BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University Director of Athletics Tracy Dill today announced that Brent Bolte has been named head coach of the Beaver Football program.
Seven months removed from leading the Beavers to a 9-3 overall record and to its first postseason victory, a 36-23 triumph over Washburn University in the Mineral Water Bowl as its interim head coach, Bolte has been selected to guide the program into the future.
“I think being a head coach in any sport is difficult,” said Dill. “The ability to lead and inspire others is vital, but more importantly having the ability to connect with others is critical to the success of a program.” Dill added, “I am confident that Brent possesses those attributes and has the vision to lead our program moving forward.
“Brent is loyal to BSU, he is loyal to the alumni and he is loyal to his coaching staff. He truly wants to be here and make Beaver Football the best it can possibly be,” said Dill, “In my opinion, how can you go wrong?”
With his new title of head coach, Bolte will begin his 18th season on the Bemidji State coaching staff after 14 as a full-time assistant coach and spending the 2016 season as interim head coach. Beginning his tenure with BSU in 2000, after three seasons on the staff, Bolte was promoted to full-time assistant coach in 2003. He was named Co-Defensive Coordinator in 2005 and has since helped mastermind one of the best defenses in the nation.
The Gang Green defense has annually finished amongst the top rush defenses in the country, including leading all of NCAA Division II in 2006. In the last nine seasons, the Beavers have finished in the top 20 in total defense on four occasions with the 2011 version of the Gang Green defense holding its opponents to 16.0 points per game to rank third nationally.
That high level of play continued in 2016 with Bolte serving as the interim head coach. The defense led the NSIC in interceptions (22) while ranking fifth in total defense (394.0 yards per game), sacks (33), and scoring defense (24.4 points per game). In addition the offense led the conference in scoring (45.6 points per game) to help the Beavers to a program record nine wins including the first postseason win in program history. The team also set a record as 17 players were named to the NSIC All-Conference list including eight to the All-NSIC First Team, six to the All-NSIC Second Team and three to the All-NSIC Honorable Mention list and to the 2016 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region Three team. Quraterback Jordan Hein was also nominated for the Harlon Hill Award which is given to the top Division II football player in the nation. The Beavers also found success off the field as running back Gena Adams was named to the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-America Division II football team and the team landed 24 student-athletes on the Fall Academic All-NSIC team.
Prior to 2016, Bolte’s has focused has been primarily on the linebackers and has mentored an All-American, four all-region players and 31 All-NSIC selections, which includes at least one player on the all-conference first or second team in all but one season.
Before joining the BSU staff, Bolte spent 1999 coaching wide receivers and quarterbacks at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.
Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Bolte started and lettered four years as a linebacker at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He helped the program capture the 1995 Midwest Athletics Conference championship and the 1996 Southern Division crown. He received All-MAC honors and left as the school’s career leader in tackles (since broken). He graduated in 1998 with a double major in psychology and physical education.
Bolte and his wife Kim have a son, Caden, and daughter, Beth. They reside in Bemidji.
Bolte was formally introduced at a press conference July 17.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).