Kurt Beathard told The Pantagraph Thursday that his sudden departure as Illinois State football offensive coordinator followed him putting a sign on his office door that read "All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ."
School officials have said they would not discuss what led to the announcement that
Beathard was no longer part of the program on Wednesday. Beathard on Thursday also said he would not comment on the circumstances.
Three sources close to the football program also told The Pantagraph that a "Black Lives Matter" poster was taken down from the Illinois State locker room in the Kaufman Football Building recently. The sources asked not to be identified for fear of retribution from university officials.
Beathard said he didn't know what happened with the other poster and was not involved in removing posters in the locker room.
“That locker room crap is wrong. I took the sign down somebody put on my door. That’s it," Beathard said. "I didn’t take anything off that wasn’t put on my door. I wrote the message.”
ISU spokesman Eric Jome referred questions about Beathard or the incident with the poster to the school's athletic department. Redbird head coach Brock Spack and director of athletics Larry Lyons both said Thursday they had no comment because the matter was a personnel issue.
Earlier in the fall semester, Redbird athletes took exception to
Lyons using the term "All Redbird Lives Matter" in a video conference with athletes. Some ISU athletes temporarily boycotted team meetings, workouts and practices as a result and an "Athletics March for Black Voices" was held on Sept. 4.
They also called for a comprehensive plan to improve diversity in athletics administration. The Athletics Department in August released a plan.
ISU announced in a Wednesday afternoon press release that Ghaali Muhammad-Lankford and C.J. Irvin would serve as co-offensive coordinators. Andy Belluomini has been added to the ISU coaching staff to assume the quarterbacks coach position previously held by Beathard.
Beathard spent the 2014 and '15 seasons as the Redbird offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before taking two years off to spend more time with his family. Beathard came back to ISU in the same roles in 2018.
24 Illinois State alumni who found fame
24 Illinois State students who found fame
Paul DeJong '15
Paul DeJong, 24, made his major league debut with the St. Louis cardinals on May 28, 2017. On March 5, 2018 he agreed to a six-year contract extension with St. Louis through the 2023 season. He has a had 32 home runs, 79 runs batted in and a batting average of .281 in his Major League Baseball career.
Gary Sinise, 63, is an actor, director and musician who has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and been nominated for an Academy Award. He is known for several roles including Lieutenant Dan Taylor in
Forrest Gump, Harry S. Truman in Truman, Detective Mac Taylor in CSI: NY and George C. Wallace in George Wallace.
Jeff Perry '78
Jeff Perry, 62, currently stars in the ABC drama
Scandal. He is an original co-grounder of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and has been in multiple stage productions in addition to his work in film and television. He is best known for his work in Nash Bridges, Wild Things and Scandal.
Richard Roeper '82
Richard Roeper, 58, is a film critic and columnist for
The Chicago Sun-Times. He was the co-host of the TV series At the Movies with Roger Ebert from 2000 to 2008.
Jane Lynch '82
Actress who appeared in such films as
Best of Show, A Mighty Wind, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. She is more recently recognized for her Emmy-award winning portrayal as Sue Sylvester on the hit TV series Glee and as host of NBC's Hollywood Game Night.
Craig Robinson '94
You may recognize Robinson from his role as Darryl Philbin on the American version of
The Office; he was promoted to a starring role in the fourth season. He has appeared on other television shows, including Arrested Development, Lucky, Friends, Halfway Home, and Reno 911!; he has also appeared in Hot Tub Time Machine and Pineapple Express.
Cecilia Suarez '95
Actress who starred on the Lifetime TV series, For the People and who also starred in the Adam Sandler movie, Spanglish . Suárez is the first Spanish-speaking actress ever to be nominated for an International Emmy in the category for Best Actress for her performance in the HBO series Capadocia; she also spoke at Illinois State's Latino Cultural Dinner in 2012.
This Emmy award-winning actor starred as Jack McFarland on the hit NBC series Will & Grace . He also was nominated for a Tony Award for Promises, Promises . He can also be seen in the movies Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! , Bucket List and heard in The Cat in the Hat and Cats and Dogs .
A notable lead actor from various TV series, including a recurring role on The Good Wife. He has also starred in numerous films including Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! , The Brady Bunch Movie , Office Space , and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby .
