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October 18, 2012
by Ryan Moulden
The CSU Sports Hall of Fame honors former Ram and Aggie athletes, coaches and administrators for their achievements and contributions to the University. The banquet to commemorate these outstanding athletes will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.
To say Jill (Johnson) Bedard bleeds green and gold is an understatement. Jill gave countless hours of her time and talent to the University as a volleyball player from 1987 to 1990. And, as a Fort Collins resident since graduation, she continues to support her alma mater.
Jill was born in Michigan and became highly involved in playing many different sports at a young age. “I tried them all and figured I would find one that I loved later,” Jill said. It wasn’t until the sixth grade that she began playing volleyball.
In the eighth grade, Jill and her family moved from Michigan to Cerritos, Calif. During her freshman year of high school, Jill committed to volleyball as her primary sport. Growing up in Michigan, Jill describes that she, “fell in love with the four seasons.”
Jill ultimately chose CSU because of its similarity to her home state of Michigan with its four distinct seasons.
Jill says she fondly remembers her four years at CSU. During her freshman year, she played in a packed Moby Arena when the team broke the national attendance record for a volleyball game. “Freshman year was huge in terms of fan support and excitement,” Jill said.
Jill says CSU’s biggest volleyball rivalry during her time as a Ram was Brigham Young University. But, Jill says, she enjoyed another rivalry with CU-Boulder.
During the 1990 season, Jill told a newspaper, “We’ll never lose to CU as long as I’m here.” Jill says she thinks this statement probably contributed to an already heated rivalry. She says she later heard a rumor the Buffaloes put that quote in their locker room as motivation.
One of the biggest wins for Jill came against LSU during her senior year. In the course of a five-game bout that lasted more than three hours, Jill had an astonishing 41 kills. After the loss to Colorado State, LSU would go on to win the National Championship.
Jill injured her right shoulder during the LSU match, three weeks before the season ended. Jill, who had learned to play volleyball left-handed, continued to play the last three weeks of the season by serving and hitting left-handed. Once the season was over, Jill had surgery on her right shoulder.
Jill loved the city of Fort Collins so much that she decided to remain in town after graduation. She has continued to coach high school volleyball, but she says her main priority has been her family.
Jill married Brian Bedard, a thrower on the CSU Track and Field Team. After Brian graduated, he immediately began coaching for CSU, and has been on staff since.
Jill and Brian have two daughters, Kelcey and Baylee. Just like their parents, both girls are heavily involved in athletics, playing soccer and basketball and running track. “Kids are our priority,” Jill said.
An exercise and sports science major, Jill is currently the physical education teacher for a preschool in Fort Collins. In her free time, she and her family enjoy cheering on the Rams at just about any athletic event they can make it to.
Jill will join her husband, who was inducted in 2005, in the Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. CSU Athletics and the Ram Alumni Athletes Association are proud to welcome Jill Bedard to the CSU Sports Hall of Fame.
Contact: Ryan Moulden
Phone: (970) 491-4601