BEMIDJI, Minn. — Eight individuals, one coach, and five teams were inducted into the Bemidji State University Athletic Hall of Fame during Saturday, Oct. 18, ceremonies on campus.
Formed in 1978, the Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of Beaver athletes who excelled in competition while at Bemidji State and contributed to their chosen professions following graduation. It also honors Bemidji State coaches who compiled stellar records and accomplishments at the University. Team awards were added in 2004 for squads that won conference, state or national titles.
The individual inductees were Kevin Kish, Maple Grove, Minn.; John Kopari, Thief River Falls, Minn.; Jim Lawrence, Phoenix, Ariz.; Buzz Olson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; Joe Rezac, Baxter, Minn.; Kim Roysland, Fosston, Minn.; Mike Roysland, Fosston, Minn.; and Pete Saxe, Stacy, Minn. Dr. Pat Rosenbrock was the coach welcomed into the Hall while the teams recognized were the1957 football, 1959 football, 1972 wrestling, 1973 wrestling and 1976 wrestling squads.
The former athletes went on to careers in education, management, business, administration, and public works. Six were teachers and coaches at some time following graduation. Combined, they coached 276 teams to countless wins, conference championships, nine Minnesota state titles and two Manitoba provincial championships in cross country, track, baseball, football, volleyball, boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, swimming, wrestling, boys’ hockey or girls’ golf.
Rosenbrock was one of the first coaches for women’s athletics at Bemidji State, serving as the head coach for gymnastics, volleyball and women’s track and field during 20 years behind the bench.
The 2008 class brought the total number of members in the Bemidji State University Athletic Hall of Fame to 165 former athletes, 13 coaches and 13 teams.
2008 Bemidji State University Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
(name, current residence, year of graduation, major)
• Kevin C. Kish, Maple Grove, Minn., 1979, business administration and education
Kevin Kish was a four-year letter winner in wrestling for the Beavers in the mid-1970s and compiled a career record of 62-10. He captained the squad during both his junior and senior years, when he was the recipient of the Northern Intercollegiate Conference Outstanding Wrestler Award. A member of the 1976 league championship team, he won NAIA national titles in 1976 and 1978 and was twice named an NAIA All-America wrestler. After completing his eligibility at Bemidji State, Kish represented the United States on an NAIA wrestling team that toured Japan and Korea. An active member of his Anoka High School Wrestling Alumni Club, he is co-owner of Showcase Renovations, a remodeling and construction company.
• John B. Kopari, Thief River Falls, Minn., 1966, German
John Kopari lettered four times in football and three times in track while wearing a Beaver uniform. Twice an All-NIC pick in football, he was an All-NAIA selection his senior year. In track and field, he specialized in hurdles where he won two conference championships and set a school record in the high hurdle that stood for 30 years. Signed to try out as a defensive back with the NFL’s Houston Oilers, he ended up in Thief River Falls as a social studies and German teacher at Lincoln High School where he coached football and track. He also served as the boy’s swimming coach after starting that varsity program. Kopari left teaching in 1981 for a career in insurance, first as an agent and eventually as manager of the insurance agency at Northern State Bank in Thief River Falls.
• James E. Lawrence, Phoenix, Ariz., 1961, physical education
Jim Lawrence was a three-sport athlete for Bemidji State. In football, he earned four letters, was a team co-captain, and named to the All-Northern Intercollegiate Conference squad his senior year. He also was a four-time letter winner in basketball, where he was twice named to the all-conference team and served three seasons as captain. He competed three years in baseball, lettering in each. After graduation, he taught and coached in Minnesota schools for seven years before moving into educational administration for 17 years in Red Lake and with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Arizona. Lawrence then switched to a career in health care and hospital administration, serving both the Chippewa of Minnesota and the Hopi of Arizona. He is now retired.
• Bruce L. Olson, East Grand Forks, Minn., 1969, physical education
Bruce “Buzz” Olson lettered in hockey three times for the Beaver men’s team when that program was reinstated at Bemidji State in the late 1960s. He skated on the 1967 squad that won the state collegiate hockey tournament crown and was a member of the 1968 NAIA national championship squad – Bemidji State’s first of 13 national championship victories. After leaving Bemidji State, he began a tenure as a teacher and a coach at East Grand Forks High School that spanned 36 seasons in football, 27 years in boys’ track and field and 10 campaigns for boys’ hockey. A well-known hockey referee, he officiated more than 1,000 youth, high school and collegiate games and nine Minnesota and 14 North Dakota state tournaments. He retired from teaching and coaching in 2005.
• Joseph F. Rezac, Baxter, Minn., 1965 and 1975, physical education
Joe Rezac was a three-year letter winner in track and field, where he set school records in the 440-yard dash and was a member of the standard-setting 880-yard relay and mile relay teams. For the 1963 Beaver team that qualified for NAIA district tournament, he was a double event winner, capturing crowns in the mile relay and the individual 440. He then taught and coached in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he mentored 11 individual high school track and field champions and led one cross country squad and a boys’ basketball team to provincial championships. He moved to Brainerd in 1968, where he taught and coached three sports per year at the high school or junior high levels. He retired after 33 years in the Brainerd school system.
• Kimberly J. Roysland, Fosston, Minn., 1980, physical education and health
Kim Roysland was a three-year starter and squad co-captain her senior year for the Bemidji State volleyball team. During this time, she helped the Beavers win three consecutive Minn-Kota Conference championships and qualify for two AIAW Region 6 Tournaments. During her playing days, the Beavers logged over 30 wins in a season three times and posted a 26-2 record in conference play. After graduation, Roysland began teaching at Fosston High School, where she also coached volleyball for 25 years and golf for 23 years. In volleyball, she compiled a 495-179 record and led her team to nine state tournaments, where they claimed three titles. Her golfers also made nine trips to the state and won three championships.
