Craig Hougen is in his 23rd-year as head coach of the cross country and track and field squads at Bemidji State University.
In his time at BSU, Hougen has been named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference's Coach of the Year six times. Most recently Hougen accepted the award after coaching the men's team to their 2005 outdoor NSIC title. The conference championship was just the second in the school's history.
Prior to his 2005 award, Hougen had previously been recognized as the NSIC Coach of the Year in 2001 (women's outdoor), 2000 (men's outdoor), 1999 (men's outdoor), 1998 (men's indoor) and 1996 (men's indoor).
In the midst of a four year span in which Hougen collected four NSIC Coach of the Year awards, he engineered a men's conference champion in 2000 for the first BSU league title in school history.
In the 1998 and 1999 campaigns, Hougen led the Beavers to second-(men) and fourth-place (women) finishes in the indoor and outdoor seasons, snapping 17 school records along the way.
Collecting his first NSIC Coach of the Year award in 1996, Hougen began molding the BSU track and field teams into annual league contenders for the team title while producing several NCAA qualifiers and All-America selections.
A track state champion and notable track athlete at Bismarck High School (N.D.), Hougen earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Valley City State University (N.D.) in 1977. He followed with a master's degree in that same field from BSU in 1979 while serving as a graduate assistant for two years.
Hougen entered the coaching ranks as the head track and field coach at Sheridan High School in Wyoming in 1979 and accepted additional duties as assistant coach with the football and basketball programs during his 10-year stay with Sheridan athletics.
In 1989, Hougen leaped to the college ranks to begin what has become a very successful collegiate coaching regime, directing the BSU track and field teams for the past 18 years while also serving as the assistant football coach for the Beavers from 1989 through 1996.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Hougen has dedicated himself as an administrator for track and field on a national level, capped by a stint as Chief Steward for the 1996 Olympic Trials and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. He served as the travel coordinator for the 1992 and 1993 Olympic Sports Festivals, and worked with the U.S. Nationals during that time as well.
Craig currently resides in Bemidji with his wife Ann. He has three adult children Michael, Rebecca and Alison.
Coach of the Year honors
Bemidji State University is a member of the
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system