Brian Bedard enters his 14th year as the Rams' head coach and his 32nd season with the track & field program at Colorado State University in 2019-20. His first year acting as the head coach was the 2006-07 season.
Bedard has guided the Rams to one of the most successful stretches in program history, with particular success over recent seasons. The Rams made CSU history in the 2018-19 season, winning the Mountain West Conference indoor and outdoor track titles with both genders. Bedard said te women's squad was the most talented in CSU history, while the men's squad had outstanding leadership and competed extremely well. "The men maxed out their talent!" Bedard achieved individual accolades by winning indoor MWC Coach of the Year honors, and USTFCCCA Mountain Region Head Coach of the Year honors. In the outdoor season, Bedard also won 2019 MWC Coach of the Year honors and USTFCCCA Mountain Region Coach of the Year honors for women's outdoor track.
In the 2017-18 season, Colorado State's men's team placed 16th at the NCAA indoor championships for its second-best final ranking behind only the 2016-17 team. Hassan repeated as NCAA champion in the shot put at that meet, posting a mark of 68-5.25 (20.86m) to become the second two-time NCAA champion in the history of CSU Athletics (Bryant Berryhil - 2001 Indoor Champion in mile, 2001 outdoor champion in 1,500 meters). Hassan placed third at the outdoor meet to earn his sixth First-Team All-America honor, the most of any male thrower in program history. He was one of two throwers to earn All-America recognition last season, along with Kelcey Bedard (women's hammer throw).
The CSU men began the 2017-18 outdoor season ranked No. 6, its highest position on the men’s or women’s sides in indoor or outdoor track & field in program history. The Rams reached peak national rankings of No. 8 during the indoor season and No. 11 during the outdoor season during the 2017-18 year, each previously the highest rankings the Rams have ever received from the USTFCCCA. The Rams’ performances in track & field - combined with the cross country program’s national finish of 17th in 2016 – resulted in a No. 8 ranking for the Rams in the USTFCCCA’s final 2016-17 Program of the Year Standings. The Rams finished in the top 10 in those same rankings the next year, placing ninth in the 2017-18 edition of the USTFCCCA’s Program of the Year list.
The 2016-17 indoor season saw a 12th-place finish on the men’s side, marking the program’s highest-ever indoor national finish. The highlight of the NCAA Indoor Championships was the performance of shot putter Mostafa Hassan, who threw the shot 69-9.5 (21.27m) to win the Rams’ first national title in any sport since 2005 (Loree Smith – Hammer). Bedard went on to mentor Hassan at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
Bedard also emphasizes academics as a priority for his student-athletes, and in 2016-17, four Rams – Jefferson Abbey, Hassan, Alex Hess and Jerrell Mock – were named CoSIDA Academic All-America. Those four accolades were the most of any track & field program in the nation that year, and were the first for CSU in any sport since 2012. Mock repeated as an Academic All-American for 2017-18, and Hassan was named the 2018 USTFCCCA Indoor Men’s Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the first in program history. The recipient of the USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award must be a national champion in an individual event and have the highest cumulative GPA of all national champions.
Among the other accomplishments of the 2017 squads were 10 All-Americans combining for a total of 17 All-America honors, the most in a single year in program history. The Rams sent 27 student-athletes to the 2017 NCAA West Preliminary – also a program-high – and had a combined 41 All-Mountain West performers (25 outdoor, 16 indoor).
Colorado State has won six Mountain West crowns in track & field in the past three seasons, including the 2017 women’s and men’s indoor titles, the 2016 women’s indoor and outdoor titles and the women’s and men’s 2015 outdoor titles. Prior to 2015, the Rams had never previously swept outdoor titles at a conference meet. In addition, CSU stands alone as the only current Mountain West member to ever sweep an indoor or outdoor conference meet. The Rams have now won nine MW titles between the women’s and men’s indoor and outdoor teams, the most of any current MW institution.