• Michael J. Roysland, Fosston, Minn., 1980, elementary education and physical education
Mike Roysland was a three-year letter winner in basketball and served as a captain his senior year, when he was also named to the All-NIC team. He began a teaching and coaching career at Win-E-Mac High School in Macintosh, Minn., after graduation. He compiled a 364-51 record as the head volleyball coach at that school and guided teams to eight state tournaments and one state championship. Also the boys’ basketball coach, he recorded 360 wins against 237 losses and took one team to a second-place finish in the state tournament. In 2003, he served as co-coach for the North Tartan AAU girls’ basketball team that won the national championship. After a stint at Fosston High School, he was named the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.
• Stephen D. Saxe, Stacy, Minn., 1973, physical education and health
Pete Saxe compiled a 74-7 record over four seasons with the Bemidji State wrestling squad. During that time, he earned four letters, captained the team in his junior and senior years, won four Northern Intercollegiate Conference individual titles, was a member of two conference championship units, was a three-time NAIA All America selection and finished second three times in the NAIA national championship tournament. He remained active as a coach following graduation, first at Normandale Community College and later as an assistant coach at North Branch High School, where three of his wrestlers earned state tournament berths. For the past 19 years he has been employed in the public works department of the city of Arden Hills.
2008 Bemidji State University Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee
• Dr. Pat Rosenbrock, Bemidji, Minn.
Dr. Pat Rosenbrock began a coaching career in 1969 that spanned two decades in three sports. She began her tenure with the women’s gymnastics team, which she coached to six consecutive Minn-Kota Conference championships. She then guided the women’s track and field team to two state championships and three Minn-Kota Conference titles in 13 years. She also served as head volleyball coach for 12 seasons, compiling a 293-218 record and earning three Minn-Kota Conference crowns, one co-champion trophy in the Northern Sun Conference, two NAIA District 13 titles and one AIAW Region 6 championship. The director of women’s athletics from 1981 to 1986, Rosenbrock won numerous Coach of the Year awards, was inducted into the NSIC Hall of Fame and was named a Pioneer in Women’s Athletics at Bemidji State. After she left coaching and athletic administration, she continued teaching at Bemidji State and directed the women’s studies program until retiring in 2006.
2008 Bemidji State University Team Hall of Fame Inductees
1957 football team, Northern Intercollegiate Conference co-champions
Chet Anderson (head coach), Harry Fritz (assistant coach), Bob O’Rourke (manager), Paul Gravel (statistician), Clarence Blake, Ron Carlson, Sy Champa, Lyle Clark, Sheldon Elseth, Jim Enfield, Marlin Fillipi, Larry Golden, Jerry Green, Dale Hartje, Doyle Hartje, Russ Hatheway, Neil Hendrickson, Stan Hendrickson, Ken Henrikson, Don Hoffman, Homer Holland, Jack Jasperson, Ron Knox, Jim Lawrence, Dwaine Marten, Dick Miller, Bob Nelson, Gary Olson, Larry Ostry, Ron Phillips, Dennis “Tony” Price, Keith Price, Harold Ptacek, Wayne Rambol, Delroy Schmidt, George Semchuc, Don Varpness, Guy Vena, Cliff Woodford, John Wrolstad, Chuck Zielin.
1959 football team, Northern Intercollegiate Conference co-champions
Chet Anderson (head coach), Jack Vinje (assistant coach), Don Kemp (manager), Allen Muenzhuber (manager), Lyle Olson (manager), Noel Bailey, Bill Bateman, Francis Bennett, John Christie, Sheldon Clay, David Cliness, Doug Dahl, Dan DeCamp, Joel Dye, Jim Enfield, Marlin Fillipi, Doug Garvin, Jerry Green, Merrill Gustoff, Vern Hafer, Monte Hammitt, Roger Hammitt, Bill Hammond, Bill Hansen, Dale Hartje, Russ Hatheway, Tom Henderson, Don Hoffman, Al Johnson, Dale LaRoque, Adam Lavitt, Bill Lawrence, Jim Lawrence, Ron Long, Dick Miller, Don Mueller, Bob Nelson, Larry Ostry, Don Palm, Dennis “Tony” Price, Frank Price, Doug Ramstad, Al Schaff, Howard Schultz, George Semchuc, Louis Sturk, Al Toriseva, Don Varpness, Jon Weller, Cliff Woodford, Chuck Zielin.
1972 wrestling team, Northern Intercollegiate Conference champions
Chet Anderson (head coach), Steve Exline (assistant coach), Larry Grow (manager), Paul Benedict, Roger DeMarais, Bob Dettmer, Larry Harn, Marley Johnson, Lea Murphy, Pete Saxe, Jerry Utley, Bob Whelan, Jim Young.
1973 wrestling team, Northern Intercollegiate Conference champions
Chet Anderson (head coach), Bruce Garnett (assistant coach), Larry Grow (manager), Paul Benedict, Brad Dale, Roger DeMarais, Bob Dettmer, Larry Harn, Rick Lee, Roger Rowbotham, Murray Tiedemann, Brian Wayne, Bob Whelan.
1976 wrestling team, Northern Intercollegiate Conference champions
Chet Anderson (head coach), Chuck Eckert (assistant coach), Bob “Whitey” Anderson (manager), Ed Acosta, Dave Dimmel, Mike Doody, Bob Eckert, Paul Gronberg, John Grunzke, Wayne Hamilton, Corky Hanson, Kevin Kish, Tom Ritchie, Roger Rowbotham, Dave Schaffer, Dale Schmid, Steve Thompson, Jerry Utley.