Coach Beaman moves on from Manistique football

MANISTIQUE — With numbers remaining low in Manistique’s football program, coach Dennis Beaman decided it was time to move on.

Beaman, who stepped down from the head coaching position at Manistique Feb. 28, will become an assistant special teams coordinator at Northern Michigan University under new head coach Kyle Nystrom this fall.

“We didn’t have many athletes coming up in the junior and senior classes and two (assistant) coaches aren’t going to return,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the kids on the high school level, but It was time to look elsewhere. I’m excited about my new position. Kyle is a good friend of mine and I’m still involved with football, doing what I love to do.”

The Emeralds had approximately 20 varsity players each of the two years Beaman was coach, during which they compiled a 1-17 record.

“The program has been down here for several years and we had tried to change the culture,” said Beaman. “Last year we had a very tough schedule. Our athletic director (Rob Ryan) told us it was the toughest schedule we’ve had while he was AD. We wanted to convince the kids they could compete. We did some great things. The offense was good, but we had a hard time getting kids to commit to weight training which really hurt us on defense. We couldn’t stop anybody.”

Beaman coached six years at Division III Kalamzoo College, where he served as head special teams coordinator for five seasons before coming to Manistique. This fall, he will have the opportunity to coach in the Division II ranks.

“This is a step up for me,” he said. “The kids are a little faster than in D-3, plus the D-2 schools offer scholarships. The GLIAC is very competitive, one of the best D-2 conferences in the nation.”

Nystrom had previously served as co-defensive coordinator at Ferris State University.

“Kyle is one of the best defensive coaches in the country,” said Beaman, who will also be working with the tight ends at Northern. “He has great football knowledge and is very familar with the GLIAC.”

The search for a new head coach continues at Manistique, where the early-season schedule may be a little kinder this fall.

“We’ve opened with Negaunee for years, then we’d go up against Ishpeming the next week,” said Beaman.

“Both have very good programs. It was almost like we’d automatically start 0-2 every year. This year they’ll be opening against Newberry. Hopefully, that will encourage more kids to go out for football in Manistique.”