North Dakota State Quarterbacks Coach Randy Hedberg, has been coaching football for nearly 40 years. He grew up in Parshall, ND, and had a tremendous collegiate career - throwing for nearly 6,000 yards and 50 touchdowns at Minot State. He spent three years in the NFL, starting four games his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – a team that drafted him in 1977. After his pro career, he got into coaching and that’s where he’s been ever since.
He was the head coach at his alma mater for eight seasons and spent nine years in charge of the program at St. Cloud State. He left at the Huskies to join Dale Lennon’s staff at Southern Illinois in 2008, spending six seasons in Carbondale as quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator.
In 2014, he had the chance to come back to North Dakota and be an assistant for Chris Klieman, who was piecing together a staff with the challenge of keeping North Dakota State on top of the FCS world. It was a place with lofty expectations, coming off three straight national titles, but Hedberg might tell you it was the best decision he has ever made. He got to Fargo and inherited a quarterback by the name of Carson Wentz, who had never taken a snap as a starting quarterback in college.
He also had to rerecruit a young 18-year-old kid from Omaha to stick with his commitment to attend NDSU. His name is Easton Stick. Fast forward five years later and Hedberg has one quarterback (Wentz) starting in the National Football League and another (Stick) hoping to land an opportunity in the NFL, as well.
Hedberg was promoted to associate head coach and passing game coordinator earlier this month by new NDSU head coach, Matt Entz, and when he was introduced at a press conference, I had never seen him as excited as he was at that moment.
He was asked about his time with the Bison and why he decided to remain on staff. He responded, “This is my sixth position coaching college football and this is the best place I have coached, no question about it. I’m a native North Dakotan and I’m proud to be at NDSU. It makes me proud to go and recruit and bring kids from North Dakota to NDSU and play and have success.”
Hedberg went on to mention the importance of administrative support and the fan base as two other key factors, as well. You can’t help but be happy for a guy who is really enjoying himself at this point of his career and his getting rewarded for the work he has put in. He’s a North Dakota guy - and he’s proud of it.