October 20, 2016 | 2 p.m.
By Jared Johnson, assistant athletic director for sports information and marketing
Bethel University head football coach Steve Johnson earned career win No. 200 after a 32-17 home victory over Gustavus Adolphus College on October 15. Johnson, who is in his 28th season with the Royals, has now amassed a 200-92-1 record (.684) at Bethel, which includes a 133-51 (.722) mark since the turn of the century.
Ranked No. 3 among active NCAA Division III head coaches in all-time wins, "Coach J" became the 12th active coach and 78th all-time coach among all divisions to reach 200 wins. He was the 33rd coach to achieve all 200 wins at one school, the 10th coach to do it all in Division III, and the second to do it all in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). (The first was Jim Christopherson from Concordia College.)
Over the course of 28 years, Johnson has led the Royals to five MIAC championships, eight NCAA playoff appearances, and two NCAA West Region titles. A six-time MIAC Coach of the Year honoree, three-time West Region Coach of the Year award winner, and 2011 Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) Man of the Year recipient, Johnson was recently inducted into the MFCA Hall of Fame last spring.
Perhaps what's most interesting about Johnson's 28 years at Bethel is the tenure of his staff. Bethel’s coaching staff is collectively made up of 141 years with the Royals, including 63 years on defense and 51 years on offense. Offensive Coordinator Greg Peterson is in his 25th season as an assistant at Bethel, while defensive coaches Jimmy Millerand Mike Fregeau have both coached over 15 years at Bethel. In addition, the current head coach for Gustavus—Peter Haugen—was one of Coach Johnson's' first All-MIAC players in 1990 and a member of Johnson's coaching staff in 1992.
Prior to Johnson, Bethel's football team had amassed a 116-227-6 record from the program's inception in 1949 up until Johnson came in 1989. The longest tenured coach during that time was Chub Reynolds, who led Bethel for 90 games from 1970-79.
Watch an interview with Johnson about his 200th win.