The Fort Smith Public Schools school board approved the hiring of Michael Beaumont as director of athletics and student activities at a special called meeting Monday (July 29). Beaumont fills the vacancy left when Dr. Darren McKinney, the district’s athletics director since 2016, moved to the position of director of technology operations June 27.
Beaumont, who has 15 years’ experience at the university level, previously served as the director of operations for the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team. He also served on the athletics staff at the University of Central Arkansas as well as the University of Arkansas and the University of Mississippi with Coach Houston Nutt, who attended Monday night’s meeting to show his support of Beaumont.
“He is a difference-maker with young people who will go the extra mile. He understands teachers and coaches and will represent Fort Smith Schools in a first-class manner,” said Nutt, who also noted he would probably make it back to Fort Smith for a few games in the coming year or so.
Beaumont was also an athletic director/coach/teacher for Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln.
Beaumont graduated from Brookland High School in Brookland and grew up in Jonesboro. He has degrees from Arkansas State University and the University of Central Arkansas.
“I’ve had the opportunity, the very blessed opportunity, to be the part of many different programs at every level,” Beaumont said. “This place has a lot of pride and a lot of tradition. … It’s a great chance for me to keep learning and to lead. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I said yes.”
Beaumont said with the position comes the responsibility of leadership, and he is excited to lead the way.
“All teachers, not just coaches, we have that unique opportunity to teach young people through athletics, through activities. It is so exciting for that gift to be given to us. … So many things we can teach through athletics activities — all these life skills,” he said.
Dr. Doug Brubaker, FSPS superintendent, said Beaumont is a great addition to Fort Smith Public Schools, bringing with him “a wealth of experience.”
“We look forward to seeing the impact he will have on our athletic and activity programs,” Brubaker said.