With the Rams’ results in conference competition, Bedard has been named Mountain West Coach of the Year five times. He earned honors from the MW in 2017 (men’s indoor), 2016 (women’s indoor, women’s outdoor) and 2015 (women’s outdoor, men’s outdoor). Additionally, Bedard was recognized by the USTFCCCA in 2015 as the Mountain Region Coach of the Year. Bedard was selected as the throws coach for the U.S. Junior Pan American team in 2015, and led the squad to three gold and three silver medals in the throwing events.
Read below for details on Bedard’s coaching history and more.
Bedard first began his work as a member of the Rams coaching staff in the fall of 1988, joining the program as the throwing events coach. Bedard continues to coach the throwers to this day, and in 2005, was honored as the Mountain Region and NCAA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year. Bedard, who was inducted into the Colorado State University Hall of Fame in 2005, earned his second of three honors from the USTFCCCA in 2013 when he was named Women’s Midwest Region Head Coach of the Year.
Bedard has personally coached two Olympians, a two-time USATF national discus champion, four NCAA champions, 49 All-America performances and 88 conference champions. All of Colorado State’s school records in the throwing events have been set during Bedard’s tenure. Bedard coached Mostafa Hassan to the Egyptian shot put record indoors and outdoors, while Shadae Lawrence set the Jamaican National record for discus throw in 2019 with a mark of 65.05m.
One of Bedard’s most successful athletes – as well as one of the most decorated athletes in any sport in the history of CSU athletics - is Casey Malone, a discus thrower that Bedard originally recruited from Colorado’s Arvada West High School. Bedard and Malone have worked together for 20 years, with the 1998 NCAA discus champion qualifying for 20 USATF Championships in a row. Malone is a two-time USATF discus champion (2008 and 2010), earning a spot on the U.S. National Team at the World Championships with his first title. Malone went on to place fifth at the World Championships in 2008, and placed third at the U.S. Olympic Trials that same year to earn a spot on the national team at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Malone made his first of two Olympic appearances at Athens in 2004, placing fifth in discus competition. Bedard first began coaching Malone in national and international competition in 1996, Malone’s freshman year at CSU. That year, Malone won discus titles at the USATF Junior National Championships and at the Junior World Championships. In addition to his 1998 NCAA discus title, Malone finished his collegiate career with the Rams as a four-time All-American. He continues to owns the CSU school record in the discus (211-6/64.46m), and continued to improve under Bedard’s coaching, reaching a personal best of 224-7/68.49m.
Another of Bedard’s standout throwers is Loree Smith, the 2005 NCAA individual hammer champion, the 2005 NCAA runner-up in the weight throw and a five-time All-American. Among Smith’s top performances in 2005 was a then-American collegiate record in the weight throw (74-3), as well as a then-NCAA collegiate record in the hammer throw (229-9/70.02m) at the MW Outdoor Championships. She remains the No. 10 performer in the women’s hammer throw in NCAA history today. Smith earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in 2008 and competed in the hammer throw in the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Many other athletes have enjoyed tremendous success under Bedard’s guidance, including Shelly Borrman, a Fort Collins native, five-time All-American and 1999 NCAA discus runner-up. Borrman continues to own the Colorado State school record and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) record in the discus with a throw of 198-8 (60.55m). Another discus thrower, Liz Toman, placed second at the 2001 NCAA Championships, while Drew Loftin was the 2003 NCAA runner-up in the weight throw and the hammer. Loftin, who threw 71-1.5 in the weight throw and 232 feet in the hammer in college, has continued to work with Bedard, improving his hammer mark by 20 feet. Loftin has placed fifth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials as well as in fourth at the 2013 USATF Championships.
With expertise extending well beyond the throwing events, Bedard has experience coaching multiple event areas at CSU, including the horizontal jumps (three season) and the combined events (10 seasons). One of his high jumpers, Liz Toman, was an NCAA qualifier after setting a school record and winning a conference championship in the high jump in 2000. Bedard coached multiple conference champions in the decathlon, and guided athletes to CSU records in the heptathlon and women’s triple jump.
