Skip to content
Be seen. Be heard.

MSU Profiles

Tragedy transforms into triumph

At a young age, Alex Coleman learned the importance of resiliency and hard work in the formula of success. Growing up, he excelled in basketball with the support of his father, a former Division I college basketball player.

"It was always basketball," said Coleman. "My dad was my coach, and all summer, I was traveling around playing."

This high school basketball standout from Aurora, Colo., was highly recruited but wasn't sure where he wanted to attend university.

His senior year of high school, Coleman visited the Minot State University campus in the middle of winter and discovered a place where he could begin a fresh start.

"The hockey team had just won the national championship, and everyone was showing their pride, and I knew that's what I wanted," recalled Coleman.

Coleman's fresh start at MSU proved auspicious. He redshirted his freshman year and quickly learned to balance the demands of sports with the challenges of academics. Then, his sophomore year, Coleman received bad news.

"My father had some health problems, and it put me in a bad mind set," related Coleman. "I wanted to go home and be close to him."

Coleman would return home, when possible, to visit his father in the hospital. Unfortunately, his father's condition worsened, and Coleman decided to retire from basketball while he focused on school and family. Nearly a year later, his father died.

"My father was the anchor, so when he passed I knew I had to be strong for my family," remembered Coleman. "I felt like if I succeed, then we're all succeeding."

And succeed he did. Coleman found his own anchor in broadcast journalism and quickly landed an internship as a production assistant with KMOT, a local news station. By the end of his internship, Coleman received a sterling opportunity, a job offer as a full-time reporter.

"There's nothing like being out in the community and learning so many people's stories," said Coleman. "I've had so many new experiences that I never imagined, and it's all because of broadcasting."

These experiences include ice fishing for the first time, filming skydivers jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet, and reporting on his own news segment—Community Spotlight—where Coleman reports on local residents with unique stories.

Coleman attributes much of his success to the work ethic his father instilled in him, the support of his family back home, and the support of his newfound family in Minot, the Kleins.

Coleman first met Deanna Klein, Department of Business Administration chair, and her family when he was invited over for Thanksgiving dinner his freshman year. This gesture of kindness blossomed into an endearing friendship as strong as the bonds of family.

"They took me into their family and helped me a lot through my dad passing away," said Coleman. "I can't even describe how much they've done for me."

Reflecting back on his three and a half years at MSU, Coleman admits that he has learned many lessons about life, loss, and the value of hard work.

"Mama Klein tells me I'm a 40-year-old man in a 21-year-old's body with all I've been through," said Coleman. "But the thing is, it doesn't matter what your circumstances are, you have to get things done."

While Coleman makes a living by reporting on other people's unique stories, perhaps one of the most heartening stories he has come across is the one he has lived and continues to live every day.