Michelle (Tenitra) Williams
A Grammy-award winning member of the R&B/Pop music group Destiny's Child, she also starred on Broadway in the Tim Rice and Elton John production of Aida. She could be seen on stage as Shug Avery in The Color Purple.
Adam Kinzinger '00
Kinzinger serves as a U.S. House representative for Illinois's 11th Congressional District; he got his political start as a member of the McLean County Board.
Jay Blunk '86
Blunk is the executive vice president of the Chicago Blackhawks; in this photo, Blunk, left, sits with Chicago Blackhawks President John McDonough, right.
Suzy Bogguss '79
Suzy Bogguss, 59, is a country music singer and songwriter. Bogguss began her career in the early 1980s as a solo singer. In the 1990s, she released one platinum and three gold albums and charted six top ten singles, winning the Academy of Country Music's award for Top New Female Vocalist and the Country Music Association's Horizon Award. In this photo,
Bogguss performs at the 2014 SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
Judith Ivey '73
Judith Ivey, 63, is an actress and director. Ivey is often associated with her one-year run on the CBS series
Designing Women in its final season, playing the Texan B.J. Poteet. She also played a notable role on the NBC series Will & Grace and also appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Person of Interest, White Collar, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Laurie Metcalf '76
Laurie Metcalf, 59, is an actress, perhaps most widely known for her performance as Jackie Harris on the ABC sitcom
Roseanne. She also has had TV roles in Desperate Housewives and on The Big Bang Theory. Her film work critically acclaimed roles in Making Mr. Right, JFK, and Mistress. Metcalf frequently works in Chicago theater. She is a three-time Emmy Award winner, and has been nominated four other times, as well as having been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, two Tony Awards, a Satellite Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award; she has won both a Theatre World Award and two Obie Awards for her work on the stage.
Rondi Reed '77
Rondi Reed, 62, is a stage actress, singer and performer. She has been a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago for decades, appearing in 51 productions. She has also starred on Broadway in
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and The Grapes of Wrath, among others. In August: Osage County, she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play. She is also known for her role as Mike's mother in the TV series Mike & Molly.
D.A. Weibring '75
Donald Albert "D. A." Weibring, Jr., 61, is a professional golfer who has won numerous tournaments, including several on the PGA and Champions tours. His first was in 1979 at Quad Cities — an event he would win three times. His last Tour victory was at the Canon Greater Hartford Open in 1996. Weibring's had five top-10 finishes in major championships. He joined the Champions Tour after turning 50 in May 2003, and has won five times thus far. Weibring was inducted into the Illinois PGA Hall of Fame in 2001, and he also has his own golf course design and management company.
Cathy Boswell '83
Cathy Boswell, 52, is a former basketball player who competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics. In this photo, Boswell speaks after being honored for her basketball career at ISU during the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame induction ceremony March 8, 2003, in St. Louis.
Doug Collins '73
Doug Collins, 63, is a former All-American basketball player who was the top pick of the 1973 NBA draft and a four-time NBA All-Star. He's also coached the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and most recently the Philadelphia 76ers. An acclaimed broadcaster, Collins was chosen to represent the United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. The court at Redbird Arena is named in his honor.
Dan Rutherford '78
Dan Rutherford, a Chenoa native, is Illinois' state treasurer. He served as a Republican member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 53rd district, from 2003 to 2011, and in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003.
Boomer Grigsby '07
James Harvey "Boomer" Grigsby, 33, is a former ISU football player who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He's also played with the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans.
John Malkovich, 61, is an acclaimed actor, producer, director, and fashion designer. Over the last 30 years, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 films, including
Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, for which he received Academy Award nominations. Malkovich was awarded a degree from ISU in 2005.
Donald McHenry '57
Donald F. McHenry served as ambassador and U.S. reresentative to the United Nations from September 1979 until January 1981. He was also a member of President Carter's cabinet. He graduated from ISU in 1957 and two years later received a master's degree from Southern Illinois University. He has done post-graduate work at Georgetown University.
Mike Zimmer '79
Mike Zimmer, 58, is an American football coach who is the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He previously was a defensive coordinator in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals.
Contact Randy Reinhardt at (309) 820-3403. Follow him on Twitter: pg_reinhardt