Dr. Ken Traxler completed his 22nd year on the BSU coaching staff, and his 19th as an assistant coach in 2019 after spending four seasons as a volunteer assistant. Through his career, Traxler has coached 53 all-conference, six All-American and 19 all-region student-athletes. He has been on staff for 154 wins, the second most among BSU head or assistant coaches in program history.
Traxler assisted coaching the offensive line for the 8-3 Beavers team in 2019. The Beaver offense totaled 232 first downs and 46 total touchdowns (16 rushing, 28 passing). The offensive line led the way for the Beaver offense to complete 186 passes (186-335-16) for 2,562 yards. In rushing attempts, the Beavers gained 2,207 yards off 507 rushing attempts. The Beavers compiled 4,769 total offensive yards, which ranks fourth most in a single-season in program history. Traxler has been a part of all five of BSU's top single-season total offensive yards. In addition, Traxler has also been a part of all five of the program's top single-season rushing yardage, passing yardage and total points scored. BSU scored a total of 334 points during 2019, with an average of 30.4 points per game. Linemen Hank Bellefy, Nick Niemi and Joe Woods were named to the All-NSIC team while Niemi and Woods were both selected to the Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-America Team.
In 2018, the Beaver offense helped the team to a 7-4 record. The offense scored 420 total points (38.2 ppg) and 133 points off of turnovers. The Beavers totaled 214 first downs (116 rushing, 84 passing, and 14 from penalties). The run game totaled 2,382 yards for the Beavers off of 492 rushing attempts and an average of 4.8 yards per rush and 22 total rushing touchdowns. Passing yardage totaled 1971 yards from 147 completed passes out of 270 attempted with just three interceptions. The passing game totaled 27 touchdowns for the Beavers. The 2018 season saw a few awards and nominations for the team: offensive linemen, Parker Blakeslee and Nick Niemi, were selected to the 2018 Don Hansen All-Super Region Four Third Team while quarterback, Jared Henning, was selected to the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
In 2017 the Beavers were ranked third in the conference in offensive rushing yards with an average 202.5 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play, total offensive yards of 4,361 yards all season. Offensive linemen, Jacob Krause and Brandon Schindler were both named to NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Offensive.
Traxler helped BSU produce an All-Conference performer at defensive tackle from 2002-2005. Then when taking over coaching duties for the linebackers, guided two second-team performers in 2006, into first-team players in 2007. Now in his seventh season overseeing the offensive linemen, Traxler has coached 15 players to all-conference status, including offensive lineman Jake Krause to second team offensive honors in 2016.
In the 2016 season, the Beavers had the second-best offense in the conference. The Beavers led the NSIC in scoring with 45.6 points per game and were second with 523.8 yards per game which consisted of 293.7 passing yards per game to go along with 230.2 rushing yards per game. This all led to a program record 9 wins on the season including the first postseason victory in team history with a win in the Mineral Water Bowl. Three student-athletes (Hein, Gena Adams, and Brandon Schindler) were also named to the NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Offense along with four being named to the NSIC North Division All-Conference Second Team Offense and two to the NSIC Honorable Mention Team. Jesse Hein was named to the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region Three Second team while Jordan Hein and Schindler were named to the third team and Jordan Hein was nominated for the Harlon Hill Award. Off the field, the Beavers landed 24 student-athletes on the Fall Academic All-NSIC Team and running back Gena Adams was named to the 2016 Academic All-America Division II football team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The 2015 Beavers finished the season with the seventh highest scoring offense by averaging 30.9 points per game and 411.2 yards per game. The Bemidji State offensive line helped pave the way for the offense to average 190.9 rushing yards per game, which was sixth highest in the conference, and 220.3 passing yards per game. Center, Jesse Hein, was named to the 2015 Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Team and First Team All-NSIC under Traxler. The offensive line also had Matthew Valentine named Second Team All-NSIC and two more linemen were named to the 2015 Fall Academic All-NSIC Team.
In 2009, the O-line led the way for three different rushers to combine for eight 100-plus yard games and protected a first team all-conference quarterback. In 2011 the Beavers had three All-NSIC linemen, including a first-team center after guiding the team to a program-record 2,656 rushing yards and 31 rushing touchdowns - second most all-time at BSU. The 2012 line protected all-conference quarterback Lance Rongstad - a pass/run threat - to fifth in the NSIC in total offense and center Brett DeLange landed All-NSIC First Team honors.
Traxler brings a 22-year coaching resume to the Bemidji State staff, including stints as a defensive coach at the University of Minnesota, Morris (1988-89) and at Gustavus Adolphus College (1994).
Traxler played linebacker at the University of Minnesota Morris, where he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1989. He earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Denver in 1994.
In addition to his coaching duties, Traxler is a professor and chair in the BSU Department of Chemistry, which he joined in 1997. In 2013, Traxler was named Bemidji State Athletics Volunteer of the Year.