Kevin Kean begins his seventh season as Bemidji State head coach for the cross country and track & field programs in 2021-22. Since being named head coach on June 23, 2015, Kean has revitalized the programs and brought the Beavers to prominence within the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and NCAA Division II.
Bemidji State returned to the national spotlight during its indoor and outdoor seasons as Zoe Carrasco participated in the shot put at both NCAA Division II Track & Field National Championship meets. Carrasco earned fourth in the shot put during the indoor championships before becoming the program's first outdoor All-American since Kristi Buerkle in 2011. Carrasco earned a spot at the 2021 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships after winning the NSIC Outdoor title in the shot put with a program record throw of 51-0.00, which was also the program's first NSIC individual title since Buerkle in 2011. The Beavers took eighth at the NSIC Outdoor Championships, just the second time finishing among the top 10 at the conference meet since 2012. Newcomer mid-distance runner Maryse Mbenoun highlighted the indoor track season with the NSIC title in the 600m run with a program-record time of 1:35.37. Mbenoun's title was the first for the program since Buerkle in 2011. BSU finished sixth at the NSIC Indoor Track & Field Championships, its highest finish at the conference meet since taking fourth in 2008. The Beavers ranked among the top 30 in four events and the top 50 in seven events (eight qualifiers) between the indoor and outdoor seasons. Carrasco and junior mid-distance runner Ryne Prigge each earned USTFCCCA All-Academic as both finished with a GPA above 3.25 and both provisionally qualified nationally in their respective events. The program saw four indoor records and seven outdoor records fall during the 2020-21 seasons. The Beavers placed five cross country, 13 indoor and 14 outdoor student-athletes on NSIC All-Academic Teams, including 18 named to the All-Academic Team of Excellence.
Kean helped bring Bemidji State to the national level with his second NCAA Division II Indoor National Championship participant in sophomore thrower Zoe Christensen. Her run at the indoor championships was cut short, though, as the event and the 2020 outdoor season were canceled due to COVID-19. Christensen earned the program's first indoor All-American honor since 2011 and just the third since 2002, while also earning USTFCCCA All-Region, after qualifying for the national event in the shot put. BSU ranked among the top 30 in the nation in three events and the top 40 in four events. During the 2019-20 indoor season, seven records were broken while 43 top-10 marks were set. Kean helped BSU earn 12 2019-20 Winter NSIC All-Academic Team selections, including 10 on the All-Academic Team of Excellence, and 14 2020 Spring NSIC All-Academic Team selections, including 12 on the All-Academic Team of Excellence.
Kean guided BSU to a seventh-place finish at the 2019 NSIC Outdoor Championships, its best finish at the meet since the 2008 season. At that meet, he led Christa Benson to an All-NSIC finish as she took second with a program-record 4,689 score in the heptathlon. Benson, sophomore sprinter Venice Stewart, and freshman thrower Zoe Christensen each finished within the top 30 of their respective events among all NCAA Division II performers through the outdoor season. The Beavers set a total of 10 indoor and seven outdoor program records during the 2018-19 seasons. Kean’s squad also excelled in the classroom through the 2017-18 season while being named to the 2018 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team with a 3.18 GPA.
During the indoor season, Kean sent BSU's first student-athlete to the NCAA Division II National Championships since 2011 as Stewart competed in the 200m dash. She qualified for the national spotlight with a program-record time of 24.79 and a third-place finish in the 200m dash at the 2018-19 NSIC Indoor Championships. Benson also earned All-NSIC honors at the meet with a second-place finish in the pentathlon, coming up one point shy of the BSU record with a score of 3,516. The duo became BSU's first all-conference student-athletes since 2013 and also finished within the top 21 of their respective events among all NCAA Division II performers through the indoor season.
The cross country team saw its best individual finish at the 2018 NCAA Division II Central Regional Championship since Kean’s first season with the program as freshman Ryne Prigge took 103rd. Prigge also finished within the top 40 at the NSIC Cross Country Championship, Kean’s third student-athlete to do so. The cross country program has also shown excellence in the classroom while earning three USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors.
Since Kean has taken over, Bemidji State has set 18 indoor, 13 outdoor and three cross country program records. He has also overseen 126 selections to NSIC All-Academic Teams.
