Bill Beard was one cool high school hockey coach.
In the fast-paced game where emotions run high, Beard was able to keep the ideals of sportsmanship in the forefront. While not one to shy from stating his position, it was never Beard’s place to lose respect for the human side of competition.
It was just part of the base, along with solid knowledge of the game, that enabled him to establish University School as a perennial state-wide contender. With Beard at the helm for 16 seasons (1998-2014), the Preppers won two state championships (2003 and 2009), and had two runner-up finishes (2002 and 2004). US won nine district titles, earning nine trips to the state tournament’s final four.
There were also seven Baron Cup tournament championships, four Greater Cleveland High School Hockey division titles and the 2009 triple crown of GCHSHL division, Baron Cup and state wins.
The final totals were 347 wins, 181 losses and 48 ties. His 2009 title team went 31-6-3.
A 1980 Cleveland Heights High graduate, Beard played hockey and baseball for the Tigers, At Princeton University, he logged one season of hockey and was a four-year pitcher for the New Jersey-based Tigers before graduating in 1985 with a sociology degree.
On the baseball side, he won several team awards, served as co-captain his senior season and stands tied for third on the school’s all-time list with 19 career victories. His .760 career winning percentage (19-6 in 49 appearances) ranks fourth.
Before taking over at US, Beard was an assistant hockey coach at Cleveland Heights that included a state championship, a state runner-up and two Baron Cup title. He served as an assistant coach at Kent State for two years, at Padua High for three and Team Ohio Midget AAA for three. He found time to be pitching coach At Case Western Reserve University for the 1987 season.
Beard was head hockey coach at Upper Arlington High for one season, going 21-9-3 in 2016-17. Living in Perrysburg, Ohio, plans call for Beard to work at Toledo St. Francis de Sales High, where he will also serve as hockey assistant coach.
Married to Courtney, the Beards have two children.