Bedard has shared his coaching expertise as a featured speaker at numerous conferences and clinics across the country. He has also developed an instructional master class on discus throwing technique - "Throwing Smarter, Throwing Farther" - which is available through Vimeo. Before he began his coaching career, Bedard was a member CSU’s track & field team from 1983-88.
Bedard was a Western Athletic Conference runner-up in the discus, and recorded an eighth-place finish in the shot put in conference competition.
The Colorado State track & field and cross country programs have established traditions of academic success under Bedard’s leadership. At the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic calendar, the Rams earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors for women's track and field as well as both genders of cross country. On the women's side, Kelcey Bedard, Linnea Jonsson, Ali Kallner, Bailey Ness, and Tarynn Sieg picked up individual honors, while Carson Hume did so on the men's side.
Within the Mountain West Conference in the 2018-19 year, the Rams had 14 All-Academic from the men's track, 20 from women's track, seven from men's cross country, and eight from women's cross country.
The 2017-18 year produced a repeat Academic All-American in Jerrell Mock, and Mostafa Hassan was named the 2018 USTFCCCA Indoor Men’s Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the first in program history. The recipient of the USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award must be a national champion in an individual event and have the highest cumulative GPA of all national champions.
In 2016-17, the Rams earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors in men’s and women’s cross country as well as on both sides in track & field. Each of the men’s and women’s cross country teams earned a cumulative GPA of 3.27, as did the women’s track team. CSU’s men’s team recorded a 3.20 GPA to qualify for its accolade. four Rams – Jefferson Abbey, Hassan, Alex Hess and Jerrell Mock – were named CoSIDA Academic All-America. Those four accolades were the most of any track & field program in the nation that year, and were the first for CSU in any sport since 2012.
Bedard supports and strives for high academic standards with his teams and celebrates those academic achievements equally with athletic achievement, and in 2016-17, his teams were recognized with 51 Academic All-Mountain West honors (men’s - 10 Mountain West Scholar-Athletes, 20 Academic All-Mountain West; women’s - 18 Mountain West Scholar-Athletes, 24 Academic All-Mountain West). Those are all in addition to the Rams’ four Academic All-America honors, which were the most of any track & field program in the nation and the first for CSU in any sport since 2012.
Colorado State has consistently been a factor in the throwing events under Bedard, and in 2016-17, the Rams were dominant in the shot put. On the men’s side, Mostafa Hassan put together one of the top seasons in the shot put in Mountain West history. His accomplishments included the MW indoor and outdoor shot put titles, the MW and CSU indoor and outdoor shot put records, the NCAA indoor title and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
On the women's side, Aaliyah Pete capped off a dominant career in the MW with conference titles in each of the indoor and outdoor shot put. Pete finished her time at CSU with seven MW shot put titles (four outdoor, three indoor), the most by any female or male athlete in conference history.
The 2014-15 season was historic for the CSU women in the throws, as the Rams were champions in the shot and weight throw indoors and completed an unprecedented sweep of all MW outdoor throwing events. Prior to CSU’s performance at the 2015 MW Outdoor Championships, no other school had ever dominated all of the throwing events at a single MW outdoor meet.
That year, the CSU throwing crew earned eight MW individual titles and combined for two All-America honors. Kiah Hicks was a Second-Team All-American in the weight throw that indoor season, and added an additional Second-Team All-America honor in the discus the ensuing outdoor season. Behind a conference-throw of 196-6/59.92m, Hicks became the MW champion in the discus and established herself with one of the top marks in the nation.
Bedard is married to Jill Bedard (formerly Jill Johnson), a Colorado State University Hall of Fame inductee and volleyball standout from 1987-90. The couple has two daughters, Kelcey (22) and Baylee (21). Kelcey is a recent graduate from CSU track & field, and was a Second-Team All-American in hammer, weight throw, and discus, while also earning MWC champion three times in her career with the Rams. Baylee is a junior and current member of the Colorado State women’s soccer team.