Chelsea DeVille was hired as the 10th head coach in the history of the Bemidji State women's basketball program on June 5, 2015, and begins her sixth season in 2020-21.
DeVille was awarded NSIC North Division Coach of the Year in 2020-21 after leading the Beavers to a 10-6 record overall and 8-4 mark in conference play. BSU advanced to the NSIC Tournament Quarterfinals for the second time in the last three seasons, taking a 71-70 win over Concordia University-St. Paul Feb. 26 in Sioux Falls, S.D., and made the NSIC Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2004. DeVille guided BSU to its first winning season, overall and in conference play, for the first time since 1995-96. Even in a shortened season, DeVille led BSU to its most conference victories since the 2007-08 season, including a seven-game winning streak for its longest such streak in a season since 1987-88. BSU began its winning streak with an 82-76 overtime win over Minnesota State University, Mankato, snapping an 11-game losing streak to the Mavericks, and followed with a sweep over Minnesota State University Moorhead, snapping a 17-game losing streak to the Dragons along with its first sweep of MSUM since the 2003-04 season. Sophomore center Rachael Heittola was selected to the All-NSIC First Team and senior guard Brooklyn Bachmann was named to the All-NSIC Second Team to become the first BSU duo named all-conference since the 2013-14 season. Bemidji State featured 12 selections to the NSIC All-Academic Team, its most all-academic team members in program history.
Following the 2019-20 season, Bemidji State earned its most conference victories since 2012-13 as DeVille led the team to a 6-16 mark in NSIC play. The Beavers' nine wins also marked the most for the program since the 2013-14 season. One of BSU's marquee victories of the season came Dec. 14, 2019 as the Beavers took a commanding 74-57 win over NSIC South powerhouse Augustana in Bemidji, Minn. The win was the first for DeVille against her alma mater. BSU closed the regular season with two wins over the final three games and pushed NCAA Tournament qualifier University of Minnesota Duluth to three overtimes. Sophomore guard Trinity Myer and freshman center Rachael Heittola each earned a spot on the all-conference team, doubling BSU's selections to the squad since DeVille took over the program. Myer was selected to the All-NSIC Second Team while Heittola was named to the NSIC All-Freshman Team. The Beavers set a new program record with eight selections to the 2019-20 Winter NSIC All-Academic Team, including six selections to the NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence.
DeVille guided the women's basketball program to the second round of the NSIC Tournament for the first time since the 2003-04 season with its biggest upset in program history over No. 1 seed Concordia-St. Paul, 73-70, on the road. Sophomore center Taylor Bray finished the season 11th in the NSIC in free throw percentage while sophomore Brooklyn Bachmann also ranked 11th in steals per game. Freshman guard Trinity Myer paced BSU and ranked 21st in the NSIC with 2.4 assists per game. Five Beaver student-athletes were selected to the 2018-19 Winter NSIC All-Academic Team, the second-most for the program under DeVille.
In 2017-18, freshman Brooklyn Bachmann became the first Beaver under DeVille to earn a spot on the NSIC All-Freshman Team. Bachmann led the team and all NSIC freshmen with 12.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Three Beavers also earned a spot on the 2017-18 Winter NSIC All-Academic Team, including senior Sierra Senske, junior Haley Zerr and sophomore McKayla Scheuer. Senske finished her career under DeVille as the program's eighth-leading scoring all-time and holds the program record in free throw attempts and free throw conversions.
DeVille saw seniors Aimee Pelzer and Tatum Sheley, and junior Sierra Senske all jump into the 1,000-point club during her second season with the Beavers. DeVille guided Pelzer to the All-NSIC First Team, the first such instance for BSU since 2008, while also helping the squad to its most conference wins since the 2013-14 season. BSU shot over 40 percent from the field for the first time since the 2009-10 season and tallied the most assists since 2007-08. Seven student-athletes were selected to the 2016-17 Winter Academic All-NSIC Team.
In her first season as head coach, the Beavers finished with a 7-20 overall record and a 3-19 conference record. The team finished the season with a 7-8 record at home in the Bemidji State Gymnasium. DeVille's offense boasted the third-highest three-point percentage in the conference when they shot .345 from behind the arc. One of the main contributors was junior guard Aimee Pelzer who averaged 2.3 three-pointers per game and shot .399 from three. The women's basketball team had four players named to the 2015-16 Winter NSIC All-Academic Team.
DeVille comes to Bemidji State after serving on the University of Sioux Falls women’s basketball coaching staff since 2009. Following a year as graduate assistant under head coach Travis Traphagen, she was promoted to assistant coach beginning with the 2010-11 season and served in that capacity until she was elevated to associate head coach following the 2013-14 campaign.
While at USF, DeVille helped the Cougars to an overall record of 111-64 during a transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. An NAIA powerhouse, USF posted a school-record 27 wins en route to a trip to the NAIA Elite Eight in 2010-11. Since making the transition to the NCAA, the Cougars have made two consecutive trips to the NSIC postseason tournament, which included a 17-10 mark in 2014-15. In addition to assisting in offensive game strategies and leading the Cougars’ defense and substitutions on game day, DeVille was the driving force behind USF’s recruiting efforts, she oversaw the team’s academic progress, was responsible for scouting the opposition, film breakdown, travel and the university’s youth basketball camps.
In addition to her work with the women’s basketball program, DeVille was active on the university’s NCAA compliance review committee, was a member of USF’s education department selection committee, served as an instructor and was a leader for the Cougar’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle.
A 2009 graduate of Augustana College, DeVille was a four-year starter and letter winner for the Vikings and earned North Central Conference Freshman of the Year laurels in 2006. DeVille earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from Augustana and a master’s degree in educational leadership from USF.
A native of Watertown, S.D., DeVille, was a Miss Basketball South Dakota finalist and two-time all-state selection as a prep.
By The Numbers
|As a Head Coach|
|2015-16||Bemidji State||7-20 (3-19)|
|2016-17||Bemidji State||7-20 (4-18)|
|2017-18||Bemidji State||4-23 (3-19)|
|2018-19||Bemidji State||6-22 (3-19)|
|2019-20||Bemidji State||9-18 (6-16)|
|2020-21||Bemidji State||10-6 (8-4)|
|Total||6 seasons||43-109 (27-95)|
|At Bemidji State||43-109 (27-95)|
DeVille Versus at BSU
* Updated 3/2/21
|Fort Hays State||0-1|
|North Dakota State (Exh.)||0-1|
|Southwest Minnesota State||1-4|
|St. Cloud State||3-10|
|Valley City State||2-2|
|Wayne State (Neb.)||1-5|