Beau Baldwin EWU's New Head Football Coach

Jan. 4, 2008

WATCH - Press Conference Video

Beau Baldwin didn't get the chance this past season to enjoy the most recent fruits of his labors at Eastern Washington University.

That's because he was too busy creating a little bit of history of his own as head coach at his alma mater, Central Washington University, as both the Eagles and Wildcats finished the 2007 season among the top eight teams in their respective classifications.

After one season at the helm of the NCAA Division II Wildcats, Baldwin is returning to Eastern as head coach of a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision program as the announcement was made Jan. 4 by athletic director Bill Chaves. Baldwin, 35, is EWU's 20th head football coach and will lead the school in its 100th football campaign this fall.

"From all the contacts we made with people nationally, regionally and locally, Beau is a rising superstar in the coaching industry," said EWU athletic director Bill Chaves, who directed the search. "His familiarity with Eastern as offensive coordinator and his experience last year as head coach made him a perfect fit for the Eastern Football program."

Baldwin's resume includes 14 seasons as a collegiate coach, including four as an offensive coordinator and one as a head coach. A 1996 graduate of Central, he has helped coach teams to one national championship, five conference championships and a 7-5-1 record in six post-season playoff appearances.

Including four seasons as a quarterback at Central, his entire 18-year career as a player and coach has been spent at either CWU or EWU. His record as a collegiate coach is 91-61-1 (.598) with a 48-28 league mark (.632).

Baldwin takes over an Eastern football program that advanced to the FCS Playoffs three out of the last four seasons under Paul Wulff, who left Eastern in December for the head coaching position at Washington State University. Eastern was 9-4 this past season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs behind an offense that included sophomore starter Matt Nichols at quarterback and three sophomore starters at wide receiver.

As many as 30 players with starting experience are expected to return for the 2008 season, including a total of 285 starts returning. That would represent the most starts the Eagles have had returning since at least the 2001 season.

"It's definitely a great situation for our team," said Nichols. "Everybody on the team already respects him as a coach and person. He'll be a great leader for the team."

After spending four seasons in EWU's program and helping lead the Eagles to FCS Playoff appearances in 2004 and 2005, Baldwin led Central to a 10-3 record and the 2007 NCAA Division II Playoffs where it knocked off Ashland 40-24 in the first round.

On Nov. 24, the Wildcats scored two touchdowns in the final 2:49 to upset previously undefeated and top-ranked Nebraska-Omaha 20-17 in the second round. In the quarterfinals on Dec. 1, Central lost to No. 1 ranked and two-time defending champion Grand Valley State 41-21.

On those very same days in the FCS Playoffs, Eastern had similar fate. The Eagles opened the playoffs by handing second-seeded and No. 3 ranked McNeese State its first loss of the season with an overwhelming 44-15 victory. Eastern was then edged 38-35 by two-time defending champion Appalachian State in the quarterfinals.

After coaching 2005 Walter Payton Award Winner Erik Meyer at EWU, Baldwin recruited and coached Nichols for two seasons. Nichols had a school-record 17 interceptions as a freshman when a youthful Eastern team finished just 3-8, but he rebounded as a sophomore to win Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors and throw a school-record 34 touchdown passes.

"He helped improve my mechanics, my footwork and my accuracy," Nichols said. "He took me from being a high school quarterback and helped me become a college quarterback. He's a great coach and there is still a lot I can learn from him."

The Wildcats averaged 398.5 yards of total offense per game in 2007, including an average of 263.5 passing. Central averaged 31.4 points per game, including five games with at least 40 points.

Baldwin's quarterback was Mike Reilly, who was one of 24 national candidates for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the top player in Division II football. He earned All-Region honors after completing 62 percent of his passes for 3,386 yards, 30 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions for a passing efficiency rating of 145.8.

Baldwin, a quarterback himself at CWU and a former teammate of NFL starter Jon Kitna, watched from 2 1/2 hours away in Ellensburg, Wash., as Eastern and Nichols produced similar statistics in 2007.

The Eagles finished the season with an average of 462.3 yards of offense per game (sixth in FCS), including 295.4 passing (eighth) and average of 33.6 points per game. Nichols finished with 3,744 passing yards and 4,136 yards of total offense to rank second in school history in both categories. He led the league and ranked fifth in FCS in both total offense (318.2) and passing offense (288.0), and was eighth in passing efficiency (156.5).

 

Eagles Feature One of the Top Offenses in the Nation in 2004 and 2005 . . .

In 2004 and 2005 with Baldwin as coordinator, Eastern had one of the best offenses in the nation thanks to the arm and legs of Meyer. In 2005, the Eagles averaged 477.8 yards per game to rank fourth nationally, and were 14th in scoring (35.0). A year earlier, the Eagles averaged 475.5 yards and 37.5 points per game to rank sixth. Eastern also ranked in the top 10 nationally both years in passing offense and passing efficiency.

Meyer had 84 touchdown passes with just 17 interceptions in his career to set a FCS record for passing efficiency (166.47). The All-American broke 14 school records and two Big Sky marks as he was twice selected as the league's Offensive Player of the Year before winning the Payton Award as the top player in the FCS.

"I'm very happy for him," said Meyer, who is rehabilitating a broken leg that kept from continuing his pro career last fall. "It's a great opportunity and he really deserves it. I honestly don't think I would have had the success I had without his coaching. He taught me a lot of things about football and life. He was a great mentor to have on an off the field."

In Baldwin's first season at EWU, the Eagles ranked 29th in I-AA in scoring (31.27) and were 47th in offense (380.0). In his last season at EWU in 2006, Eastern was 77th in FCS in total offense (310.3 yards per game), 34th in passing (201.90 and 77th in scoring (19.5).

