BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University Director of Athletics Tracy Dill has announced a reorganization within the athletic department that will include a change in baseball leadership. Tim Bellew, who has spent the last 16 years as head coach of the BSU baseball team while juggling various duties within the department, will move into an administrative roll with oversight of event management, and concessions, while expanding community involvement opportunities.
An announcement regarding the future leadership of the BSU baseball program will be made at a later date.
“I can’t thank Tim enough for the job he has done over the past 16 years,” said Dill. “He has served the BSU baseball program and our student-athletes very well, while reconnecting and reinvigorating a dedicated alumni base.
“The work ethic that he has exhibited while wearing many hats within our department has been second to none.” Dill continued, “Tim’s unique skill set allows him to lend expertise to our department in a variety situations and we are excited for his continued leadership for BSU Athletics.”
Bellew, who came to Bemidji State in 2006 from Kansas Wesleyan University completes his reign as the Beavers’ bench boss second in wins (228), games coaches (719) and seasons coached (15), while he is just the second coach in BSU history to earn the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Coach of the Year honor (2013) and led the Beavers to their first NSIC Tournament title game since 2002 (2013).
“First I have to thank my wife, Pam,” said Bellew. “She has put up with me as a coach for 30 years. She has given up a lot for me and been a rock for our family through all of this.
“From my standpoint, is this an easy decision? No. I still love baseball and I am going to miss working with our players every day. But they say you know when it is time,” added Bellew. “I knew from the time the season started that it was probably my time to move on and let somebody else take over. Thirty years is a long time.”
“Looking back, I am most proud of seeing our players develop, be successful, and get their degrees,” said Bellew. “We may have struggled a little bit the last couple years, and our conference is as tough as it has ever been, but our players have never quit. They have continued to work hard to get better and make our program better every day.”
“Now looking ahead, I have always given 100-percent in everything I have done. Being a part of this department and working with our staff has been a highlight of my tenure at Bemidji State. Now I am excited to do all that I can, wherever I am needed, to simplify things in our department.”
Under Bellew, 20 student-athletes have been named to the NSIC All-Conference Team, including eight first-team honorees. Four student-athletes have gone on to earn an all-region team nods, while catcher Zach Braun was Bellew’s first All-American in 2012 and Logan Kalis earned the designation of All-American in 2013 in the pitcher/utility category.
BSU has also found success in the classroom under the direction of Bellew, as 98 student-athletes have been named Academic All-NSIC. Highlighting that group is Josh Silvernagel, who earned the NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award and went on to become ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic Third-Team All-District V in 2010. In 2013, Lewis Baumann earned Capital One All-Academic All-District 7 College Division First-Team, en route to being the first BSU baseball player to earn Capital One Academic All-America Division II honors (second team). Nate Heisick, Ryan Rumpca, and Jack Stigman also earned academic honors with the NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award.
Bellew has also been an active member of the Bemidji Youth Baseball organization. He has also put on baseball camps and clinics for the youth. The director of facility maintenance at the field, Bellew played a large role in the renovation process of the BSU Baseball Field in the fall of 2007.
Bellew joined the Bemidji State coaching staff after orchestrating the most-successful baseball era in the history of Kansas Wesleyan University. He took the reins 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 NAIA Region IV tournament and in 2001 he directed KWU to its first KCAC championship in 27 years. In 10 seasons at KWU, Bellew coached 38 First-Team All-KCAC honorees, seven NAIA All-Americans and 11 NSCAA All-Americans. He also had one player drafted and two signed as free agent acquisitions. KWU recorded 20 or more wins seven times during Bellew’s stint.
Bellew, 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 is a 1987 graduate of Kansas Wesleyan with a bachelor of arts degree in health. He earned his master of business administration degree from KWU in 2002.
He and his wife Pam reside in Bemidji and have two grown children, Mason, who is a former member of the BSU baseball team, and Claudia, who played tennis for the Beavers. Both Mason and Claudia are graduates of Bemidji State.