Joan (Campbell) Anderson
|PLAYED AT BSU||1972-76|
Joan (Campbell) Anderson chose to attend Bemidji State University because it had one of the strongest physical education programs in the country. She graduated from Bemidji State in 1976 with a physical education degree, a coaching certificate and a desire to help others take advantage of the opportunities that had opened up for women.
She got her first head-coaching job at Big Lake High School in 1977. She guided her teams to a Sub-District Championship in 1978 and a District 19 consolation title in 1979 and compiled the most wins in Big Lake girl’s basketball history. She built up a program that started with eight girls and mentored three all-conference student athletes and a Miss Minnesota Basketball finalist.
In 1981, she enrolled at the University of Minnesota to pursue a master’s degree in education. Joan became the first second assistant for the women’s basketball program under Head Coach Ellen Mosher Hanson. The Gophers were region six champions that year and played in the quarterfinals of the AIWA national tournament. Joan was inducted into the University of Minnesota Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the 1981-82 team.
Returning to her alma mater as head coach in 1982 was a huge thrill for Joan. As head coach, she led BSU to its first conference title (1986), its first 20-win season, a program record for wins in a season, it’s first appearances in the national polls and to three consecutive NAIA State Championships (1984, 1985, 1986). In addition, her teams established a Northern Sun Conference mark for consecutive wins (28) and a single-season conference record for blocks (139). Joan’s teams set 66 BSU records during her tenure – many of those records still stand today. In addition, Joan was named NAIA State of Minnesota Coach of the Year (1985) and was a 1986 Division II Kodak Coach of the Year nominee.
Joan attained her goal to become a division I basketball coach when she accepted the head coaching job at Weber State University where she coached from 1986-88.
She revisited her role as an assistant at Minnesota in 1988-89 before taking over a floundering program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Despite competing in one of the toughest conferences in the country, she successfully attracted top recruits and graduated successful student athletes. She was the head women’s basketball coach from 1989-97.
Many young basketball players have benefited from her knowledge by participating in youth basketball camps she developed while at Mankato and expanded throughout the state.
Joan has continued to contribute to the coaching profession through her work on the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Board of Directors, as National Rawlings Scholarship Award Chair and as the national basketball co-chair for coaching enhancement for girls and women. She is a member of the WBCA and NCAA and NAIA Basketball Coaches Associations. In addition, she has been a featured speaker for the NCAA Yes Clinic during the Final Four in Minneapolis and for various organizations throughout the Midwest.
In 2011, Joan was first inducted into the BSU Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the 1985-86 team.
Since completing her coaching career Joan has continued to work as an educator within the Eden Prairie School District. She is the high school Health Department Chair. Joan lives in Eden Prairie with her husband, Dave.
Joan continues to make a difference at BSU. She is a founding member of the BSU Legacy Society, has served as a consultant for the Bemidji State University Foundation Board and as the first president of the B-Club, is dedicated to building the volunteer alumni group that connects former student athletes to the university and each other.