Before coming to EWU, Baldwin spent seven seasons and nine overall at CWU with positions as quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator. A 1996 graduate of CWU, he served seven years under head coach John Zamberlin, a former EWU assistant coach and now head coach at Idaho State.

A former Wildcat quarterback from 1990-93, Baldwin passed along his knowledge to two of the greatest quarterbacks in CWU history en route to two of the school's best-ever seasons. He was quarterbacks coach in 1994-95 when All-American Jon Kitna was in Ellensburg, leading CWU to a 10-3-1 record and the NAIA Championship in 1995. The Wildcats also advanced to the NAIA Playoffs in 1998.

Baldwin also coached All-American Zak Hill - a former assistant coach at EWU - as the Wildcats finished the 2002 season 11-1. Central ranked fifth in NCAA Division II before losing in the first round of the playoffs.

In six of his nine seasons at CWU, the Wildcats led their conference in passing and were at least second in scoring and total offense. In 2002, Central ranked second in NCAA Division II in passing offense (315 yards per game) and was fourth in total offense (465) and 11th in scoring (36.8).

 

Two-Time Team Captain Was Backup Behind NFL Standout Jon Kitna . . .

As a player, Baldwin was a two-time team captain and completed 121-of-197 passes for 1,655 yards and eight touchdowns. His career completion percentage of .614 is a school record. In a 38-35 win versus Simon Fraser in 1991, he set single-game school records for attempts (52), completions (32), yards (467), total plays (66) and total yards (550). He had a 6-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left to give the Wildcats the win.

A year later, Baldwin came off the bench to lead CWU to the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in Columbia Football Association history. He completed 21-of-33 passes for 222 yards as the Wildcats scored 26 points in the final quarter to overcome a 28-3 deficit and defeat Eastern Oregon 29-28.

His final two seasons he was a backup to Kitna, who now plays for Detroit in the National Football League. He then coached Kitna for two more seasons, including the national title year in 1995.

Baldwin graduated in 1990 from Curtis High School in Tacoma, Wash. He earned three letters in football and three in baseball and helped lead Curtis to the 1989 State AAA title in football along with his former fellow EWU coach Brian Strandley.

He was born May 21, 1972, in Santa Barbara, Calif. He and his wife Nicole have a girl named Mia Janae who was born Dec. 29, 2004. Their second daughter, Macie Patricia, was born Nov. 22, 2006. Although spelled differently, Macie received her name because she was born the day before Thanksgiving Day and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade gave her parents the idea.

Nicole (formerly Nicole Monforton) is a graduate of Eastern (bachelor's degree in journalism in 2001) and Spokane's Valley Christian High School (1997). She met Beau while working as a graduate student in EWU's sports information office.

 

Beau Baldwin

• 14 seasons as a coach, including 10 at Central Washington University and four at Eastern Washington University. He also played quarterback for four seasons at CWU.

• Has coached in 13 post-season playoff games (record of 7-5-1), including two appearances in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (record of 1-2), two appearances in the NCAA Division II Playoffs (record of 2-2) and two appearances in the NAIA Playoffs (record of 4-1-1).

• Has coached on teams that have won five conference championships (Big Sky Conference in 2005 and 2004, Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2002, Columbia Football Association in 2000 and 1998).

• Received bachelor's degree from Central Washington University in 1996.

• Birthdate: May 21, 1972 in Santa Barbara, Calif..

• He is formerly from Tacoma, Wash., and graduated from Curtis High School in 1990. His wife Nicole is from Spokane, Wash., and is a 2000 graduate of Eastern. They have two daughters -- Mia Janae (3) and Macie Patricia (1).

 

Beau Baldwin's Coaching Career

Year

School

Coaching Assignmen

Head Coach

Record/League

2007

Central Washington

Head Coach

 

#10-3/6-2

2006

Eastern Washington

Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Paul Wulff

3-8/3-5

2005

Eastern Washington

Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Paul Wulff

&7-5/5-2

2004

Eastern Washington

Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Paul Wulff

~9-4/6-1

2003

Eastern Washington

Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Paul Wulff

6-5/3-4

2002

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

John Zamberlin

11-1/3-0!

2001

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

John Zamberlin

4-7/1-2

2000

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

John Zamberlin

^5-5/3-1

1999

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

John Zamberlin

4-5/2-2

1998

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

John Zamberlin

@7-4/4-1

1997

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

John Zamberlin

5-4/3-2

1996

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

Jeff Zenisek

5-5/3-2

1995

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

Jeff Zenisek

%10-3-1/4-1

1994

Central Washington

Quarterbacks

Jeff Zenisek

5-4/2-3

#NCAA Division II Playoffs (Defeated Ashland 40-24, Defeated Nebraska-Omaha 20-17 and lost to Grand Valley State 41-21).

&Big Sky Conference Champions; NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (Lost to Northern Iowa 41-38).

~ Big Sky Conference Champions; NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (Defeated Southern Illinois 35-31 and lost to Sam Houston State 35-34).

!Great Northwest Athletic Conference Champions; NCAA Division II Playoffs (Lost to UC Davis 24-6).

^Columbia Football Association Champions.

@ Columbia Football Association Champions; NAIA Playoffs (Defeated Rocky Mountain 41-38 and Lost to Azusa Pacific 35-28).

%NAIA National Champions (Defeated Western Washington 28-21, Defeated Hardin-Simmons 40-20, Defeated Mary, N.D. 48-7, Tied Findlay 21-21).

 

Playing Career at Central Washington

1990-93 - Quarterback - 121-of-197 passes for school-record .614 completion percentage, 1,655 yards and eight touchdowns.

 

Education

Bachelor's degree in education, Central Washington University, 1996

Graduate of Curtis High School in Tacoma, Wash., 1990

 

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