited to get a chance to work with him and looking forward to having a great year."
Most people figured OSU would hire a linebackers coach. Steve Tovar was one name thrown out there.
"When we started out, I think the biggest thing was deciding what position we were looking for," Heacock said. "There were several different options that we had. I think the idea that we came up with was that we wanted to balance the four guys on the defensive staff as much as we could. We felt like with me and Luke (Fickell) being involved in the front seven most of our lives, we felt pretty good about that. So, we thought maybe having a couple guys on the backend would balance us out a little bit. A four man staff, it really makes sense to have a couple on the backend and a couple on the front end and work together.
"And then the other thing is that Tim brings a lot to the table being in the press box. He's been up there and feels comfortable in the press box. He's called defenses being a coordinator. He's coached linebackers and the secondary and has been very involved with the game planning. So, there's a lot of different aspects that he brings to our staff."
Heacock then elaborated on how the defensive coaches will be split up.
"Everybody's going to have a position," he said. "Tim will have the cornerbacks, Paul (Haynes) will have the safeties, Luke linebackers, and me the front. It's going to be four guys working together, whatever it takes."
Beckman is a 1988 graduate of the University of Findlay. He lettered for the Oilers in 1984 and '85, with both of those teams qualifying for the NAIA playoffs. Beckman began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Auburn in 1988. While working with the Tigers' defensive backs, he was awarded his master's degree in education.
Beckman's first full-time job came in 1990 at Western Carolina, where he served as secondary coach and recruiting coordinator.
Beckman left Western Carolina after the 1996 season to become defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Elon. He was there just one full season before moving on to Bowling Green as secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. He was named defensive coordinator in 2002 and assistant head coach in 2003.
* In a related move, Tressel announced that wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell will assume the duties of assistant head coach, a title formerly held by Heacock.
"Darrell is a very talented coach and has done a great job for us," Tressel said. "Now, in addition to coaching, he will take on a few more administrative duties that had been handled by Jim Heacock."