Stevie Keller enters his fourth season as the head women’s track & field and cross country coach at North Dakota State in 2017-18. In three years at the helm of the Bison program, Keller has won all six Summit League team championships and directed the Bison women to national recognition.
In 2017, NDSU sent its largest group of qualifiers to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships, as seven athletes represented NDSU in six events at the national meet. The Bison also had 21 entries at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds, setting another all-time high in the school’s Division I era.
NDSU’s 21 entries at the NCAA West Prelims in 2017 were the second-most in the nation outside of the Power 5 conferences, and there were 46 schools from the Power 5 conferences that had fewer national entries than NDSU.
In addition to extending NDSU’s record-setting run of 20 consecutive Summit League team titles, Keller has continued to raise the bar. In 2016 and 2017, the Bison women set new league records for points scored at the outdoor conference meet.
Academically, North Dakota State has maintained its position as one of the highest-achieving women's track & field programs in the nation. The Bison have regularly earned team grade point averages of 3.50 or better during Keller's tenure.
Keller was named the head coach of the Bison women's track & field and cross country programs on Nov. 3, 2014, while remaining as the coach for the long sprinters on the NDSU men's squad. He is now in his 18th year with NDSU track & field, including seven seasons as associate head coach, directing the Bison multi-events, hurdles and pole vault to unprecedented success.
Since the Bison gained full NCAA Division I status in 2008, the number of achievements racked up by Keller’s student-athletes is remarkable. In all, Keller-coached athletes have earned nearly 250 All-Summit League honors and 95 Summit League titles over the past 10 seasons.
Keller has directed five athletes to a total of six first-team Division I All-America honors since 2009, including a fifth-place heptathlon finish by Whitney Carlson in 2011 and a fourth-place finish in the pole vault by Leslie Brost at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition, Carlson was a three-time second-team All-American in the long jump and multi-events.
Most recently, Keller coached Willmar, Minn., product Rose Jackson to first-team All-America honors in the pentathlon and nine Summit League titles in 2017 alone. Jackson set a new school record on her way to an 8th-place finish in the pentathlon at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, as well as competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the long jump and 4x400m relay. She captured four Summit League titles indoor in 2017 to go along with five outdoor, winning the league's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Keller has qualified 20 athletes for the NCAA Outdoor Preliminary Rounds (2010-present) and NCAA Regionals (prior to 2010). Indoors, Keller has coached six NCAA Championships qualifiers.
As a team, the Bison women have won 10 consecutive Summit League championships both indoors and outdoors. The NDSU men have claimed six indoor and nine outdoor titles in the last 10 seasons.
Keller owns coaching experience on the national and international levels. In 2010 and 2011, he coached Heather Zander, Leslie Brost and Whitney Carlson at the USATF Championships. In 2008, Keller served as an assistant coach for Team USA in the Thorpe Cup decathlon and guided Weston Leutz to a 10th-place finish at the Junior World Championships in the decathlon.
Under Keller’s guidance, Brost developed into the most decorated vaulter in NDSU history, with honors including a fourth-place finish and a school record vault of 14-03.25 at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships. Brost placed ninth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and was the top collegiate finisher in the event.
Keller coached Carlson to the NDSU heptathlon school record on her way to a fifth-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Buchanan, N.D., native also placed ninth in the long jump at the national meet in 2011 and was a second-team All-American in the indoor pentathlon. Carlson was awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and was later named the NCAA Elite 88 Award winner as the nation’s top student-athlete in women’s track & field.
In 2010, Heather Zander became NDSU’s first multi-event Division I All-American after placing eighth in the heptathlon under Keller’s guidance.
Prior to NDSU’s move to Division I, Keller coached 10 athletes to 28 NCAA Division II All-American awards, including Nate Schmidt who won two NCAA Division II national championships in the decathlon.
He is married to former NDSU distance runner Erin (Klein) Keller. The couple have one son, Kyson, and one daughter, Aspyn.