1981 Pelican graduate in both local, Moorhead St. Halls of Fame

By Louis Hoglund

Pelican native Brad Milbeck; in 1980, when he was named Pelican Rapids High School football team’s most valuable player on offense, left. He is pictured with teammates Wade Benson and Steve Schmitz.

A Viking was transformed into a Dragon, and compiled a record that earned him honors as both. 

And—he competed in the famed Boston Marathon in 2008.

Pelican Rapids Viking Brad Milbeck was a football and track standout in his hometown, graduating in 1981. In Pelican, he earned All Conference and Most Valuable Player honors. 

Then he became a Dragon. 

A 1986 Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate, Milbeck excelled in sprints and relays for the Dragons. 

Pelican native Brad Milbeck; a photo from 2008, when he was inducted into the Moorhead State Hall of Fame.

He earned All American honors for second place finishes in the 800m at the 1986 NAIA Outdoor, the two-mile relay at the 1984 and 1985 NAIA Indoor, and third place with the distance medley relay at the 1985 NAIA Indoor. He set the existing school record of 1:05:29 in the 500 meters in 1984 and the Outdoor 800 meters in 1986 at 1:49:51. 

His performances as a Moorhead State Dragon earned him a place in the university’s Hall of Fame, in 2008. 

At Pelican High, Milbeck made his mark in both football and track. 

On offense, Milbeck was voted most valuable player—but his defensive play was also stellar. Plus—he booted the ball as a punter, with his longest measuring 60 yards. 

He also returned both punts and kick-offs as a runner. 

Looking at season-end football reports in 1980, Milbeck led kick-off returns with a 23.4-yard average—and ran one all the way in for a touchdown. 

On offense, the fleet-footed Millbeck was a wide receiver for the Vikings. 

Defensively, he topped the list for pass interceptions, with six; and he recovered six fumbles in 1980. 

But it was Milbeck’s track performance that propelled him to Moorhead State. 

A few track highlights at a glance:

• One of his track and field specialties was the 880-yard run, in which he was the only Viking individual to place first, at an April 1981 meet. 

• In May of 1981, the Pelican medley relay team with Milbeck, Anthony Haugrud, David Kelting, and Scott Hanson set a school record, at 3:37.

• Also in 1981, Milbeck set a school record in the 400-meter run.

• Milbeck was captain of the track team in 1981, with David Kelting and Bob Martin. 

• To top it off, he was a respectable high-jumper. 

Milbeck has been married to his wife Kathleen for 32 years. They have a son Brandon and a daughter Baylee. The family has lived in Brainerd, Minnesota, since 1993. 

He worked his whole career in materials management for manufacturing companies. He is currently a supply chain director for a Brainerd door and window components company.