kessinger ted  
  Ted Kessinger  
  • Compiled a 219-57-1 record as head football coach for Bethany Swedes
  • Considered his Christian ministry the most significant part of his coaching career
  • Member of two other Hall of Fames
Kessinger, Ted
Inducted 2005

Born: January 15, 1941 – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Graduated: Washington High School (Sioux Falls), 1959; Augustana (Ill.) College, 1963; MS – South Dakota University, 1964


In 28 seasons as the head coach of the Bethany College Swedes, Dr. Ted K. Kessinger won 219 games, 16 conference championships and never had a losing season. But, coaching football was more than just winning and losing to Kessinger, who was born and raised in eastern South Dakota. Kessinger considered his Christian ministry as the most significant responsibility of his coaching career, which spanned from 1976 to 2003. His ultimate goal was to instill moral values and character into the more than 1,000 players who wore the colors of Bethany College.

Coaching Highlights

Kessinger coached at South Dakota and Augustana College before taking over at Bethany in 1976. He retired from coaching in 2004 after compiling a 219-57-1 record and was one of the winningest active coaches in any sport at the NAIA level. He was named the KCAC Coach of the Year 11 times and guided the Swedes to 10 appearances in the NAIA playoffs. His greatest teams were the 1979 club – ranked No. 1 during the season and 11-1 overall – and the 1988 squad that was ranked No. 6 nationally. Kessinger coached 24 NAIA All-American and 387 All-KCAC players.


He was inducted into the Bethany College Athletics Hall of Honor in 1999, the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2003 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.