Evangel University director of athletics Dr. Dennis McDonald announced the hiring of Kyle Beard as the Valor's next men's soccer head coach on December 17, 2021.
"Kyle is an outstanding example of the type of coaches we seek to hire at Evangel University," McDonald stated. "He is a dedicated Christian who will influence his players to grow in their faith and graduate with honors. He also has excellent experience in coaching soccer, as evidenced by his ability to turn around a struggling program at Faulkner and start two other programs. We are looking forward to his leadership of the men's soccer program and his involvement with all aspects of the Evangel Athletics program."
"We are excited to come to Evangel, where we know we can help this program grow and represent the entire University family," Beard said. "This opportunity to join a Christ-centered community that is focused on changing lives and teaching young men to follow God's path is an answer to our prayers."
No stranger to the NAIA, Beard will bring his reputation as a builder of programs to Evangel, after successfully breathing life into soccer programs at three different institutions over his first 12 years as a collegiate coach. His ability to inspire student-athletes to reach their full potential, on and off the field, has produced notable success stories at each of his coaching stops.
Beard comes Evangel from Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where he implemented his expertise as a program-builder in helping start the University's men's soccer program. This past fall, he guided the Jaguars to a pair of victories and eight total points during the Red River Athletic Conference season.
Prior to taking the reins at TAMUSA, Beard piloted a remarkable turnaround of the men's soccer program at Faulkner University during his eight seasons as head coach. Facing one of the toughest conference schedules in the nation, Beard led the Eagles to unprecedented heights, including four-consecutive trips to the postseason. From 2016-19, Faulkner placed 20 student-athletes on All-Southern States Athletic Conference teams, as the Eagles claimed at least nine victories in three-consecutive seasons, including a program-best 10-6 campaign in 2017.
In all, Beard-led teams accounted for 69-percent of the program's all-time win total and 89-percent of Faulkner's total victories in conference play.
Beard began his coaching career at the club level in Texas. After leading club, high school and semi-professional programs for nearly a decade, he moved his family to Rwanda to work as a coach with the Rwandan Football Federation in 2006. He spent four years as the head coach of the Women's National Team, the director for the first Youth Futsal league in Rwanda and as an advisor for the Men's Under-17 and Under-20 National Teams.
While serving in Rwanda, Beard and his wife, Luz, helped plant one of the first evangelical churches in the nation since the conclusion of the Rwandan Civil War in the mid-1990's, the mission of which he has continued to support to the present day.
Beard made his initial venture into collegiate coaching in 2009, after returning to the United States as the founding head coach of the men's soccer program at Lubbock Christian University. He led LCU to an overall record of 31-16-8 in three seasons and took the Chaps to the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Tournament in back-to-back seasons. In 2011, LCU compiled a 14-4-3 season mark and finished as the SAC regular-season runner-up, before advancing to the SAC Tournament Championship game. His LCU players earned numerous individual honors, including NAIA All-America, SAC Player of Year, SAC Offensive Player of the Year, SAC Newcomer of the Year and a total of 10 All-SAC awards.
A native of Tyler, Texas, Beard earned a bachelor's degree from Lubbock Christian in 2000. He continued his education by studying conflict resolution at the University of Alabama, as well as completing work in strategic management at the Berlin International Institute of Business Management. Currently, he is pursuing a graduate certificate in leadership.
Additionally, he holds coaching licenses and diplomas from the United States Soccer Federation, United Soccer Coaches, Rwanda Football Association, International Coaches Association and the Football Association of England.
Beard and his wife have a son, Koen, and a daughter, Heaven, who each plan to attend Evangel.