Biesiot’s record pursuit safe from Donley

Dickinson State football coach Hank Biesiot’s pursuit of Frosty Westerning’s NAIA coaching wins record continues Saturday afternoon when the Blue Hawks host his alma mater, Mayville State. Contrary to some theories, however, the coach behind Biesiot on the wins chart is not breathing down his neck.

Heading into this weekend, Biesiot has a career record of 252-99-1 and is the winningest active coach in the NAIA and ranks second behind Westering on the all-time wins chart for a few years. Westering coached Pacific Lutheran University to 256 wins in the NAIA before the team moved to NCAA Division III.

Kevin Donley, the head coach of No. 2-ranked St. Francis (Ind.) appears to be right on Biesiot’s tail with 248 career wins. Though he isn’t as close to the NAIA wins record as originally thought. Eleven of Donley’s wins came when he was the head coach of NCAA Division II California (Pa.) University.

That means, in the NAIA, Donley has a record of 237-80-1, putting him a 15 wins behind Biesiot in the chase to break Westering’s record.

Despite being at least a full season behind Biesiot, Donley — whose teams have been outstanding for the past decade — will no doubt soon challenge the DSU coach should he eclipse Westering’s mark.

Donley spent his first four seasons at Anderson (Ind.) College, his alma mater, and led the Ravens to two conference titles and a 28-7 overall record. He left for Georgetown (Ky.) in 1982 and spent 11 seasons there, going 75-43-1 and winning the NAIA Division II national championship in 1991.

He was at California (Pa.) from 1993 to 1996 before taking a year off and settling at St. Francis, where his teams have compiled a 134-28 overall record in 14 seasons. The Cougars lost in the NAIA national championship game in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and have had nine 10-plus win seasons.

St. Francis lost their first two title shots to Carroll College, where head coach Mike Van Diest is quickly climbing the wins ladder. His NAIA wins record stands at at 147-21 in just 13 seasons.

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