Mark Speckman joined the staff at Lawrence University, in Appleton, WI as the Offensive Coordinator in May of 2015 after serving two seasons as the running backs and tight ends coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Speckman was a head coach at the collegiate level for 15 seasons, including 14 at Willamette University. Speckman coached Willamette from 1998-2011 and compiled a record of 83-59. The Bearcats won the Northwest Conference in 1999 and 2008 and made appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs in 1999, 2004 and 2008. Speckmanâ€™s 2008 team finished with an 11-1 record and was ranked as high as fourth nationally. Speckman was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year and was named American Football Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year in 2008. Speckman, who has been named a conference Coach of the Year 10 times, also served as the head coach at Menlo College in 2012 before going to the Canadian Football League. Speckman served as a prep head coach from 1981-94 before joining the staff at Willamette as the offensive coordinator in 1995.
In 2008, Speckman was a Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year Finalist, where he was featured on ABC and ESPN. He is also regarded as an authority on the “Fly” offense. Speckman spent two seasons suiting up as linebacker for Menlo from 1973 – 74, and was inducted into the Menlo College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. After the ’74 season, Speckman transferred to Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California to complete his degree, and in the process earned NAIA All-American Honorable Mention as a player. In 2004, the Oregonian newspaper named Speckman on their list of the 25 most influential sports figures in the state of Oregon.
What’s most impressive, however, is that Mark accomplished all of this despite being born without hands.
Mark learned early on that he couldn’t escape his disability. He had to face his challenges and “figure life out” without hands. In his mid-20’s Mark made a pact with God to use his disability to create a positive impact in others lives. He made a promise to share his life story with anyone who inquired. Since then, Mark has been featured by numerous national media outlets (including ESPN and USA Today) and has established himself as one of the most in-demand motivational speakers in the country.
While Mark’s physical disability is evident, his message is about helping people recognize and overcome the “disabilities” in their own life. At the end of the day all of us are limited by disabilities that keep us from realizing our potential. Whether it is poor communication skills, fear of failure or lack of organization, we all have weaknesses in our lives that require extra effort or creativity on our part to achieve success. Mark’s story is not about avoiding life’s twists and turns or hiding from our weaknesses, but about conditioning one’s self to believe in the power of the human spirit and achieve our highest goals.
Some of his accomplishments are:
- Willamette University Head Football Coach past 14 seasons.
- California high school head football coach 14 seasons.
- California high school teacher 17 years.
- High school coaching record of 113-48-3 record (.689) winning percentage.
- Led Merced High to national prominence.
- Coached 1989 and 1990 teams to perfect seasons going 14-0 each year.
- 1990 team was voted the best high school team in California.
- Merced 1990 team was ranked number 5 in the nation by ESPN — number 10 in the country by USA Today.
- Willamette Bearcats record during Speckman’s tenure is a sterling 99-55-1 mark (.638) winning percentage.
- Named Northwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2008.
- Coached Bearcats to NWC title and five trips to the NCAA Division III national playoffs.
- Developed and implemented a program for identifying and working with at risk youth.
- Listed in prestigious Who’s Who among American High School Teachers.
- Was selected a Mentor teacher in the state of California.
- Given innumerable motivational talks.
- Much in demand powerful compelling speaker.
- Overcame a potentially devastating physical affliction.