For years, Thomas Beidleman had it made as one of the most respected golf coaches in college sports. For 10 seasons, from 2001 to 2010, Beidleman served as the men's golf coach at Loyola University Maryland, leading the team into an era of prosperity. Under Beidleman's tutelage, the Loyola men's golf team won six titles in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. In three of those years, Beidleman himself was named as the coach of the year for the conference.
In April 2013, Beidleman was appointed by Central Michigan University as the head of the women's golf team. His job was to revive the school's golf program, which had been eliminated in 1982 due to athletic department cuts. Men's and women's swimming and men's gymnastics were also on the chopping block that year. When CMU decided to resurrect the program, the job posting naturally got a lot of attention. According to the Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, Dave Heeke, CMU's Athletic Director, reviewed at least 65 applications and interviewed half a dozen candidates before hiring Beidleman.
But Beidleman's background check at the time of his hire missed something.
While Beildleman's resume touted him as a 1987 graduate of Ferris State University, a Michigan-based school more recent investigations within the CMU athletic department discovered that the coach never graduated at all. Like most universities, CMU requires a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for all coaching positions. When checks verified that Beidleman did not, in fact, meet that prerequisite, he was officially removed from his duties as the head golf coach.
The department's decision to remove Beidleman from his coaching position does not come with good timing. School is now officially in session on CMU's Mt. Pleasant campus, and the golf team is officially in season. However, the situation shows just how serious universities are about hiring only college graduates to coach their college sports teams. With how easy it is for background checks to verify education history these days, it's a bit curious as to why Beidleman or any other coach would risk lying about their credentials.
All of this is especially true given the media coverage that Beidleman's faux pas will receive, which could easily ruin the coach's otherwise spotless reputation. Already, Beidleman has resigned from his other post, as the Director of Instruction at the Mt. Pleasant Country Club. Unless the coach goes back to school to finish his bachelor's degree, there is also very little chance that he will find another job coaching college sports.
The lesson here? Don't lie on your resume or job application. Doing so will eventually come back to haunt you. Especially if the hiring organization consistently adds an education verification to its standard background check.