BEMIDJI -- Kyle Fodness is getting used to following in his father’s footsteps.
The 2015 Bemidji State graduate has been hired as the new head coach of the Beaver women’s tennis team, Director of Athletics Tracy Dill announced Monday.
Having already succeeded his dad, Mark Fodness, as head coach of the Bemidji High School girls tennis team earlier this month, the younger Fodness will now do the same at BSU. The elder Fodness announced his retirement from coaching BSU last week.
“It’s an exciting opportunity,” Fodness said. “... You always want to have a good challenge and by stepping into this program the challenge is that everything’s been done so well.”
“We are thrilled to have Kyle as the next women’s tennis head coach at Bemidji State,” Dill said in a news release. “Kyle has a tremendous passion for coaching and teaching. He truly values the campus and the Bemidji community. We are excited for the future of the women’s tennis program.”
The Bemidji native had spent three seasons (2016-18) as a volunteer assistant coach for the Beaver tennis team. BSU collected 10 or more wins in each of those three seasons, including a program-record 12 wins in 2018.
A teacher for Bemidji Area Schools, Fodness began his tenure as BHS girls tennis coach this month after coaching the Bemidji Middle School girls tennis team for four seasons. He has also served as the offseason development coordinator for the Bemidji Summer Youth Tennis program for the last seven years.
Fodness will now take the reigns of a BSU team that went 11-7 in 2019 and tied for sixth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with a 6-5 league mark.
“It’s a great group of student-athletes,” Fodness said. “I can’t say enough about the level of respect my dad has for them, and the level of respect I have for them. They really do everything the right way. … That’s what I think I’m really looking forward to the most is just being able to work with a group like that.”
Fodness was a four-sport athlete at Bemidji High School and served as boys tennis captain before graduating in 2012. In college, he joined the University of Minnesota football team as a kicker for two seasons before returning to Bemidji and handling kicking duties for the BSU football team in 2014.
Fodness will coach the Beavers for the first time in a pair of offseason matches in St. Cloud on Sept. 28 against St. Benedict and Wisconsin-Stout. The 2020 season will officially begin Feb. 2 when BSU travels to Grand Forks, N.D., to take on North Dakota.