Bemidji State announces 2021 Alumni B-Club/Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

Bemidji State announces 2021 Alumni B-Club/Athletic Hall of Fame inductees
Friday, July 31, 2020
Bemidji State announces 2021 Alumni B-Club/Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University will induct eight individuals and one outstanding team into its Athletics Hall of Fame, as part of the University’s Alumni B-Club/Athletic Hall of Fame Weekend proposed for a date in late February. The 2021 inductees include five former student-athletes, a graduate who has gone on to achieve unparalleled success as a coach another who has made a tremendous impact on BSU since graduating, a former coach and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champion men’s track and field team.

Former Bemidji State student-athletes Mike Alexander (men’s hockey 1982-86), Amber Fryklund (women’s hockey 2000-03), Joel Olander (swimming and diving 1977-81), Cristy Risberg (women’s track and field 1993-96) and Matt Wellumson (football 1981, 1983, 1985-86) will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The newest selection for the Alumni Coaching Achievement Award is Jerry Lano (1974) and the John S. Glas Honorary Letterwinner  is 1961 graduate, Frederick Baker. In addition, Bemidji State’s 2000 men’s indoor track and field team will be enshrined into its Team Hall of Fame and Craig Hougen will be enshrined into the BSU Coaches Hall of Fame.

Established in 1978, the BSU Athletic Hall of Fame will now include: 195 individuals, 25 BSU coaches, 22 teams, nine selected for the Alumni Coaching Achievement Award and eight John S. Glas Honorary Letterwinners.

The Bemidji State Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes alumni, former coaches, administrators and others who have excelled at their sports and brought acclaim to the university through their accomplishments and championships. A committee of elected B-Club members selects inductees. Nominations are accepted from all interested persons.

2021 BSU Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
Mike Alexander – 1982-86
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:

The all-time leading scorer in Bemidji State men’s hockey history, Mike Alexander was a four-year letterwinner for the Beavers. A native of Apple Valley, Minn., Alexander recorded 98 goals and 154 assists for 252 points during his 136-game collegiate career. Alexander led the team in scoring in 1984-85 and 1985-86, which included a program-record 58 assists and 90 points as a senior. He is one of seven players in the history of Beaver Hockey to record five goals in a game (2/22/1986) and recorded four collegiate hat tricks. An AHCA Titan All-American in 1985 and 1986, he was a member of Bemidji State’s 31-0-0 1984 national championship team and captained BSU to its ninth national title in 1986. During his time at BSU, the Beavers went 113-21-4 and won four straight Northern Collegiate Hockey Association championships. In 2005-06, Alexander was selected as one of 50 Legends for 50 Years of BSU hockey.


Amber Fryklund – 2000-03
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:

A native of Hibbing, Minn., Amber Fryklund established herself as one of the greatest players in BSU Women’s Hockey history. In just three seasons and 100 games played in the green and white, Fryklund compiled 59 goals and 63 assists for 122 points, while leading the Beavers in all three categories during each of her three campaigns at BSU. She was the first BSU women’s player to break the 100-point barrier and remains the Beavers’ all-time leading scorer. She still owns two of the top three single-season point totals in program history, including a BSU-record 49-point 2000-01 season. Her career total of 59 goals and three hat tricks remain atop the Beavers’ all-time goal scoring list, while her 63 assists stand second on BSU’s career assists list. A two-time All-WCHA Second Team selection, she was the first BSU player to earn All-WCHA honors in 2001-02, she garnered four WCHA Player of the Week awards was selected to the 2001-02 WCHA All-Star Team. In addition, she led the BSU women’s hockey team to back-to-back appearances in the WCHA Tournament (2002 and 2003).

Joel Olander – 1977-81
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:

A four-year letterwinner for the Bemidji State men’s swimming and diving team, Joel Olander was a four-time All-Northern Intercollegiate Conference selection as a diver. A conference one-meter and three-meter champion, he earned NAIA and American College Coaches Association All-America honors in 1978, 1980 and 1981. Olander left Bemidji State as its three-meter diving record-holder with a 309.65 set in 1980. In addition, he helped lead the Beavers to four conference championships and four straight appearances in the NAIA championships (1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981). Olander was also a member of Bemidji State’s 1979-80 men’s swimming and diving team that was enshrined into the BSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.


Cristy Risberg – 1993-96
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:
A six-time letterwinner on the track, Risberg competed in both indoor and outdoor track and field for the Beavers from 1993-96. She earned the first two of her seven event conference championships in 1994 when she posted a mark of 17-feet, 10-inches in the long jump and cleared 5-feet, 3-inches in the high jump indoors en route to recognition as an All-American in the event by the USTFCCCA. She repeated as the NSIC champion in both events the following indoor season, which included a career-best high jump mark of 5-feet, 4-inches and a personal-best long jump of 17-feet, 8-and-3/4 inches. As a captain of the team in 1996, she again won the NSIC outdoor long jump title and was selected as BSU’s Most Valuable Player. As a multi-even athlete, she recorded a score of 4,093 to claim the NSIC heptathlon crown and finished her career as a member of BSU’s conference champion 4x100-meter relay team.

