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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 04 2012

Kolpack: Beachy's legacy goes beyond sports

Fargo - The two-year starter who will be a junior on the Staples-Motley girls basketball team this year is a quiet kid who doesn’t draw attention to herself. She’s mentally tough.

Motivation comes from somewhere within, but it’s always there. She powers her own engine. It’s just not in basketball, either. She’s a standout swimmer. She’s a champion hurdler in track and field.

The proverbial apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Jaelin Beachy.

When you talk to North Dakota State coaches who worked with Arden Beachy, they’ll tell you those same things. Quiet. Mentally tough. Motivated. Talented.

He’s a natural to be inducted into the Bison Hall of Fame today, along with five other men and women.

“You don’t think when you’re done what your legacy will be, or even if you’ll have one,” Arden Beachy said.

His legacy was in track and field, where he was a three-time All-American. It was in football, where he was a backup quarterback on the 1990 national championship football team and took over starting honors the following year.

It wasn’t all roses. He tore his ACL in the first half of the first-ever game in the Fargodome against Pittsburg State (Kan.) in 1993.

It was at that point where the athlete turned his attention to his career: medicine. A graduate of the Mayo Medical School, he went against the grain of most doctors who immediately find work in a bigger city.

He went back home to Staples.

If his legacy at NDSU is in athletics, a greater legacy is being a top-notch doctor treating rural patients. Call his Lakewood Health Systems office and he could be in the town of Pillager (population 469) one day or somewhere else the next.

“It’s been such a push: specialization, specialization,” Beachy said. “Good doctors are hard to find, or at least the ones that do a wide scope of practice.”

Medicine wasn’t his only calling. When he first returned to Staples, his father, Ron Beachy, was asked to come back and coach the girls basketball team.

“He couldn’t find anybody to be his assistant, so I said I’ll do it,” Arden said.

That morphed into being the head coach, where this year he’ll begin his ninth season. The Cardinals will have all five starters back and hopes are high for a successful season. Player. Doctor. Coach. All done with success.

Today, when he accepts his induction, he’ll talk about three of his former coaches: assistant football coach Dale Hammerschmidt, who recruited him, head football coach Rocky Hager and head men’s track and field coach Don Larson.

“Those three guys had a big impact in how I am today,” Beachy said.

That’s a pretty big impact.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia