Monke: Renaming of stadium an ‘awkward’ honor for BiesiotOn Monday afternoon, before the Dickinson State football team took the field for its regular offense-only practice, I posited a question to head coach Hank Biesiot.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
On Monday afternoon, before the Dickinson State football team took the field for its regular offense-only practice, I posited a question to head coach Hank Biesiot.
“Is renaming the Badlands Activities Center after you an honor, or is it awkward?”
Naturally, Biesiot gave me the laugh and trademark smirk I was expecting.
“It’s a bit awkward,” Biesiot said with a grin. “At the same time, it’s certainly an honor. I suspect most honors are a bit awkward.”
That, in a nutshell, is Hank Biesiot.
Today, the 37-year veteran head coach who already has many honors will have another bestowed on him when the Badlands Activities Center, the football and track and field stadium on DSU’s campus, is renamed the Henry Biesiot Activities Center.
A short renaming ceremony will follow the homecoming game against Montana Tech, which begins at 1 p.m.
The honor is great, though the timing isn’t what one would call perfect. DSU is off to a struggling start with a 1-4 record.
But that doesn’t discount anything Biesiot has done in his career to deserve it.
“We’d have been remiss if we didn’t do this,” said DSU alumnus Mike Armstrong, the president of The Armstrong Corporation and Armstrong Operating, Inc. “Not as a university, but as a community.”
Armstrong and other alumni fought to make sure Biesiot received an honor worthy of his accomplishments. It meant having to request approval from the North Dakota University System to rename the facility in Biesiot’s name.
A win today would make Biesiot the winningest NAIA-only football coach. Already the winningest NAIA coach at one school, Biesiot is tied with Frosty Westering with 256 career wins.
Biesiot was locked in a race to become the NAIA’s winningest coach until Kevin Donley of St. Francis (Ind.) passed him two weeks ago. Donley, however, spent four years and won 13 games at California (Pa.) University. The NAIA is counting those wins toward his record.
Still, in the eyes of those like Armstrong, one more win and the record is Hank’s.
“Why did we do this? That’s a no brainer,” Armstrong said. “We had the winningest coach in NAIA history in Dickinson, N.D. We wouldn’t name a facility after him?”
Ken Miller, the former head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, played football for Dickinson State College in the 50s and 60s. Miller, who received DSU’s prestigious Golden Hawk Award on Friday night, never played under Biesiot but learned about the accomplishments at his alma mater over the years and the two have become acquaintances.
Miller said he is proud that DSU chose to rename the stadium after Biesiot and said it’s a greater honor than most people realize.
“You talk about contributions to the university, contributions that he’s made, have just been fabulous,” Miller said. “Surely, that’s a tremendous reward for those contributions.”
Biesiot, ever one to downplay a special moment, said he’s not the only reason for his success.
“I think that comes with longevity,” Biesiot said. “It’s a little bit awkward. It’s very nice. You’re glad to have something like that. It shows that a lot of people are doing something right. It meant something to a lot of people and a lot of people were doing something right along the way.”
There’s nothing awkward about that at all.
Monke is the Sports Editor of The Dickinson Press. Email him at email@example.com, read his blog at www.areavoices.com/monke or follow him on Twitter at monkebusiness.