Athletics Hall of Fame
John Backes

John Backes

SPORT(S) Football/Track and Field
PLAYED AT BSU 1970-74
YEAR INDUCTED 2017

John Backes participated in both football and track and field at Bemidji State. A four-year letter winner for the BSC football team, he was an All-NIC punter and running back. He led the team during each of his seasons, averaging more than 40.9 yards per punt for his career, including a 42.9-yard average as a senior in 1973, and led the Northern Intercollegiate Conference as a junior and senior. He received the Harry Bangsberg Award as BSC’s most outstanding athlete in 1974 and earned a punting tryout with the Minnesota Vikings in 1975. Backes also earned four letters in track and field. In 1972, he set the BSC record in the javelin en route to 1973 NIC Championship and NAIA National Championship appearances. He repeated as NIC javelin champion in 1974 while adding a discus title and placing third in the shot put.

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