“Tim has done an outstanding job at an NAIA program, winning two national championships,” Goeb said. “He has a solid coaching record, and his experience will make him a good fit for us as Bemidji State’s head baseball coach and concession manager.
“He impressed the members of our baseball team when he met with them,” Goeb said. “He has good knowledge of the game. He also was looking for a community like Bemidji. He was genuinely interested in bringing his family here, and the Bellews will be a good fit for Bemidji.”
Bellew joins the Bemidji State coaching staff after orchestrating the most-successful baseball era in the history of Kansas Wesleyan University. He took the reigns in 1995 after two years as an assistant coach, and his hire began to pay dividends almost immediately. He earned Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1996, and in 1997 he led KWU to a National Small-College Athletics Association national championship and was named NSCAA National Coach of the Year.
KWU repeated as NSCAA National Champions in 1999, and Bellew was again named NSCAA National Coach of the Year. He qualified KWU for a berth in the a NAIA Region IV Tournament in 2000, although KWU did not compete in the tournament, and in 2001 he directed KWU to its first KCAC championship in 27 years. KWU posted a 21-3 KCAC record en route to its 2001 league title, setting a KCAC single-season record for conference victories (since broken). He earned KCAC Coach of the Year honors for his efforts, and the season culminated with a berth in the NAIA Region IV playoffs.
In 10 seasons at KWU, Bellew coached 38 First-Team All-KCAC honorees, seven NAIA All-Americans and 11 NSCAA All-Americans.
Before becoming KWU’s head coach in 1995, Bellew spent two years at his alma mater as an assistant. He was responsible for hitting and infield defense and oversaw fall strength and conditioning programs.
Bellew also has a history of developing prep-level players. He coached the Salina (Kan.) American Legion 16-year-old team in 1996, leading them to a 45-12 season and set a program record for single-season wins. The team assembled a Salina Legion-record 31-game winning streak, finished third in the Kansas Legion State Tournament and saw 10 players go on to play collegiate baseball.
Prior to joining the KWU coaching staff as an assistant, Bellew spent the 1991 and 1992 seasons as assistant baseball coach at Salina South High School. Responsible for hitting and infield defense, Bellew helped oversee a program which qualified for the State tournament both years of his tenure and saw 16 players continue their careers at the collegiate level.
“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in Bemidji,” Bellew said. “It’s exciting. It’s a beautiful community and a beautiful campus. Baseball has not been that successful overall, although there is some recent history of success. The athletics department’s other programs are successful, especially football, men’s basketball and ice hockey. I think any time that happens, there’s always an opportunity for other programs in that department to have success.
“Baseball is widely supported in the Bemidji community,” Bellew said. “In the short time I was there - less than 36 hours - I realized what kind of support the program had in the community and on campus as well.
“For me, this was a no-brainer,” he added. “I’m going to build a program. I think baseball is a sport where you always have an opportunity to be successful right away, particularly at a smaller college. You can turn things around pretty quickly if you get kids to buy into the things you’re trying to accomplish.”
Hill, an Arizona native, began his collegiate playing career at Central Arizona Junior College in 1980. He played second base and shortstop for the Vaqueros until 1982. He transferred to Kansas Wesleyan in 1985, where he earned the President’s Leadership Award in 1986. In 1987, Bellew was named Second-Team All-KCAC as a middle infielder and helped lead KWU to an NAIA playoff berth.
Bellew graduated from Kansas Wesleyan with a bachelor of arts degree in health in 1987, and received a master of business administration degree from KWU in June of 2002.
Bellew takes the reigns of the Bemidji State program from interim head coach Mike Benke. Benke was elevated to interim head coach after the mid-season departure of Chris Brown, who left BSU to become head baseball coach at Montana State-Billings. Benke posted a 10-35 record during his tenure, while Brown led BSU to a 29-65 mark in his two-plus seasons at the helm.
|Tim Bellew Collegiate Coaching Record|
|1993-94||Kansas Wesleyan||Ass't Coach|
|1995||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||14-24 (7-11 KCAC)|
|1996||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||20-20 (11-9 KCAC)||KCAC Coach of the Year|
|1997||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||27-19 (12-8 KCAC)||NSCAA National Champions; NSCAA Nat’l Coach of the Year|
|1998||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||11-26 (7-11 KCAC)|
|1999||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||27-18 (10-10 KCAC)||NSCAA National Champions; NSCAA Nat’l Coach of the Year|
|2000||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||28-19 (14-6 KCAC)||NAIA Region IV qualifier|
|2001||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||29-15 (21-3 KCAC)||KCAC Coach of the Year; KCAC Champions; NAIA Region IV Tourney|
|2002||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||26-22 (16-8 KCAC)|
|2003||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||9-31 (3-21 KCAC)|
|2004||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||22-28 (8-16 KCAC)|
|2005||Kansas Wesleyan||Head Coach||14-36 (7-17 KCAC)|
|2006||Bemidji State||Head Coach||9th head coach in BSU history|
Some information courtesy of:
Kansas Wesleyan University Sports Information
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Sports Information
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics