Willamette's coach steps down

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Mark Speckman announced he was stepping down after 17 years at Willamette, 14 as head coach. He made the announcement on his public Facebook feed on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Speckman led the Bearcats to a 82-59 record in his tenure, and was the 2008 D3football.com West Region Coach of the Year. He's considered an expert on "The Fly" offense, which brings the flanker in motion on every snap. Elements of the offense have been used at scholarship levels as well as the pros, including recently the San Francisco 49ers.

Speckman took the head coaching job at former Division III Menlo, his alma mater.

Speckman led the Bearcats to NCAA Division III playoff berths in 1999, 2004 and 2008. In 2008, Willamette was 10-0 in the regular season, won the NWC championship and reached the second round of the playoffs. Also in 2008, the Bearcats set school records with 498 points and 69 touchdowns.

"Mark has been an incredible mentor, teacher and coach to hundreds of Willamette student-athletes,” said Willamette athletic director David Rigsby. “While his football accomplishments are impressive, his off-the-field record is far more significant. From team community service projects to his individual guidance of countless Bearcat athletes, Mark has been a brilliant educator who used football to teach students about life.”