News and Events
Alumnus and Former Assistant Coach Michael Beard Returns to Pepperdine as New Men’s Golf Head Coach
After spending the past season and a half at Arizona State, former Pepperdine All-American Michael Beard (’02) is returning as the Waves’ new men’s golf head coach on December 1. Beard’s first tournament in charge will be in the spring season when the Waves take part in the Arizona Intercollegiate on January 28 to 29.
"I am extremely excited to be returning to Pepperdine," Beard says. "This program has great potential to be one of the best in the country. I'm looking forward to recruiting top-notch players, developing the talents of the current players and connecting with the program's former players."
Beard competed for the Waves between 1999 and 2002 (earning Golf Coaches Association of America All-American honorable mention status in 2000 and 2002). After graduating, he played professionally for several years before going into coaching. Beard joined Pepperdine for one season (2010-11) as assistant coach before departing to be an assistant at Arizona State.
"I am very excited that Michael will be leading our men's golf program," says Athletics director, Steve Potts. "He has an intense passion for Pepperdine golf and the ability to return our program to national prominence. We have high expectations for our men's golf team and Michael is committed to meeting those expectations. Most importantly, Michael is committed to the academic success of our student-athletes as well as the Christian mission of our institution."
During his season as an assistant at Pepperdine, Beard helped the Waves qualify for the 2011 NCAA Championships, where they finished 25th; it was Pepperdine's first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2006. The squad also placed second at the West Coast Conference Championships and tied for fourth at the NCAA Southwest Regional.
Beard then left Pepperdine in August 2011 to join Tim Mickelson at Arizona State. "From the moment I hired Michael I knew he would someday become a D-I head coach," Mickelson notes. "He has the makeup to be a very successful head coach and I'm sure he will do just that at Pepperdine."
As a player for the Waves, Beard was the medalist at the 2000 NCAA West Regional and the 2002 WCC Championships, and was a four-time All-WCC first teamer between 1999 and 2002.
He is well-represented on Pepperdine's career records lists, ranking first in total rounds played (162), tied for first in top-10 finishes (22), tied for third in top-20 finishes (31) and fourth in career scoring average (72.72). He averaged 72.07 strokes per round as a 2001-02 senior, which at the time was the school record and now stands sixth.
Pepperdine won WCC titles all four of his seasons and went to the NCAA Championships twice, including an eighth-place finish in 2002 where Beard tied for eighth in the individual standings.
After graduating from Pepperdine in 2002 with a degree in organizational communications, Beard turned professional and went on to play on the Gateway Tour (2003), Nationwide Tour (2004) and Canadian Tour (2005) as well as other various mini-tours. He played in two PGA Tour events: the 2004 Bob Hope Classic and 2005 Buick Open.
From 2008-10, Beard spent time teaching golf at Pronghorn Golf Club in Bend, Ore., and the Palms Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif. He has had the opportunity to learn from some of the best teachers in the game, including Butch Harmon, Phil Rodgers, and Stan Utley.
(Michael Beard, left, with former Wave Andrew Putnam ('11))