2009-10 Men's Basketball
Matt Bowen
Head Coach
Jeremy Tiers
Assistant Coach
Ryan Montgomery
Graduate Assistant
Full Roster
Matt Bowen

Matt Bowen

Head Coach

Phone (218) 755-2774
Email [email protected]

Since taking his post as head men’s basketball coach at Bemidji State in 2006, Matt Bowen has led the Beaver program to improvements both on and off the court. Becoming the 19th head men’s basketball coach at BSU June 30, 2006, Bowen now enters his sixth season at the helm after spending 15 years as an assistant coach at the Division I level.    

The Beavers finished the 2010-11 season with a 11-15 overall and 8-14 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference record to finish in a three-way tie for 10th and just a game out of eighth. BSU started the season 3-1, but spent most of the season trying to find a rhythm. The Beavers hovered around .500 until dropping seven straight games Jan. 14 - Feb. 5. Four of those losses came by a five point or less margin. BSU finished the season on a high note, winning four of the last six games, including a 60-58 victory at Winona State to defeat the Warriors for the second consecutive season on their home court. Close games proved to be the difference maker for the Beavers as they closed the campaign with a 3-7 record in games decided by five points or less. Newcomer James Ellisor made an immediate impact by averaging 17.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and a league leading 57.9 field goal percentage to earn Second-Team All-NSIC honors. Bryce Tesdahl continued to dish out assists and became the program’s assist leader. Bowen has molded his team into opportunistic shooters from the free throw line, as the squad closed the season second in the nation in free throw percentage with a 78.9 percent mark from the charity stripe.    
Bowen earned his first double-digit win season in 2009-10 as the Beavers went 12-15 overall and 8-12 in the NSIC, finishing 11th in the conference. BSU had its ups and downs during the campaign, hanging its hat on sweeping Winona State University for the first time since 2003-04. WSU was ranked No. 17 nationally in the first meeting in Winona where the Beavers needed overtime, then at the BSU Gymnasium, BSU prevailed in a nail-bitter 88-86. The Beavers started 5-3, their best eight-game start since the 1997-98 season. After starting strong the youth and short bench slowed BSU and it lost seven straight and were 2-11 from Dec. 13 - Feb. 6. The Beavers found a rhythm at the end of the season, closing the campaign winning five of six. Bowen saw his first four-year player graduate at the end of the season in Seth Haake, who finished 10th in career points and career assists at BSU, leading the team off the court as a two-time NSIC Academic All-Conference team member. Bryce Tesdahl had one of the best performances in the green and white at the point guard position, finishing fourth in the school’s season assists charts with 137, while leading the team in rebounds and finishing 28th in the nation in free throw percentage. Tesdahl wasn’t the only one hitting from the charity stripe as the squad finished fifth nationally in free throw percentage. Academically, BSU closed the 2009-10 season with a team GPA of 3.03.      

In 2008-09, BSU went 8-19 overall and 6-14 in the NSIC, finishing tied for 10th. Bowen guided his team to a 6-21 overall record and a 3-15 record in the NSIC for a ninth place finish in 2007-08 and was 5-23 overall and 5-13 in the NSIC in 2006-07. Bowen inherited a 2005-06 team that went 15-13 overall and 9-5 in the NSIC that was dismantled at the conclusion of the season, carrying over just three players. In the process of rebuilding there are bumps along the road, but the Beavers are moving in the right direction, defeating back-to-back nationally ranked opponents during a four-game winning streak in 2008-09 (Jan. 6-16). BSU beat No. 24 St. Cloud State University at home, 69-66, and then traveled to No. 11 Northern State University and won a two overtime thriller 100-93. In the process of rebuilding, Bowen and his staff have recruited and brought in some of the best talent from around the state of Minnesota to help put the pieces of the BSU men’s basketball program back together.

Bowen came to BSU after spending the past 15 years molding his coaching style after some of NCAA Division I men’s basketball’s greatest coaching legends. He was a student manager for Bob Knight at Indiana University and served as an assistant coach under both Gene Bartow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and most recently, Homer Drew at Valparaiso University. Bowen’s trio of mentors have combined for nearly 2,100 career wins and 105 years of head coaching experience.

During his four years under Drew at Valpo, Bowen helped to lead the Crusaders to an overall record of 70-52 (.574) with a 41-21 (.661) mark versus Mid-Continent Conference competition. In 2003, his first season at the university, the team was 20-11 overall and 12-2 in the league as it grabbed the front end of back-to-back conference titles. The Valpo men capped the year off with a trip to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The following season, the Crusaders went 18-13 overall with an 11-5 mark versus the league to earn their second league crown and a berth into the NCAA Tournament.

In addition to game day and practice duties, Bowen was responsible for organizing all recruiting efforts, summer youth camps, game preparation and scouting and being the team’s academic coordinator.

As a recruiter, Bowen was responsible for signing the No. 1 incoming class in the Mid-Continent Conference and one of the Top-100 nationally according to the 2006 HoopScoop and Dave Telep recruiting publications. Bowen’s ties to the Midwest, specifically Minnesota, were evident in the class as it was headlined by Mr. Basketball Minnesota Finalist and Tartan High School graduate Urule Igbavboa. Bowen began his collegiate coaching ventures in 1995 when he was hired as an assistant coach at Alabama-Birmingham. In seven seasons at UAB, the Blazers captured a Conference USA National Division Championship (1999), went to the NCAA Tournament (1999) and were twice invited to participate in the NIT (1997, 1998).

The River Falls, Wis. native is the son of long-time NCAA Division III head men’s basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Bowen has been around basketball all of his life, but he first acquired a taste of his own for collegiate basketball as the student manager for Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers (1990-1995). While serving under coach Knight, Bowen was a part of two Big Ten titles (1991, 1993) and four NCAA Tournament appearances, twice advancing to the Elite Eight (1992-1993) and earning a spot in the Final Four in 1992.

He joins a long list of former Indiana managers who have gone on to make a name for themselves in coaching, most notably former New Jersey Nets Head Coach Lawrence Frank, a manager at IU from 1989 to 1992. While at Indiana, Bowen also worked directly with George David, now the Director of Player Personnel for the Detroit Pistons and Ryan Carr, Director of Scouting for the Indiana Pacers. In addition, Bowen’s father, Rick, got his feet wet as a Hoosier student manager under Branch McCracken in the 1960s.

Bowen is a 1995 graduate of Indiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER). He picked up a Master of Arts degree in education during his time at UAB, graduating in 1999.

Bowen and his wife Ashli have a nine-year-old daughter McKenzi and a four-year-old daughter Addison.