Brad Bedortha begins his eighth full season as the women’s golf coach at Northern Arizona University. He took over in mid-semester during the spring of 2008, coaching the program over the final three tournaments of the season.
Bedortha led the Lumberjacks to Big Sky titles in 2009 and 2013. Under Bedortha’s guidance NAU has won a total of 14 tournaments, in addition to two appearances at the NCAA regional level. NAU has garnered 21 All-Big Sky honors since his arrival in Flagstaff.
The 2013-14 season had ups and downs as the ‘Jacks had several strong performances such as winning the Grand Canyon Invitational in February and following that up with a second-place finish at the Red Rocks Invitational. Brittany McKee and Jacquie LeMarr both posted individual tournament wins. LeMarr and Kaitlen Parsons were also named Big Sky All-Conference.
The 2012-13 season was highlighted by a Big Sky Championship and three All-Big Sky selections. Bedortha led NAU to two tournament wins at the Rio Verde Invitational and the other coming at the Big Sky Championships. Savana Bezdicek won two individual titles at the Rio Verde and Cal Poly invitationals on her way to a Big Sky Freshman of the Year honor. Bedortha was also awarded Big Sky Coach of the Year for the second time of his career.
The 2011-12 season was another strong one as Bedortha’s group was a major contendor in the conference championship race. NAU finished third in the conference led by Kaitlen Parsons seventh place finish. NAU also had two athletes in Stephanie Kim and Parsons garner All-Big Sky honors.
The Lumberjacks won a school-record tying four tournaments in 2010-11, setting the individual single round and team tournament scoring marks during the season. NAU shot a seven-over par 871 at the Lumberjack Shootout at Wigwam, posting rounds of 287- 292-292 to break the three-round tournament school record by 26 strokes. The previous mark of 897 came at the 2010 Wyoming Cowgirl Invitational. All three rounds ranked among the top 10 single-round performances in school history and the opening round 287 was the second-best round in the record books.
NAU finished second at the 2011 Big Sky Conference Championships. The Lumberjacks’ three-round total of 891 was the fourth-best team score in tournament history and second lowest non-winning score. Sophomore Stephanie Kim was named the Big Sky Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Senior Alexa Kim was chosen for the All-Big Sky first-team and senior Bethany Leclair was an All-Big Sky second team selection. Leclair was the top finisher at the Big Sky Championships in second after recording a school-record five-under par 67 in the final round. Stephanie Kim broke the single season scoring record for the second consecutive season, helping the Lumberjacks win four tournaments: the Circling Raven Collegiate Invitational, the Cal Poly Lamkin Grip Women’s Invitational, the Red Rocks Invitational and the Lumberjack Shootout at Wigwam. The four tournament titles ties the school record for wins in a season set in 2009-10.
NAU also won four team tournament titles in 2009-10, setting a new school record. The Lumberjacks also broke the single-, two- and three-round team, as well the single-season school records this season. The Lumberjacks shattered the team individual round school record with a three-under par 285 in the first round of the Grand Canyon Invitational, finishing with a two-day total of 580 to break the two-round mark of 584 set at the 1998 Lumberjack Invitational. The previous single-round record was 291 set at the 2002 Lumberjack Invitational, while the two-round mark was set at 584 at the 1998 Lumberjack Invitational. In the final regular season tournament, NAU broke the 54-hole mark by eclipsing the 900-stroke barrier for the first time in school history with an 897 at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic. The Lumberjacks averaged a school-best 304.5 strokes per round
Freshman Stephanie Kim was chosen the Big Sky Player of the Year and the Big Sky Freshman of the Year, the first golfer in league history to win both honors in the same season. She won the 2010 Big Sky Championship with a school-record tying 54- hole total of 216. She posted rounds of 69-70-77 to claim the title by four strokes over teammate Megan Buck, who carded a career-best 220 over the three rounds.
