Kelcey and Baylee Bedard carry on the family legacy at CSU

Sydney Wicker

Ramily: A word used during orientation to make new Colorado State University students feel like they are part of the Ram family. But to the Bedard family, it means carrying a legacy of CSU athletes, something that has been in the family for two decades.

Brian, Jill, Kelcey and Baylee all carry the Bedard last name and have all contributed to CSU’s athletic department.


Brian and Jill met at CSU between 1989 and 1990. Jill was a key volleyball player for the Rams and Brian had just started off as a throwing coach for the track team. As they would say, “The rest is history.”

Colorado State University’s Kelcey Bedard was recently awarded the Mountain West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for the second time this year. (Photo courtesy of Tim Nwachukwu | NCAA Photos)

Jill started on the volleyball team her freshman year in 1987 when CSU was ranked sixth in the nation. She lead the Rams in back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament. The outside hitter graduated from the program in 1990 and still holds the record for the most kills in a match and was inducted into the CSU Hall of Fame in 2012.

Brian has been with CSU for 31 years as a track and field coach and has been head coach for the past 13 years. He has coached two Olympic athletes, Casey Malone and Loree Smith. Bedard has been named Mountain West Coach of the Year five times, named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s 2015 Coach of the Year and attended the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in 2017 with thrower Mostafa Hassan.

In 1996 Brian and Jill welcomed their first born daughter, Kelcey. Within in weeks they brought her onto the track.

“The girls and I have been a part of CSU for a long time, because Jill and I would drag them to events and I have been coaching here for 31 years,” Brian said. “They were out at track meets quite often when they were infants. My wife was changing diapers out here so they didn’t really have a choice. They have been part of the CSU family for a long time.”

The CSU family opened their arms to Kelcey when she chose to commit to the University for her freshman year of college. But the journey of finding her niche in track did not come easy.

Kelcey did everything she could to avoid participating in volleyball or track so that she could have her own sport. Basketball was the sport she was determined to succeed in.

My wife was changing diapers out here so they didn’t really have a choice. They have been part of the CSU family for a long time.  Track & Field Head Coach, Brian Bedard

Though she dedicated many summers of camps and trainings to basketball, when it came to the recruiting, division two schools were the only ones leaving her voicemails.

From the other room of the house, Brian would send her various recruitment letters via email and Facebook. As humorous as it sounds, Brian was serious and Kelcey just had to trust him.

“I’m good enough to run track at CSU?” Kelcey said. “I was kinda shocked by that, but it opened an awesome door and the fact that I get to hang out with (my dad) everyday and practice with him and share these awesome moments, like winning nationals, winning conference and such has been amazing. I’m really glad I chose track and CSU, it’s been awesome.”


Now, Kelcey’s success comes from the hard work that she has put in to become better. But working with your dad can be extremely frustrating. For Kelcey and Brian that was a challenge they had to overcome.

They had their own challenges, like overcoming favoritism, something that arises in other athletes. Brian does not beat around the bush, he let his team know from day one that coaches have their favorites.

“I think early on in her career I was much more strict with not giving her any extra attention or anything like that,” Brian said. “But over the last couple years I think she’s earned it. She’s done some great things for our program and at that point I really don’t care if I treat my daughter a little bit differently and give her a hug after practice. She’s going to be treated differently and it’s a special situation. I am assuming that her teammates will understand that.”

Kelcey has been awarded a three-time All American Mountain West performer in the hammer throw, Mountain West outdoor champion in weight throw, and just this weekend she took first in the hammer throw at the 2019 Mountain West Outdoor Championship.

“When she was two or three weeks old, she came out on the track and she hasn’t left, evidently,” Jill said.

The journey for Kelcey is just getting started, as she is set to graduate in a couple days. She will begin teaching at Fossil Ridge High School and is hoping to join the coaching staff.

Baylee Bedard, redshirt freshmen, makes a pass during the second period. Colorado State University beat Northern Colorado 2-1 on August 23, 2018. (Julia Bailey | Collegian)

For her sister Baylee, the track was not her place to stay and neither was the court. She found her drive on the soccer field. Being the youngest child, Baylee was more of the rebel, and wanted to try something new.

She signed to play soccer at Kansas State University, but after one season she called Bill Hempen and asked if she could come back to Fort Collins and play soccer at CSU.

“It was really just the obvious choice to come closer to family and back home because I love Fort Collins,” Baylee said. “I just knew that I would love it here.”

Hempen understood why she wanted to try something new and was happy to welcome her onto the team. During the 2018 season the redshirt-sophomore defender started 14 games in her first season wearing a Ram uniform.

“The first time I wore a CSU uniform I was like ‘Dang this is crazy. I can’t believe I’m a Ram,’” Baylee said. “It was just so weird because I watched (these) athletes my whole life here, and I thought they were amazing so it’s pretty crazy to actually be a Ram.”

The awe is still exciting for Baylee, and she still has time before her journey at CSU comes to an end. But when it comes to comparing herself to her sister, the girls are on opposite journeys.

Baylee does look up to her sister, and she hopes to make a difference on the soccer team overall. She takes pride in her sister’s accomplishments but to compare their paths of life does not work for these girls.

“20 years later we are still on the same track,” Baylee said. “(Kelcey) just happens to be competing. It is pretty cool to see it full circle. I didn’t think either one of us would really get to this point. But it is pretty cool to support and be a Ram my entire life, and then become a Ram and see the other side of it.”

The Bedard family has made quite an impact at CSU, and have truly defined what it means to be a Ramily.

“Corny name, but  (we’re) definitely a Ramily,” Brian said. “We’ve been to a bunch of different events and the kids have been around it for so long I don’t think they know any other way. We have a lot of green and gold at home. I think they are proud of that. They feel connected with the University and they didn’t really have a choice. But I think they feel comfortable around it, and it feels like home.”

Sydney Wicker can be reached at or on Twitter @Sydney_wicker.