Matt Wellumson – 1981, 1983, 1985-86
Athletic Accomplishments while at BSU:

A four-year letter winner for the Bemidji State football team, Wellumson completed his career with 153 total tackles with 31 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks. He added four forced fumbles and two interceptions, which he returned a total of 109 yards and two touchdowns. His accomplishments still place him second in single-season touchdown returns and sixth in single-season interception return yards. The defensive tackle remains second on BSU’s single-season sack list after posting with 13.5 in 1986, while his 20.5 career sacks place him third on the Beavers’ career sack list. An All-NIC pick in 1986, Wellumson was selected all-district in 1985 and 1986 and was an All-America Honorable Mention selection in 1986. He was a leader for a defensive unit that was among the NAIA’s leaders in scoring defense in 1985 and 1986, was fifth in the nation in rushing defense in 1986 and seventh in total defense that season.


Wellumson battled thyroid cancer during his collegiate football career and was an inspiration and example of hard work and dedication to his teammates. Cancer claimed the life of the husband and father of four March 4, 1995 at the age of 31.

Alumni Coaching Achievement Award

Jerry Lano (1974)
Coaching Accomplishments:

A three-year football letterwinner while at Bemidji State, Jerry Lano’s career in football spanned far beyond his days as a collegiate. In 40 years and three stops as a physical education and health teacher and high school football coach, Lano and his teams piled up 14 conference titles, three Illinois Class 1A state championships, including a pair of perfect 14-0 seasons, and Dakota High School. His teams also assembled a regular-season winning streak of 35 games spanning from 2006 to 2010. In all, he assembled a record of 279-127 and a winning percentage of 68 percent over the course of his career. He won his first conference championship in just his second year of coaching at Grand Meadow High School and totaled 20 wins in three seasons. He also spent 12 seasons at Underwood High School, where he won three conference crowns before a 25-year stop at Dakota High School, where he led his teams to 10 conference titles, eight state playoff appearances and three state championships. Following his third state title in 2011, he was selected to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He retired from coaching in 2013.

BSU Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee
Craig Hougen (1978-79, 1990-2015)
Career Accomplishments:

A member of the Bemidji State Athletics staff for a total of 28 seasons between 1977 and 2015, Craig Hougen will forever be linked to BSU’s track and field and cross country programs. The six-time NSIC Coach of the Year guided Bemidji State to a pair of team conference championships, five individual event national championships, 30 All-American awards, six academic All-America picks and nearly 400 all-conference performances, while his teams and team members were regularly honored for academic success by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association.

A native of Bismarck, N.D, Hougen began his Beaver Athletics career as a graduate assistant from 1977-79 and returned to BSU in 1989 to work as an assistant on the BSU football staff (1989-96) and served as the head men’s track and field coach. Hougen became the head coach of the women’s track and field team in 1993 and the cross country team in 1998.

Prior to his time at Bemidji State, Hougen spent 10 years coaching boy’s and girl’s track and field, football and basketball at Sheridan High School in Sheridan, Wyo.

BSU Athlete Team Inductee
2000 Men’s Indoor Track and Field Team
In a look through the most successful teams in Bemidji State athletic history, the 2000 men’s indoor track and field team certainly makes the list. Led by NSIC event champions Andy Eggerth (55-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash), Jesse Miller (600-meter dash), Aaron Feia (800-meter run and Mile run) and Joe Ferraro (shot put), the 29-man roster became the first and only Bemidji State track and field team to win a conference championship in the 77-year history of the program. In addition to six individual event championships, BSU also claimed the 3,200-meter relay title en route to edging Northern State University for the NSIC Championship. Under the direction of 2000 NSIC Coach of the Year Craig Hougen, Eggerth, who set a 55-meter hurdle record that still stands today (7.61), was selected as the league’s indoor athlete of the year, four men earned All-NSIC honors, while four more were tabbed for All-NSIC Honorable mention awards. Eggerth went on to compete at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships and claim fourth place I the 400-meter dash to become an All-American.

BSU John S. Glas Honorary Letter Winner
Frederick Baker has been selected as the 2021 John S. Glas Honorary Letter Winner. The award, created in 2011, recognizes an individual or individuals who have had a significant impact on BSU athletics, much like the late John Glas did during his 34-year tenure at BSU which included roles as vice president for finance and as acting president.  His strong support of athletics earned him the honor of having the fieldhouse named after him upon his retirement in 1975.

Baker, a 1961 Bemidji State graduate, was a member of the Beavers’ track and field, cross country, basketball and football teams, but his greatest impact on BSU’s athletics programs came years later. Not only has be become a regular supporter on the sidelines of BSU road games, he has provided meals for BSU’s football and men’s basketball teams when on the road and he has funded a scholarship for women’s track and field/cross country as well as been active with BSU’s American Indian Resource Center providing opportunities for prospective and current Native American students.

In 2019, Bemidji State named its newly-opened training facility the Frederick P. Baker Training Center after a generous gift by Baker allowed the university to reimagine and renovate its former hockey facility to include a weight room, field turf, batting cages and other amenities that provide an indoor training facility for every BSU athletic program.

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs. BSU’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs are members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.