Bagaason steps away from women's golf and basketball programs
Friday, September 4, 2015
Bagaason steps away from women's golf and basketball programs

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University head women’s golf and assistant women’s basketball coach Mark Bagaason has announced his resignation. With a 25-year career in education, Bagaason will return to his professional roots as a teacher and coach.

"Leaving Bemidji State University is one of the hardest things I have done in my professional career," said Bagaason. "The people make this such a special place. Over the last four years, I have had the opportunity to meet life-long friends and I'm thankful for that."

"Leaving the women's golfers and the women's basketball players is very difficult, but I know they are in great hands moving forward."

“I’d like to thank Mark for his time and dedication to the Bemidji State women’s golf and basketball programs,” said Director of Athletics Tracy Dill. “He has provided stability, leadership and skill development to both programs since arriving at BSU.”

“We wish him all the best as he pursues his life’s passion in education.”

Bagasson joined the BSU staff in August of 2011. His golf team finished as high as eighth place at the NSIC Championship in 2011-12, with Olivia Knutson tying for 13th, individually, in 2013-14. Under Bagasson’s leadership 13 student-athletes have earned a spot on the NSIC All-Academic Team. In addition, Bagaason laid the foundation for the BSU Invitational, a women’s golf tournament hosted by BSU at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. The event is now in its fifth year.

Bagaason was also an assistant on Mike Curfman’s women’s basketball team, where 19 students-athletes were named to the NSIC All-Academic Team and five earned all-conference accolades, including 2014-15 NSIC Freshman of the Year Sierra Senske.

Current members of the women's basketball and women's golf coaching staffs will take over Bagaason's roles. Assistant Women's Basketball Coach Sam Sikkink will assume Bagaason's duties for the squad while Assistant Women's Golf Coach Eric Carlson will do the same for the women's golf program.

Sikkink, in her first season with Bemidji State, came from Dakota Wesleyan University where she spent two seasons as the top assistant for its women's basketball program. She also coached one season as a graduate assistant with the University of Sioux Falls women's baskebtall program. Sikkink spent her playing career with Rochester Technical and Community College, where she led the team to a 2009 NJCAA DIII National Championship, before transferring to University of Missouri - Kansas City.

Carlson began his coaching career with Bemidji State as a volunteer assistant for the men's golf team in 2010-11 before joining the women's team in the same capacity in 2014-15. He was a part of the Bemidji State men's golf program that won NSIC Championships in 1999 and 2000. Carlson was also selected to the 1999 and 2001 All-NSIC Team.

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