Dr. Ken Traxler completed his 19th year on the BSU coaching staff, and his 16th as an assistant coach in 2016 after spending three seasons as a volunteer assistant.
Traxler helped BSU produce an All-Conference performer at defensive tackle from 2002-2005. Then when taking over coaching duties for the linebackers, guided two second-team performers in 2006, into first-team players in 2007. Now in his seventh season overseeing the offensive linemen, Traxler has coached 11 players to all-conference status, including offensive linemen, Jesse Hein and Matt Valentine to second team offensive honors in 2014. Hein and Valentine helped the Beavers compile 4,251 yards of total offense, including 1,411 yards of rushing. In fourth down conversions, BSU was 46 percent (16-of-35) and in the red zone it was 79 percent (30-of-38).
In the 2016 season the Beavers had the second best offense in the conference. The Beavers led the NSIC in scoring with 45.6 points per game and were second with 523.8 yards per game which consisted of 293.7 passing yards per game to go along with 230.2 rushing yards per game. This all led to a program record 9 wins on the season including the first post season victory in team history with a win in the Mineral Water Bowl. Three student-athletes (Hein, Gena Adams, and Brandon Schindler) were also named to the NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Offense along with four being named to the NSIC North Division All-Conference Second Team Offense and two to the NSIC Honorable Mention Team. Jesse Hein was named to the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region Three Second team while Jordan Hein and Schindler were named to the third team and Jordan Hein was nominated for the Harlon Hill Award. Off the field, the Beavers landed 24 student-athletes on the Fall Academic All-NSIC Team and running back Gena Adams was named to the 2016 Academic All-America Division II football team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The 2015 Beavers finished the season with the seventh highest scoring offense by averaging 30.9 points per game and 411.2 yards per game. The Bemidji State offensive line helped pave the way for the offense to average 190.9 rushing yards per game, which was sixth highest in the conference, and 220.3 passing yards per game. Center, Jesse Hein, was named to the 2015 Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Team and First Team All-NSIC under Traxler. The offensive line also had Matthew Valentine named Second Team All-NSIC and two more linemen were named to the 2015 Fall Academic All-NSIC Team.
In 2009, the O-line led the way for three different rushers to combine for eight 100-plus yard games and protected a first team all-conference quarterback. In 2011 the Beavers had three All-NSIC linemen, including a first-team center after guiding the team to a program record 2,656 rushing yards and 31 rushing touchdowns - second most all-time at BSU. The 2012 line protected all-conference quarterback Lance Rongstad - a pass/run threat - to fifth in the NSIC in total offense and center Brett DeLange landed All-NSIC First Team honors.
Traxler brings a 22-year coaching resume to the Bemidji State staff, including stints as a defensive coach at the University of Minnesota, Morris (1988-89) and at Gustavus Adolphus College (1994).
Traxler played linebacker at the University of Minnesota Morris, where he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1989. He earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Denver in 1994.
In addition to his coaching duties, Traxler is a professor and chair in the BSU Department of Chemistry, which he joined in 1997. In 2013, Traxler was named Bemidji State Athletics Volunteer of the Year.