An NAIA spokesperson cleared up any issues regarding the NAIA football coaching wins ladder – and just about anyone with interest in Dickinson State isn’t going to like what the school’s athletic governing body had to say.
Dickinson State’s Hank Biesiot has 255 career coaching victories. St. Francis (Ind.) coach Kevin Donley has 255 career victories. In the eyes of the NAIA, the two coaches are tied for second on the all-time wins chart behind Frosty Westering, the long-time and now retired head coach at Pacific Lutheran who had 256 coaching victories in the NAIA.
Here’s the catch: All of Biesiot’s wins over 36 seasons have come in the NAIA and all of them at DSU. Donley has coached 34 seasons at four different colleges. Three of them are or were in the NAIA.
Donley, from 1993 to 1996, coached at California (Pa.) University — an NCAA Division II school. He enjoyed little success there, going 11-33 over four seasons. He returned to coaching in 1998 at St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., and has been there ever since.
That means their total NAIA wins total should read: Biesiot 255, Donley 244. Right?
Not according to the NAIA, which has it in its bylaws that if a person coaches in the NAIA for 10 or more years, then any wins accumulated at other four-year institutions automatically roll over into their official NAIA wins record.
According to the official NAIA Bylaws:
Career won-loss records and overall winning percentage by coaches shall not be affected by an institution’s declaration of intent to participate. When compiling coaching records, only records as a head coach at upper-level or four-year institutions and games against upper-level or four-year institutions are to be included. High school and/or junior college level games do not count. In career coaching records, there is a minimum of 10 years the head coach is required to be at an NAIA institution if carrying over any non-NAIA wins/losses. The carry-over of wins/losses from non-NAIA schools must meet the requirements above in this policy pertaining to upper-level and four-year institutions.
It’s not what DSU wanted to hear from the NAIA as it’s likely Biesiot will get two victories before Donley gets 13, even though the Blue Hawks aren’t predicted to light the Frontier Conference on fire and Donley’s Cougars enter the season ranked No. 6 in the NAIA.
Dickinson State opens its season against Rocky Mountain College at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Badlands Activities Center. St. Francis hosts Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday afternoon.