John Beck, the newly appointed Montezuma Braves Head Football Coach, is shown with his wife, Morgan, and two boys, Bennett and Beau. Beck said as head football coach, he looks to continue the success the Braves have had within the football program and build on the tradition that many great coaches before him started at Montezuma. Submitted photo.
John Beck, the newly appointed Montezuma Braves football coach, said he wants to build upon the culture that the program has in place, help it grow and be a good role model for the athletes and students.
“I think we are in a great place when it comes to that but we are always looking to get better,” said Beck, who accepted the head coaching position earlier this month. “As a staff, we love seeing the success of our kids on the field but also as they grow up and become great role models for their own family.”
Beck, who is in his fifth year teaching seventh grade science, seventh grade geography, government, and a variety of high school elective history courses at Montezuma, has been a varsity assistant football coach at Montezuma for three years and was a coach at the junior high level for one year.
“My first year I was a varsity assistant coach working with the defensive backs and wide receivers,” said Beck. “I then moved down to the junior high level and ran the offense that year. When Coach Pat O’Brien got the head position a couple of years ago, I moved up and ran the offense for the varsity.”
Beck is a 2011 graduate of BGM High School, where he was multi-sport athlete. He played strong safety and wide receiver for Bears Head Football Coach Jerod Burns. He said one of his favorite memories was his sophomore year when the Bears had the first winning season in more than 30 years.
“We were able to beat GMG to go 5-4 and gain a playoff spot that year,” he said. “While I didn’t play much that year for the varsity, the passion the team played with and the pure excitement of having accomplished those two goals was awesome.”
He also played basketball, baseball and ran track, including an opportunity to compete at state track.
“It was a very awesome experience running on the blue oval,” said Beck. “The crowd and the atmosphere just make it a very surreal moment.”
Beck attended Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, where he played football for the Beavers and majored in history education with an endorsement to teach junior high science.
“I was also a member of the football team and had a great experience with that program,” he said.
Beck applied to teach at Montezuma because it is close to his own family.
“I grew up on the farm outside of Malcom and my wife grew up in Brooklyn, so it just made sense to stick around the area,” he said. “Growing up in the area, I also knew that Montezuma was a great school and community and that is something that I was looking for when applying for jobs.”
When asked, Beck said he has always had a desire to be a head coach, but more than that, he feels coaching is more than the X’s and O’s, it’s being a great mentor to the athletes.
“During my playing days at BGM and then later at Buena Vista, I felt like I always had a coach who was a great mentor to their athletes,” said Beck. “Coach Jerod Burns (BGM) and Coach Jay Anderson (Buena Vista) were amazing role models for that.”
Beck said when he arrived in Montezuma, he got involved with a variety of athletic programs including football, baseball and basketball.
“During my time as an assistant in these programs, I learned so much thanks to a variety of coaches here at Montezuma about being a head coach and being a good role model for the athletes,” he said. “After the initial shock of finding out the news that Coach Pat O’Brien was leaving, I spent some time reflecting and felt as if I was ready to take a bigger role of mentoring these young athletes and helping them on their journey to become great men, husbands and fathers.”
Beck said as head coach, he looks to continue the success the Braves have had within the football program and build on the tradition that many great coaches before him started at Montezuma.
“I would really like to thank the leadership of Coach O’Brien and what he has done for the program,” noted Beck. “Montezuma Schools is losing a great coach and even better role model. He has been a great friend and mentor these last three years. I would like to wish him best of luck on his future endeavors.”
Beck and his wife, Morgan, have two boys, Bennett and Beau.
When not teaching or coaching, Beck enjoys spending time with family, playing a round of golf and fishing.