Sallie Beard has had a long and distinguished association with Missouri Southern State University. She is currently in her 32 years at her alma mater as student, athlete, coach, and athletics administrator. Sallie received her bachelor’s degree in 1972, and was hired that year as an instructor in the college’s physical education department.
After earning her master’s degree from Pittsburgh State University in 1973, Sallie organized Missouri Southern’s first women’s basketball, softball, and tennis teams. She coached all three sports until 1976, when she relinquished her softball duties to become women’s athletic director and head coach of the first women’s track team. She stepped down as basketball coach in 1977 and tennis coach a year later.
During her stint as track coach, Sallie was twice named NAIA District 16 Coach of the Year and led Southern to the outdoor title in 1983. She also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Team in the 1981 World Games in Romania and for the North squad at the 1983 National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs. She also served on the games committee for the NAIA indoor and outdoor track championships.
Since becoming the University’s sole Athletic Director in 2001, Sallie has engineered the Lion Pride Restoration Project, a community fund driven to replace the track and artificial football-playing surface in Fred Hughes Stadium.
She presently serves on the NCAA Women’s Athletic Committee is a past president of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. She served as tournament director for the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Division II Softball Championship.
Sallie and her husband, Larry, have two children: a daughter, Meghan Klosterman, and a son, Andrew, a freshman on the cross-country and track teams at the University of Tulsa.