Bemidji State Athletics

History in the Pines emblem white v2

Go, Bemidji Beavers!

From the earliest of squads to the mightiest of champions, Bemidji State Athletics has a proud history of success, dedication and sportsmanship. Dive into the history of the green and white and all the athletes who have repped our colors with honor.

Men's hockey team national champs (1997)

national champions

The undisputed best of the best: Bemidji State's national championship teams and individuals.

NSIC champs (2023)

trophy case

Browse the trophies claimed by Bemidji State Athletics, from the college's early years to today.

Gunner Olszewski 2017 horizontal

professional beavers

Bemidji State's best of the best: Those who have reached the ultimate top in their arenas.

Explore by program

Baseball

Men's basketball

Women's basketball

Women's cross country

Football

Men's golf

Women's golf

Men's hockey

Women's hockey

Women's soccer

Softball

Women's tennis

Women's track and field

Volleyball

Baseball

Men's basketball

Women's basketball

Women's cross country

Football

Men's golf

Women's golf

Men's hockey

Women's hockey

Women's soccer

Softball

Women's tennis

Women's track and field

Volleyball

The dawn of the Beavers

Bemidji State Athletics dates back to 1921, and it received a true identity in 1932.

President Manfred Deputy was observing football practice one day and, inspired by the team’s effort, remarked that the players were “working hard as beavers.” He called the team into a huddle and, raising his hands above their heads, declared, “I christen this team the Beavers!”

Thousands of student-athletes have repped the green and white ever since. And they have one student to thank for that.

Our time-honored colors were selected during a school assembly in February 1920. After a vote on the colors resulted in a tie, a freshman named Cyrillus Freeman rose from her seat and made a declaration that was accepted unanimously.

“As we sat here discussing this question, I happened to glance out the window,” she said. “The sight that met my eyes was fresh, green pines silhouetted against pure white snow. What could be more appropriate than green and white?”

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women's athletics

From the days before Title IX to the national success ever since, the Beavers have long been trailblazers in their fields.

Pete Fenson, skip for Team Fenson, shouts out to teammates during the Olympic Trials for Curling in 2013 at Scheels Arena in Fargo. (Courtesy / Forum News Service)

olympians

With a mix of Beaver and national pride, these athletes competed for their countries.

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athletics hall of fame

These Beavers have donned the green and white with pride, bringing acclaim to Bemidji State through their accomplishments.

Explore legacy programs

Men's cross country

1957 – 1991
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Men's cross country skiing

1986 – 1992
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Women's cross country skiing

1986 – 1992
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Women's field hockey

1969 – 1985
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Men's gymnastics

1960 – u/a
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Women's gymnastics

1972 – 1979
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Men's swimming and diving

1964 – 1991
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Women's swimming and diving

1967 – 1981
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Men's tennis

1928 – 1980
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Men's track and field

1924 – 2011
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Wrestling

1954 – 1983
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Men's cross country

1957 – 1991
Team page coming soon

Men's cross country skiing

1986 – 1992
Team page coming soon

Women's cross country skiing

1986 – 1992
Team page coming soon

Women's field hockey

1969 – 1985
Team page coming soon

Men's gymnastics

1960 – u/a
Team page coming soon

Women's gymnastics

1972 – 1979
Team page coming soon

Men's swimming and diving

1964 – 1991
Team page coming soon

Women's swimming and diving

1967 – 1981
Team page coming soon

Men's tennis

1928 – 1980
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Men's track and field

1924 – 2011
Team page coming soon

Wrestling

1954 – 1983
Team page coming soon

A lasting impact in green and white

Not much in Bemidji predates Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. But Bemidji State Athletics can claim seniority.

Of the 25 intercollegiate sports BSU has ever assembled, none came sooner than men's basketball in 1921. Programs popped up all over Bemidji State Teachers College for the next dozen years, starting with men’s track and field in 1924 and football in 1926. Men’s tennis was the final program born in the 1920s, while baseball followed in 1933.

The first women’s sport to enter the fold was basketball in 1967, while many others formed well before the security or assurances of Title IX.

Eleven of the university’s sports are now defunct, some lasting as long as men’s track (88 seasons) or as little as men’s and women’s cross country skiing (six seasons). But because of the athletes who passionately competed during those windows of opportunity, those program legacies live on.