The Terrible Swedes
In 1902, Dr. Carl A. Swensson, president of Bethany College, hired Bennie Owen as coach of the Bethany Swedes football team. He developed an awesome team that demolished all opponents, including the University of Oklahoma and Kansas State University, leading to an undefeated season in 1904.
The team attracted national attention and became known as "The Terrible Swedes," a nickname that is still popular for the Bethany Swedes athletic teams today.
Following the 1904 season, Coach Owen left Bethany to become the coach of the OU Sooners where he became a successful coach and director of athletics. Owen Field at OU is named for him.
Coach Ray Hahn
Coach Ray D. Hahn spent 50 years involved with Bethany College athletics, campus life and the community. He came to Bethany in the fall of 1938 to coach football, basketball, track, tennis, baseball and golf, as well as to serve as athletic director.
Except for a leave of absence during the war years (1943-1945), he spent the rest of his life here. He retired in 1954 after 36 years of coaching and was named Professor Emeritus in Physical Education. His total coaching career spanned 50 years.
In 1961, the sports center was named the Ray D. Hahn Physical Education Building in recognition of his service
and counsel to thousands of students. In 2005, Coach Hahn was inducted posthumously into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Dr. Ted Kessinger
Legendary Coach Ted Kessinger (known to all as Coach "K") arrived in the fall of 1976 and proceeded to coach 28 consecutive seasons of winning football at Bethany College. He was the winningest coach at any level of the NAIA, bringing much nationwide attention to the college and the town.
Coach "K" received many honors during and after his coaching career which ended in 2003. He was inducted into the Bethany College Hall of Honor in 1999, the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
To Coach "K," coaching was more than just winning and losing. He sought to guide student-athletes in their choices for spiritual, academic, career and life goals as he coached to instill good moral values and character traits.