Controversy follows Becksted's resignation as head coach at North

Former North Medford head football coach Nate Becksted refutes information in an Internet post that suggests he falsified his resume prior to being hired in February, but he declined to go into specifics, saying Thursday there are some "gray areas."

Becksted, citing mounting pressure during one of the worst seasons in Black Tornado history, resigned on Wednesday.

There have been allegations that the 37-year-old coach put inaccurate information on his resume, including the number of years he served as head coach at several schools, his postseason record, the number of times he's been named coach of the year and his overall won-loss record.

In a blog post by Jay Reese (www.jayreesesports.com), a former local radio personality who now resides in Bend, it suggests Becksted's resignation could have been a result of an investigation by the school.

"I really can't speak to that," Becksted said Thursday. "I'm sort of dumbfounded by some of it. I'm not going to make any comments. The bottom line is, I resigned as football coach."

North Medford Principal Ron Beick hadn't seen the blog as of Thursday afternoon, but he said neither he nor Athletic Director Tim Sam had contact with Reese and, said Beick, "I don't know where he's getting his information."

Asked if North Medford has investigated Becksted since the season began, Beick said it was a personnel issue, that the topic didn't come up when Becksted turned in his resignation Wednesday and that early in the week, he encouraged the coach to consider the toll the season was taking on him and his family.

"If people are digging, from my perspective, it's a personnel issue," said Beick. "He has made that decision to resign, and hopefully people are respectful of him and his family and will let them do what they need to do."

Some supporters of North Medford High looked into his past and found conflicting stories, according to an email sent to the Mail Tribune. Becksted said he was aware of detractors.

"The continuing pressure that was coming with it, I just decided it wasn't worth it (continuing to coach)," said Becksted.

When he was hired, the Mail Tribune reported Becksted had nine years of head coaching experience, including the previous five at Heritage High in Vancouver, Wash. The story said he was at Willits (Calif.) High for four seasons before that, and his career record as a head coach was 50-33 (not 51-39, as the blog said the MT reported).

The Mail Tribune story also said Heritage had only one winning season and one conference championship in its seven-year history before Becksted took over. Under him, the Timberwolves reportedly were 24-23, made the state playoffs four times and claimed one Greater St. Helens Conference co-championship.

What were reported then to be state playoff games were, in some instances, play-in games, similar to what Oregon adopted last year.

The blog questioned whether Becksted was the head coach at Willits.

The blog also questioned what it said are "public assertions" by Becksted that he was head coach at St. Bernard High and was the offensive coordinator at Eureka High, but it doesn't say in what forum those assertions appeared.

The Mail Tribune story had no mention of him at St. Bernard or Eureka, nor that he turned three programs around, had a half-dozen league titles, multiple coach-of-the-year awards and a 69-16 career record, as stated in the blog.

Asked whether he falsified his resume, Becksted said, "I think there are some gray areas that I'm not going to get into."

After reading the blog, he said, "I pulled out one of my resumes and looked at it and don't have any idea where they got those numbers."

He declined to comment on whether, in some cases, the "gray area" was the result of him performing head-coach duties but without the title.

"That's the whole point of me stepping down, so people won't continue to dig into my past," he said. "I did what I thought was best for the program and to avoid this stuff and move on. I'll leave it at that."

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com

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