Erica Gartner joins the Bemidji State coaching staff for her first season in 2020-21. She was a four-time letter winner with the Beavers from 2016-20 under head coach Chelsea DeVille.
Gartner helped the Beavers to a 10-6 record overall and 8-4 mark in conference play during the 2020-21 season. BSU advanced to the NSIC Tournament Quarterfinals for the second time in the last three seasons, taking a 71-70 win over Concordia University-St. Paul Feb. 26 in Sioux Falls, S.D., and made the NSIC Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2004. The Beavers finished with their first winning season, overall and in conference play, since 1995-96 and its most conference victories since the 2007-08 season, including a seven-game winning streak for its longest such streak in a season since 1987-88. BSU began its winning streak with an 82-76 overtime win over Minnesota State University, Mankato, snapping an 11-game losing streak to the Mavericks, and followed with a sweep over Minnesota State University Moorhead, snapping a 17-game losing streak to the Dragons along with its first sweep of MSUM since the 2003-04 season. Sophomore center Rachael Heittola was selected to the All-NSIC First Team and senior guard Brooklyn Bachmann was named to the All-NSIC Second Team to become the first BSU duo named all-conference since the 2013-14 season. Bemidji State featured 12 selections to the NSIC All-Academic Team, its most all-academic team members in program history.
Gartner played point guard under DeVille for 106 games, which is tied for ninth-most in program history. She averaged 14.2 minutes per game and finished her career with 89 3-pointers on 33.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Gartner dished out 0.87 assists per game through her career and saw her best season statistically as a sophomore after totaling 140 points, 33 assists, and 21 steals in 21.0 minutes per game.
Gartner graduated from Bemidji State in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. She will pursue a master's degree in environmental science while she coaches with the Beavers.