In his first full season, Bedortha led the Lumberjacks to their first Big Sky Conference title since 2002 and the fourth NCAA Regional in school history, earning Big Sky Coach of the Year honors in 2009. Senior Ali Carter was named to the All-Big Sky first team for the third time in her career, while Alexa Kim and Leclair were named to the second team.
NAU also reset history at the Wyoming Cowgirl tournament, winning the event for the second time in three seasons. Leclair tied the then-school record with a three-under par 69 in the second round with the team posting a 296 score in the second round, tying the seventh-best round in school history.
The Lumberjacks had immediate success under his tutelage to finish the 2008 season, winning the Big Sky Conference Preview and finishing second at the Big Sky Conference Championships by two strokes to champion Portland State. Carter was the runner-up at the championships after earning medalist honors at the Preview.
Senior Sophia Choi, who finished fifth at the Big Skys, posted a school-record tying three-under par 69 to lead NAU to a season-best 295 at the NCAA West Regional Preview one month earlier in the first tournament with Bedortha. Choi‘s round was a collegiate-best by two strokes, tying Lauren Gray’s 69 recorded in the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic in 2001. She was named Big Sky Player of the Year, earning all-tournament honors along with Carter.
Bedortha had served as the head men’s and women’s coach at Division II Ferris State University in Michigan beginning in 2000. He was named the Division II National Coach of the Year after leading his women’s team to a fourth-place national finish in 2005. Overall, he led five Ferris State women’s teams into the national championships, finishing second in both 2004 and 2006 and third in 2007.
Ferris State’s 2006-07 season success followed on the heels of the greatest season in the program’s history as Bedortha coached the 2005-06 team to a runner-up finish at the 2006 NCAA-II Women’s Golf Championships as the Bulldogs ended up six strokes behind the national champion. Nevertheless, the second-place performance on the national stage not only marked the highest placing ever in FSU women’s golf history but was the best finish in the history of women’s athletics at Ferris State. Bedortha paved the way for a pair of All-Americans as Elena Robles attained second-team recognition while Casey McKinnon was an honorable mention selection. Both tied for third place on the final individual leaderboard at the 2006 national tournament.
Bedortha helped the 2000-01 squad claim fifth place at the 2001 NCAA Championships in just his second season at Ferris State, which represented the program’s first national tournament appearance since 1994. Then following after a two-year absence, he mentored the 2003-04 NCAA-II East Regional champions in producing an impressive second-place tying effort at the 2004 NCAA-II Women’s Golf Championships. At the time, the runner-up tying finish was the highest-ever in the school’s women’s athletics program. Ferris would return to the national tournament the following year and place fourth in the 2005 event.
During his tenure, Ferris State teams captured a combined six GLIAC Conference Championships and five NCAA Regional titles. He tutored four players to nine All-America honors and 12 to Academic All-America status. Twenty-two student-athletes earned all-conference honors, while 15 captured academic all-conference honors.
A native of Oregon, Bedortha worked at various golf clubs prior to joining the Ferris State staff including Bend Golf and Country Club and Sunriver Resort in Oregon, Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Deer Run Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also worked with the Madison Golf Development Group.
A 1990 graduate of Ferris State’s Professional Golf Management program, Bedortha returned to his alma mater in March 2000 after serving as the assistant golf professional at the Bend Golf and Country Club in Bend, Ore. He was an all-conference golfer as an undergraduate at Ferris and helped the Bulldogs win league titles in 1988 and 1989 under coach Ron English. A three-year FSU letterwinner, Bedortha recorded a career 79.9 stroke average and posted a personal career-best 78.0 average for the 1988 season.
Bedortha presently holds membership in the Professional Golfers Association of America and the National Golf Association. He’s a three-time (2000-01, 2002-03 and 2005-06) GLIAC Coach of the Year honoree and received 2000-01 co-National Golf Coaches Association NCAA Division II East Region Coach of the Year accolades. In the 2002-03 season, Bedortha was the recipient of the NGCA’s East Region Coach of the Year Award.
Bedortha is the fourth coach in the history of the program.