Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dill takes reins of Bemidji State Athletics

The Bemidji State University Department of Athletics is under new leadership. April 25, President Dr. Richard A. Hanson announced Tracy Dill as the University’s director of intercollegiate athletics and a new face has been roaming the campus and community this week.

After 27 years at St. Cloud State University, where he served as associate athletic director since 1999, Dill stepped into his new role and new surroundings June 3. Dill said that since the announcement he has felt the embrace of Beaver Nation, making his transition easier.

“I’ve received numerous phone calls, email messages and texts congratulating me, which has been very much appreciated,” said Dill. “One of my last duties at St. Cloud State was to direct the NSIC baseball tournament. It was great to see the Beavers make such a solid run. It also provided me the opportunity to interact with Bemidji State players, coaches, staff, family members and BSU supporters that came out.” He added, “I can tell already, people are very excited to be a part of Beaver athletics.”

During his first two days in the office, Dill has been busy to say the least. Whether it is getting his staff ID photo taken, meeting faculty/staff or figuring out which key operates which door on campus, Dill is clearing one hurdle at a time.

“It’s exactly what I thought I’d feel like after the first couple days,” smiled Dill. “I’m a little bit overwhelmed. I know there is a lot to do, but I take it one day at a time.” Dill added, “It’s an old adage, but in sports, I think it is true. I know that everyday will be a learning experience.”

When asked how he is approaching his first few days as the Bemidji State AD, it was obvious where his top priority lies—building relationships.

“As I said when I was in the process of being hired, developing relationships is critical of the success of any organization and I still believe that.” Dill added, “I am actually tying to get out and meet as many people as I can. I really enjoy that part of [the job]. The first few days that is what I have been focusing on. I went to the Rotary meeting yesterday and met quite a few people there. I want to continue to do that, I just need to get my calendar organized to allow me to get out and do the things I need to do to move the program forward.”

A graduate of William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Dill has more than three decades of experience in collegiate athletics. He began his professional career in 1981 as an admissions counselor and assistant football coach at his alma mater. During that time he assisted in the coordination of student and student-athlete recruiting in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. In 1985, Dill’s duties shifted as he was he was hired to take over the Statesmen track and field teams and was named intramural director in addition to coaching linebackers as assistant football coach.

In 1988, Dill left William Penn to take a position as assistant coach with the St. Cloud State football program. He remained involved in the recruiting process and added game-plan preparation and play selection to his duties coaching defensive backs, quarterbacks and running backs.

Dill’s roots in track and field led him to the role of head coach of the Husky men’s track and field team beginning in 1988. He assumed control of all aspects of the track and field program while retaining his role as assistant football coach during the fall. 

In 1995, Dill was promoted to assistant athletic director and remained head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field teams. His move into administration thrust him into budget management, scheduling, game management, fund raising and promotions. He served as the advisor to St. Cloud State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and provided oversight to the Husky Booster Clubs. In addition, he was also involved in the development of strategies for compliance with Title IX and the implementation of department drug and alcohol policies.

In 1999, Dill left coaching and moved full time into administration. In his role as associate athletic director at St. Cloud State, he was responsible for sponsorships and marketing efforts for the Huskies’ 23-program athletics department, as well as television radio and web-streaming rights and ticket sales. He continued to oversee all aspects of game management and was appointed to work with an external team to enhance student participation and attendance at home athletics events. He also took an active role in the development of the department’s strategic plan. Dill’s position supervised assistant athletic directors and the Huskies’ strength and conditioning program.

During his coaching tenure at St. Cloud State, Dill mentored 37 NCAA Division II track and field All-Americans, which included two individual national champions. In football, he helped develop 36 All-North Central Conference selections, and his running backs helped the Huskies lead the conference in rushing four times.

In addition to an English degree from William Penn, Dill holds a master’s degree in athletic administration from St. Cloud State.

Dill and his wife, Kristy, have two grown sons. Trey lives in Hermantown, Minn., with his wife Holly and is the defensive line coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and Tye is a resident of Minneapolis.

“My wife and I are extremely excited about Bemidji State and the opportunity for me to be its next athletic director,” Dill said. “We are excited to get to know the community, the campus and the Bemidji area.”

“I think there are good things happening at BSU, and a there is great opportunity to build upon what is already in place to continue to move the programs forward.”

Dill takes over for Dr. Rick Goeb, who was named the University’s first full-time director of athletics in 2001.

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