Coach Brian Bedard is entering his eighth year as the Rams Head Coach, and his 25th season as a track coach for Colorado State University. During his coaching tenure, Colorado State track and field athletes have won many honors, including the history-making women's victory at the 2008 Mountain West Conference (MW) Outdoor Championships, the first ever outdoor title in school history. The Rams nearly repeated the effort in the 2012 MW Outdoor Championships leading the meet until the final event, taking second to TCU. In 2013 the men's team had a runner-up finish in both the indoor and outdoor MW championships. The 2013 women's squad struggled a bit indoors, but rebounded well for a third place finish at the outdoor championships.
Bedard has been on the Rams coaching staff since the fall of 1988 when he began his career as the throwing events coach. He was honored as the Mountain Region and NCAA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005. He has coached two Olympians, a two-time USA National discus champion, two NCAA Champions, 33 All-American performances, and 54 conference champions. All of Colorado State's school records in the throwing events have been set during Bedard's tenure. In 2005, Bedard was inducted into the Colorado State University Hall of Honor for his accomplishments as a coach. His most recent coaching honor came in the 2013 season winning the USTFCCCA Women's Midwest Region Head Coach of the year award.
The women's team placed third at the outdoor MW meet and the men were MW runner-up indoors and outdoors. CSU qualified 20 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary Meet in 2013 and most of those athletes return this year. Bedard feels, "With this year's signing class I'm extremely excited about what our teams can do this season. On paper it's one of the best signing classes we've put together, now the athletes need to come in and live up to those expectations."
The CSU track and cross country teams have a tradition of academic success under Bedard's leadership. Last season the Ram's earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors in men's and women's cross country and track and field.The women's track team had a 3.31 cumulative GPA and the men's team earned a 3.18 GPA to qualify for team selection.Bedard supports and strives for high academic standards with his teams and celebrates those academic achievements equally with athletic achievement.The teams also achieved 33 Academic All-Conference Awards in the 2013 season. Three women and four men were named to the USTFCCCA Outstanding Academic Achievement recognition for academic excellence.
Bedard's most recent season boasts three Mountain West champions and an All-American discus thrower.Highlights included MW champions Alec Pott 35-pound weight, Tyler Schultz outdoor shot, JT Van Veen in the discus.Jessica Sharbono finished her season as a second-team All-American discus thrower capping the Rams special season. The throwing squad had eight individuals qualify in multiple throwing events at the NCAA First Round meet.Freshman, Tyler Schultz competed in the Junior National meet placing third in the shot.
Coach Bedard's expertise extends well beyond the throwing events. For three seasons he coached the long jump and triple jump events at CSU and was also the heptathlon/decathlon coordinator for 10 seasons. He coached Liz Toman to a school record, conference championship, and NCAA qualifying mark in the high jump. In the multi-events Bedard coached conference champions in the decathlon, and CSU records in the heptathlon and women's triple jump.
One of Coach Bedard's most successful athletes is Casey Malone, a discus thrower he originally recruited from Colorado's Arvada West High School. Bedard and Malone have worked together for over fifteen years and in 2010 Casey won his second discus title at the USA Championships.In 2009 Casey also won the discus title earning a spot on the US team competing at the World Championships placing fifth. In 2008 Casey placed third at the Olympic Trials, securing a spot on the United States Olympic Team that competed in Beijing. Malone also made the U.S. Olympic Team in 2004 and placed sixth in the discus competition at the Athens Olympics. In 1996, when Malone was a freshman at Colorado State, Bedard coached him to a Junior National title and a Junior World Championship gold medal. In all during his collegiate career, Malone garnered four All-American certificates and an NCAA title in the discus. He currently owns the Colorado State University school record in the discus at 211 feet, 6 inches.
Another of Bedard's standout throwers is Loree Smith, the 2005 NCAA National Champion hammer thrower, who was also the runner-up in the indoor weight throw and a five-time All-American. Loree set the American collegiate record in the indoor weight throw with a mark of 74-3 during the 2005 indoor season. Loree also set an NCAA collegiate record in the hammer throw at the MW championships with a throw of 229-9 (70.02 meters). Smith earned a spot on the United States Olympic Team in 2008 and competed in the hammer throw in the Beijing Olympics.
Many other athletes have enjoyed tremendous success under Coach Bedard's guidance. He coached Shelly Borrman, a Fort Collins native and five-time All-American and 1999 NCAA discus runner-up, who still owns the Colorado State school record and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) record in the discus with a throw of 198-8. Another discus thrower, Liz Toman, placed second in the 2001 NCAA National Championships. Drew Loftin was the 2003 NCAA indoor runner-up in the weight throw and outdoor runner-up in the hammer. Loftin threw 71-1.5 in the weight throw and 232-0in the hammer while competing for the Rams. Bedard has been working with Drew Loftin after a five year lay-off from throwing and Loftin placed fifth in the hammer at the 2012 Olympic Trials, and fourth at the 2013 USA Championships.
Coach Bedard has shared his coaching expertise as a featured speaker at numerous conferences and clinics across the country. He has also developed two instructional DVD's on discus throwing technique, which are available through Championship Books and Videos. Before he began his coaching career, Bedard was a student-athlete in track and field at Colorado State University from 1983-88. He finished as the Western Athletic Conference runner-up in the discus and placed eighth in the shot put.
Bedard is married to Jill Bedard (formerly Johnson) a Colorado State University Hall of Fame inductee and volleyball standout for from 1987-90. They have two daughters, 17-year-old Kelcey and 15-year-old Baylee.
"Our staff is working hard to recruit athletes that can score in more than one event area, have outstanding character and exceptional work ethic.The coaching staff is looking for the best athletes in the region that fit our program's philosophy. In the 2013 season we started off slow and didn't perform up to expectations in the indoor championships on the women's side. The staff was patient and stayed positive with the squad and they just got better and better as the season wore on.By the time we got to the outdoor conference meet our athletes were ready to compete and make a jump in performance.The men's squad competed well all season and should be a force in the MWC in 2014.
"The staff is very excited to help this team grow and learn and get better while teaching a process oriented approach to training.I am excited to see this talented group of freshman begin their careers at Colorado State University.With this recruiting class and the number of athletes that qualified for the Junior Nationals and NCAA West meet, itgives us a really good indication of the potential of this group. Our staff believes we can challenge for the MWC title this season."