Prior to joining Bemidji State, Kean spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Northern Michigan University. At NMU he was responsible for an overhaul of the Wildcats’ Olympic weightlifting programs, helped create and implement the training programs for multi-event athletes, sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers, provided oversight of the team’s stretching and pre-habilitation regiments and provided the team with nutritional education. In addition, he served as a member of the NMU faculty in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012.
As a collegiate assistant coach, Kean worked with 50 Division II national championship qualifiers, 15 All-Americans, 16 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions and multiple GLIAC record-holders, while his teams have finished among the nation’s best, most recently placing sixth at the 2015 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Kean also spent two summers as a volunteer assistant coach and nutrition leader at The John Godina Throwing Camp and served as a volunteer at the Roger Kingdom and Friends Track and Field Camp.
Kean carries multiple USA Track and Field and USTFCCCA certifications.
A 2009 graduate of Northern Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in health education and physical education, Kean also earned a master’s degree from NMU in exercise science.
COLLEGE COACHING PROFILE
2015-16 Bemidji State Indoor 14th; Outdoor 14th
2016-17 Bemidji State Outdoor 12th
2017-18 Bemidji State Indoor 13th; Outdoor 13th
2018-19 Bemidji State Indoor 11th; Outdoor 7th
2019-20 Bemidji State Indoor 11th; Outdoor N/A
2020-21 Bemidji State Indoor 6th; Outdoor 8th
ALL-CONFERENCE STUDENT-ATHLETES UNDER KEVIN KEAN
200m Dash - Venice Stewart - 2019
Pentathlon - Christa Benson - 2019
Shot Put - Zoe Christensen - 2020 & 2021
600m Run - Maryse Mbenoun - 2021
Heptathlon – Christa Benson – 2019
400m Hurdles - Christa Benson - 2019
Shot Put - Zoe Carrasco - 2021
BEMIDJI STATE PROGRAM RECORDS SET UNDER KEVIN KEAN
60m Dash – Venice Stewart, 7.60 - 2020
200m Dash – Venice Stewart, 24.79 – 2019
200m Dash (300m Oversized Track) – Venice Stewart, 24.65 – 2019
300m Dash – Venice Stewart, 40.20 – 2019
600m Run - Maryse Mbenoun, 1:35.37 - 2021
800m Run - Ryne Prigge, 2:15.31 - 2021
800m Run (300m Oversized Track) – Ryne Prigge, 2:16.77 – 2019
1000m Run – Ryne Prigge, 2:57.53 - 2021
One-Mile Run (300m Oversized Track) – Kristen Petron, 5:16.93 - 2020
One-Mile Run – Ryne Prigge, 5:19.27 - 2019
60m Hurdles - Faith Beck, 8.94 - 2020
200m Hurdles – Christa Benson, 29.11 – 2019
Triple Jump – Analise Fabre, 37-00.50 - 2021
Weight Throw - Zoe Christensen, 58-5.50 - 2020
Pentathlon – Emeline Sevila, 3,517 – 2016
Sprint Medley Relay - Melom, Kealy, Rapp, Savila, 4:45.24 - 2016
4x400m Relay (300m Oversized Track) – Benson, Kjelland, Barker, Stewart, 3:58.30 – 2019
4x1600m Relay – Herdering, Storms, Prigge, Petron, 23:20.30 – 2019
100m Dash – Venice Stewart, 11.88 – 2019
200m Dash – Venice Stewart, 24.19 – 2019
800m Run - Ryne Prigge, 2:14.68 - 2021
1,500m Run - Ryne Prigge, 4:44.50 - 2021
400m Hurdles – Christa Benson, 1:01.97 – 2019
Steeplechase - Mary Goodwin, 11:44.82 - 2021
Triple Jump – Kylie Monson, 37-9.25 – 2019
Hammer Throw – Zoe Carrasco, 181-4.50 - 2021
Shot Put - Zoe Carrasco, 51-0.00 - 2021
Heptathlon – Christa Benson, 4,689 – 2019
4x100m Relay – Bond, Barker, Stewart, Kjelland, 46.86 – 2019
4x400m Relay - Cole, Prigge, Tucker, Mbenoun, 3:52.60 - 2021
Sprint Medley Relay - Cole, Hall, Mbenoun, Prigge, 4:08.46 - 2021