BEDORTHA ACCEPTS COACHING POSITION AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
FSU Women's and Men's Golf Head Coach To Direct UNA Women's Golf Program
Brad Bedortha, arguably one of the most successful head coaches in the history of Ferris State University Athletics, has accepted the head coaching position of the women's golf program at NCAA Division I Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.
"I want to thank Brad for all his contributions over the last eight-plus years in directing both our women's and men's golf programs at Ferris State University," said FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic. "Under his direction, the women's golf team in particular has reached remarkable heights and is regarded as one of the top programs at the NCAA Division II level. We wish Brad well and I'm confident he will do an outstanding job at Northern Arizona as he did here.
"We now have the challenging task of finding a new head coach who can continue the success at the conference, regional, and national levels which Brad established," added Kirinovic.
Bedortha, the 2005 National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) Division II Women's Golf Coach of the Year, was in his ninth year during the 2007-08 season as head coach of both the men's and women's golf programs at Ferris State. Under his guidance, the Ferris State women's golf team experienced unparalled success in the program's history as Bedortha directed the Bulldogs four consecutive (2004-07) top four NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament finishes. The most recent occurring last May (9-12) as FSU turned in a third-place showing at the eighth annual NCAA-II Women's Golf Championships after winning their second NCAA-II East Regional title in the last four years.
Ferris State's 2006-07 season success followed on the heels of the greatest season in the program's history as Bedortha coached the 2005-06 team to a runner-up finish at the 2006 NCAA-II Women's Golf Championships as the Bulldogs ended up six strokes behind the national champion. Nevertheless, the second-place performance on the national stage not only marked the highest placing ever in FSU women's golf history but was the best finish in the history of women's athletics at Ferris State.
A co-recipient of the 2005 NGCA's Division II East Regional Coach of the Year Award, Bedortha helped the 2000-01 squad claim fifth place at the 2001 NCAA Championships in just his second season at Ferris State, which represented the program's first national tournament appearance since 1994. Then following after a two-year absence, he mentored the 2003-04 NCAA-II East Regional champions in producing an impressive second-place tying effort at the 2004 NCAA-II Women's Golf Championships. At the time, the runner-up tying finish was the highest-ever in the school's women's athletics program. Ferris would return to the national tournament the following year and place fourth in the 2005 event.
Bedortha was a three-time (2000-01, 2002-03 and 2005-06) GLIAC Coach of the Year honoree and received 2000-01 co-National Golf Coaches Assocation NCAA Division II East Region Coach of the Year accolades. In the 2002-03 season, Bedortha was the recipient of the NGCA's East Region Coach of the Year Award.
A native of Springfield, Ore., Bedortha coached four women's golf student-athletes to All-America honors nine times.
In men's golf, Bedortha directed the 2006-07 squad to a 17th-place finish at the 45th annual NCAA-II Men's Golf Championships last May 22-25, which marked the program's 12th NCAA-II Championship appearance and the fourth under Bedortha's tutelage. The Bulldogs qualified for the national tournament after capturing top team honors at the 2007 NCAA-II Great Lakes Super Regional (May 7-9) in Joplin, Mo. The first-place regional tourney title represented the program's third during Bedortha's tenure. He guided Ferris to a 15th-place showing in the 2003 NCAA-II Championships after garnering 13th in the 2002 national tournament. During his first year at the helm (1999-00), the Bulldogs finished in an eighth-place tie at the 2000 NCAA-II Championships.
"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to coach at Ferris State and it's been a wonderful experience for me," said Bedortha. "I've spent about one-third of my life at this university as a player and then a coach, so it's difficult going through this process. However, I'm really excited about the challenges which lie ahead for me and this is a great opportunity to further my coaching career and direct a NCAA Division I program."
A 1990 graduate of Ferris State's Professional Golf Management program, Bedortha returned to his alma mater in March 2000 after serving as the assistant golf professional at the Bend Golf and Country Club in Bend, Oregon. He was an all-conference golfer as an undergraduate at Ferris and helped the Bulldogs win league titles in 1988 and 1989 under coach Ron English. A three-year FSU letterwinner, Bedortha recorded a career 79.9 stroke average and posted a personal career-best 78.0 average for the 1988 season.
The son of Keith and Mary Bedortha of Springfield, Ore., Bedortha is a 1983 graduate of Thurston High School in Springfield. He received Most Valuable Player honors in golf and garnered second-team all-conference along with outstanding lineman recognition in football.
As a result of Bedortha's departure, Mike Mignano will serve as the interim men's and women's golf head coach for the 2008 spring season and a national search will be conducted following the conclusion of both team's spring campaign.