Bemidji State announced the hiring of Steve Sertich as the fourth head women’s ice hockey coach in the eight-year history of the BSU program.
“Steve comes from a long line of successful hockey,” Director of Athletics Dr. Steve Goeb said. “He was an Olympian and was an enormous talent as a player. He’s reached that same level as a coach. He led the Roseville boys in to the State tournament, and when he switched over to the girls’ team he brought them the same level of success he had on the boys’ side.
“When Steve was in Bemidji for his interview, he left no doubts in the minds of anyone he met that he’s the right choice for Bemidji State University. He’s got the right demeanor and the right philosophy. He’ll add some consistency to the program and is exactly the type of coach we were looking for. He’s a real motivator, but at the same time is a real professional.”
“I’m flattered and honored to be picked,” Sertich said. “This is an excellent chance to coach in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and at Bemidji State. I’m looking forward to turning BSU into a competetive program.”
Sertich comes to BSU after spending the last 13 years as the head varsity coach at Roseville (Minn.) Area High School. He coached the Roseville boys’ team from 1993-2003, leading it to a 156-71-11 record and two State tournament appearances. Under Sertich’s guidance, Roseville finished third in the 2002 State tournament and second in 2003. He led Roseville to Suburban East Conference championships in 1999, 2002 and 2003. Sertich earned four Coach of the Year honors, as he was named Section 3AA Boys’ Coach of the Year in 1999; Section 2AA Boys’ Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2003; and Class AA State Boys’ Coach of the Year in 2003.
In 2003, Sertich moved to head coach of the Roseville girls’ varsity team and in three seasons has led that program to a record of 62-21-2. The Roseville girls finished fourth in the 2006 State tournament, and captured Suburban East Conference titles in both 2004 and 2005. Sertich was named the 2004 Section 2AA Girls’ Coach of the Year.
Bemidji State will be the first collegiate head coaching assignment for Sertich. He spent one year as an assistant with the men’s program at Colorado College from 1982-83 for his only previous collegiate coaching experience.
“It has always been in the back of my mind to coach at the next level,” Sertich said. “I spent nine years coaching the boys at Roseville, coached both of my sons and had a great three years with the girls. The opportunity and the timing is just right.”
He began his coaching career in 1976 as the head boys’ varsity coach at Northfield (Minn.) High School, and over the next 20 years would hold a variety of head and assistant coaching positions at the high school, college and national levels.
After one year at Northfield, he moved on to Virginia (Minn.) High School as head boys’ varsity coach for one year, was an assistant with Team Midwest in the U.S. National Development Program at the 1979 Olympic Sports Festival, spent one year as an assistant at Colorado College in 1982-83, and served three years as an assistant coach at Palmer (Colo.) High School from 1983-86.
He returned to Minnesota in 1987 as the assistant boys’ varsity coach at Blaine (Minn.) High School, and later served as an assistant at Richfield (Minn.) High School.
In 1997, he was an assistant for Team Minnkota with the U.S. Development Program Select 17.
Sertich’s son, Marty Sertich, played for Colorado College from 2002-06 and scored 61-121=182 points during a stellar four-year career. He won the 2005 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the most outstanding player in college hockey, and was a finalist for the award in 2006. He was First-Team All-WCHA and WCHA Player of the Year in 2005 and a Second-Team All-WCHA selection in 2006.
Sertich takes the reigns of the BSU program from interim co-head coaches Jim Ingman and Sis Paulsen. Ingman and Paulsen were elevated to interim co-head coach following the resignation of Bruce Olson in Dec. 2005. Ingman and Paulsen guided BSU to a 7-11 record over the final 18 games of the 2005-06 season, which included a five-game winning streak and the program’s first-ever victory over Minnesota. Olson posted a record of 27-80-13 in 120 games as BSU head coach over three-plus seasons. He is BSU’s all-time leader in games coached and coaching victories.