Northern State University Director of Athletics Josh Moon has announced that Kevin Bjerke has been named as the head track and field coach for the Wolves. Bjerke, who has served as the head cross country coach for the past four years, will also continue to oversee the men’s and women’s cross country programs.
Bjerke takes over for Jim Fuller, who accepted an associate head coach position with administrative duties at Central College in Pella, Iowa after 24 seasons with Northern State.
“Kevin has done an outstanding job at Northern over the past four years and we are very excited that he will be leading our track and field and cross country programs,” said Moon. “He has demonstrated a very strong ability to recruit quality student-athletes to Northern and has helped foster the academic and athletic success of countless Wolves student-athletes over the past four years. Kevin and his staff will do an excellent job in building on the strong foundation left by Jim and Brenda Fuller.”
"I would like to thank President Smith and Josh Moon for giving me the opportunity to lead Northern track and field and cross country,” said Bjerke. “I am very excited for the future of this program and I'm looking forward to continuing to build on the strong tradition of Northern track and field/cross country.”
In addition to his cross country duties the past four seasons, Bjerke has served as an assistant coach with the track and field program and has been the program’s recruiting director in that time. During his tenure, he has coached runners to 12 All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference awards.
The NSU men’s cross country team also earned a pair of USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Awards, including the 2009 season when the Wolves turned in the top team GPA in the Division II nation. The women’s program also earned All-Academic status from the USTFCCCA all four years of his tenure.
A native of Fargo, N.D. and a 2006 graduate of South Dakota State, Bjerke helped lead the Jackrabbits to three North Central Conference championships in cross country and a fourth place finish at the national championships.
Following graduation, he stayed on with the Jackrabbit cross country and track and field programs as a graduate assistant coach. With his assistance, the SDSU women’s cross country team was one point away from winning the Summit League Championship in 2007 and won an independent national title in 2006 in the program’s first transition year to the NCAA Division I ranks.
Bjerke graduated with his master’s degree in sport science from SDSU in 2008.
“With the NSIC seeing its second expansion in just five years, the league has become stronger than ever,” said Bjerke. “I am confident that with the great new coaching staff coming in coupled with our outstanding facilities, we will continue to be a strong force in track and field in the NSIC and continue our consistent representation at the national level. In my four short years of coaching in this program, one thing that sticks out to me is the sense of family we have, not only on this team, but across the athletic department and campus as a whole. That atmosphere combined with the types of student-athletes we have make me incredibly excited for the upcoming year and seasons to come.”
Courtesy: Jacque Scoby, NSU