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NFL: Baalke's rise to San Francisco 49ers front office started at Bemidji State

Pioneer Photo courtesy Trent Baalke, Bemidji State grad and current San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel, is pictured at left with 49ers head coach Mike Singletary.

Trent Baalke's rise to the top of the San Francisco 49ers' executive office started with humble beginnings growing up in Wisconsin followed by a standout collegiate football career at Bemidji State from 1982-1986.

When he came to BSU, the Beavers were losers of 20 straight games as part of the Northern Intercollegiate Conference. That losing streak still stands today as the school record for most consecutive losses.

Baalke played the linebacker position under coach John Peterson, who currently is a scout for the NFL's Carolina Panthers, and played a key role in ending that dubious streak. He made a tackle on a screen play late in the October afternoon game at Chet Anderson Stadium that kept Bemidji State from blowing a fourth-quarter lead and preserved a 14-10 victory over Minnesota-Morris.

That 1982 team finished with a record of 2-8 after the program had just two wins overall the previous four seasons. At the end of Baalke's junior season in 1984, the Beavers finished 8-2 overall for the most wins in a season up until that point in program history.

The next time BSU won eight games in a season was under current head coach Jeff Tesch in 1999.

Following a pair of all-conference seasons and graduation, Baalke stayed at BSU for a year as an assistant coach under Peterson.

He left Bemidji to become the strength and conditioning coach at North Dakota State in 1989 and continued that career path to South Dakota State from 1990-95.

Baalke left the college scene and took an administrative role as the athletic director at Fargo's Shanley High School in the late 1990s.

He was a liason to profes-sional scouts while at South Dakota State University and was noticed by the New York Jets organization in the late 1990s when Bill Parcells was the head coach and current New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was an assistant.

He's been in the NFL ever since leaving Shanley.

Baalke worked as a national scout with the Washington Redskins from 2001-03 and left that organization in 2004 after one year as the club's collegiate scouting coordinator.

He joined to the 49ers and became the western regional scout in 2005 until he was promoted to the 49ers' director of player personnel in February 2008.