BEMIDJI -- Longtime Bemidji tennis coach and teacher Mark Fodness, 61, died of a sudden and unexpected heart attack on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Fodness compiled more than 400 wins over 41 seasons coaching tennis programs at Bemidji High School and Bemidji State. He coached the BHS boys and girls tennis teams from 1986-93, and returned to coach the Lumberjacks in 2010. The BSU graduate then took the helm of the Beaver women’s tennis team in 2013.

Fodness retired from coaching the BHS girls and BSU women’s teams in August 2019, before retiring from coaching the BHS boys team in May 2020. He finished with a career record of 463-205 across all three programs.

Kyle Fodness succeeded his father as head coach of the BHS girls and BSU women’s tennis teams following his retirement.

In addition to coaching, Fodness was a longtime social studies teacher at Bemidji Middle School.

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A New Ulm native, Fodness earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Bemidji State in 1982, and later obtained a master’s in curriculum instruction, middle school emphasis from BSU in 1995.

Services are pending at this time. A celebration of life is being planned for June, according to his obituary.