When you’re talking about a winning pedigree, a tradition of excellence and a ton of credibility, there may be no better example than the newest assistant coach on the Branson High School football team.
The Pirates added one of the bigger names from one of southwest Missouri’s premier football programs, landing Jared Beshore to serve as an assistant, focusing on the running backs position.
For head coach Anthony Hays, it was a coup to be able to attract a coach who just one year ago was a starter and captain on Missouri State’s football team.
“It’s always nice to get a good young coach who is energetic, just got done playing,” Hays said.
“He’s one of those guys who has won a state championship in high school, played at a high level locally, he’s going to be able to relate these kids very well, and bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm that will help out our football program.”
The relationship between Hays and Beshore has gone back a few years.
When Hays was at Parkview High School before coming to Branson, Beshore was part of a practicum at Missouri State, working one day a week with the Parkview program.
Then came the annual appearance Hays makes at Missouri State for a coaching football class, and Beshore was in attendance.
“I was really impressed with him, even back then, and thought he would be a great young hire when he gets out,” Hays said.
“I remembered him from the practicum, and we were just talking and he said he wanted to student-teach, and I said he should come down to Branson. Luckily we were able to get him here, with the mindset that if we were going to have an opening, I knew he would be a really good young coach, with a great pedigree.”
Beshore graduated from Missouri State with a P.E. degree, then worked with football assistant Travis Cagle in weights classes, and baseball head coach Troy Nimmo in some team sports work, during the spring.
When a position opened up on the football staff, and Beshore obtained certification to teach biology and general science, filling an open spot at the high school, it was an easy call for both sides.
“I’m excited,” Beshore said during a quick break on the opening day of summer workouts at the school. “It’s a big school in, to me, the best conference in southwest Missouri, if not the state.
“It’s big-time football, and I love being around the competition. It’s a program that’s in the building process, so I’m very excited about that.”
Beshore was a four-year standout in the secondary at Missouri State, but moving to the offensive side of the ball won’t be a foreign experience.
Playing for Lamar, Beshore was a four-time all-state selection – three times on the first team and twice at running back – as the Tigers went 41-4 and won three state championships.
He finished his career with 23 interceptions, 4,920 rushing yards and 88 total touchdowns.
“You get to see the other side, so I can tell these guys what a defensive back is thinking, or a linebacker is thinking, in a particular situation when they are trying to make tackles or make reads, things like that,” Beshore said.
“That perspective can help my guys out here.”
During a recent practice, Beshore was running a drill where the back ran toward him, between a set of cones, and Beshore bounced a large ball toward him. The back needed to avoid the ball while staying between the cones and moving upfield.
At one point, Beshore stopped the drill to explain how important it is to stay balanced and in the middle of the field, to avoid giving the defensive player the benefit of using the border as another defender.
Stay in the middle of the field and the defensive player is under more stress.
“I’ve been in that situation before … and it sucks,” Beshore said, drawing a laugh from his players as the teaching point hit home.
Beshore has had plenty of experience with a couple of big names in the coaching ranks. At Lamar, Scott Bailey has coached the Tigers to eight consecutive state championships and a run of 57 victories in a row at one point.
Then at Missouri State, Beshore played for Dave Steckel, the former successful assistant coach at the University of Missouri who took the reins of the Bears for the 2015 season. Steckel served in the Marine Corps, with discipline and intensity as a way of life.
“Those are intense guys, mandatory guys,” Beshore said. “I think I’ll have that aspect of that. I’ll also have some of the personability of my position coach at Missouri State, Coach (Kenji) Jackson. He’s a great personal guy who can connect with kids and motivate them.
“I’m just trying to pull from all the great coaches that I’ve had and formulate my own style.”
It doesn’t take long to watch Beshore interact with his players at practice to see he has high expectations.
His players got the message quickly.
“He’s really willing, he can step in there and show you how to do it,” said incoming senior Jay Hill, one of Branson’s top running backs last season. “He just wants you to get it right.
“He makes sure you’re hustling all the time and not just walking around. He wants you to get the drills right, and makes sure you’re understanding what you should be doing and why.”
It was a welcome sight to Hays.
“He’s going to be one of those guys who will be able to relate to players, but also he has that discipline that has been instilled in him, from Coach Stec and Coach Bailey at Lamar,” Hays said. “You can see that, if you don’t do it right, you’re going to do it again.
“That’s a good combination, to have that young relatability, but also the discipline, to know that if you don’t do it right, you’re going to do it again.”
As Beshore embarks on the first stop in his coaching career, he admits he has thought ahead to what some of his long-range goals may be.
But he isn’t looking too far ahead just yet.
“I think I want to be a head coach someday, at the high school level,” Beshore said. “I’ve thought about coaching in college, but right now this is the path that God has for me, and it’s the one I’m going to take.
“We’ll see where it goes – right now I’m just focused on these guys.”
At 23 years old, and just a year removed from a season when he intercepted three passes and finished third on the Missouri State team in tackles, Beshore still has the youth and athleticism to jump in and show some of his players how to make a play or run a drill.
“Hopefully,” Beshore said with a laugh. “I lost about 20 pounds after I got done with playing – that stuff goes quick. Physically, I still try to work out and stay in shape, but I definitely wasn’t what I was in the fall.
“Mentally, yes. I can run a little bit, but I’m definitely not as big and strong as I was, that’s for sure. It fell off pretty quick.”