BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Rick Goeb today
announced the hiring of Shane Veenker as the 14th head softball
coach since the program started in 1981. Veenker will also
serve as an assistant coach for the women’s hockey team.
Veenker was elevated to head softball coach after serving as the graduate assistant softball coach during the fall of 2006. Veenker was also a volunteer assistant softball coach at Bemidji State during the 2004-2006 seasons. While serving as assistant softball coach, Veenker’s duties included coordinating the Beavers’ outfield efforts along with being the hitting instructor and pitching coach for the program. Bemidji State will be the first collegiate head coaching assignment for Veenker.
Prior to his stint as a graduate assistant, he was a head coach for the Bemidji girls 12U A team from 1999-06. In 2002, Veenker became the Bagley-Fosston boys’ varsity hockey coach and he attained that position for two seasons. Veenker was also the head softball coach for the Bemidji Blaze 18U/16U/14U from 2000-2004. In 2002, he led the Bemidji Blaze 18 and under girls fastpitch team to a ninth place finish in the 2002 ASA/USA West National Championship.
The Windom, Minn. native’s most recent coaching position was with the Bemidji High School girls hockey program. Veenker served as the assistant girl’s varsity hockey coach and the junior varsity head coach from 2005 to 2007. He was responsible for coaching the offensive forwards for the varsity program along with all the coaching duties for the junior varsity team.
Veenker also has extensive camp coaching experience, starting as the hockey camp instructor with the AA Hockey Camp in Fort Francis, Ontario from 2001-2006. He currently is the camp instructor for the Red Lake Falls Hockey Schools which started in 2004.
In 1995-1996 he served as a graduate assistant for the University of Minnesota football program as he was video coordinator for the Golden Gophers. Veenker also served as an assistant in football operations for the NFL Europe in San Antonio, Texas from 1992-94. In addition, he was a student manager/equipment manager for the Bemidji State men’s ice hockey program under the supervision of BSU Hall of Fame coach R.H. “Bob” Peters from 1989-1993. Veenker was a member of the 1993 Division II National Championship team at Bemidji State University.
“I am extremely excited and honored to be working at my Alma matter and to be a part of two up-and coming programs here at Bemidji State University,” Veenker said. “I am extremely excited for the softball season to start.” “We are coming off a very successful fall season and I look for that to carry over into this season and seasons to come. We have a team the university and community of Bemidji will be proud to come out and watch compete and will continue to be successful not only in the classroom but also on the playing field.”
Veenker is a 1993 graduate of Bemidji State University with a bachelor’s degree in sports studies and management with an emphasis in sports business and management and a minor in business administration. In 2001, Veenker earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education, also from BSU.
Veenker takes the reigns of the BSU program from Sis Paulsen who moved into a full time assistant women’s hockey coaching position at BSU. Paulsen was the head softball coach for one season. She led the Beavers to a 16-22 record, which is the best record the team has garnered since they were Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference co-champions in 1999.