Larry “Cotton” Adams ‘68
Larry “Cotton” Adams was a four-year starter at the defensive linebacker position for the Tigers, and he led the team in tackles each year. Adams was noted for his toughness on the field and his undying enthusiasm. He was what many called a born leader. Adams was voted by his teammates as co-captain for the 1967 season. He was recognized by the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference in 1965 and 1966 by being selected Honorable Mention All-Conference, and in 1967 Adams was named to the All-Conference First Team. Adams will go down in Dakota Wesleyan University’s football history as one of the best linebackers.
Jason Bailey is considered by many to be one of the best fullbacks ever to suit up for the Dakota Wesleyan University football team. A 1994 DWU graduate, Bailey was a four-year starter and letter winner who helped the Tigers to their best season in the history of the DWU football program. Bailey played a large role in the Tiger’s perfect regular season in 1992. DWU went 10-1 that season and made its first and only NAIA playoff appearance where it lost to Minot State University. He helped DWU to back-to-back SDIC conference championships in 1991 and 1992. Bailey is a three-time All-Conference pick who earned NAIA All-District and NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors in 1993. The standout fullback scored 212 points and accumulated 3,135 rushing yards in his four-year career. In 1992 Bailey scored 14 touchdowns and rushed for 1,009 yards and as a senior he averaged more than 13 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns. He is still second on the school’s top-10 list for career rushing yards (3,135) and career scoring (212), third in single season rushing yards (1,206) and ninth in career total offense (2,911). Since his graduation from Dakota Wesleyan, Bailey has coached several successful high school programs around the Mitchell area.
Doug Barber ‘50
Doug Barber was one of the exceptional football players from Ohio to attend Dakota Wesleyan University in the 1940’s. Barber, a star fullback who also handled the team’s kicking chores, was an excellent runner and led the Tigers in scoring throughout his career. Barber was an All-Conference performer in 1947, 1948 and 1949. Called the “educated toe” by his teammates, he set the national collegiate placekicking field goal record of 46 yards in 1949. Barber also held DWU’s placekicking records until the early 1990’s. In 1950 the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League drafted Barber. Also a talented baseball player, Barber spent many years after college playing semi-professional baseball.
Ken Barnhart ‘29
Ken Barnhart was a superior Dakota Wesleyan University three-sport athlete. Barhart’s athletic career began his freshman year when he won a starting position at halfback and was the only first-year player to win a varsity letter. Barnhart was an explosive runner noted for his long gains. His shiftiness and speed enabled him to be the team’s leading rusher all four years. Barnhart helped lead the team to a 5-0 record and the South Dakota Intercollegiate championship in 1926. Barnhart was selected for the All-Conference team his junior and senior years. He also was a four-year starting guard on the basketball team. Barnhart’s speed and deceptive dribbling enabled him to be one of the best playmakers in the SDIC, and he was named All-Conference his senior year. Barnhart also was an exceptional hitter in baseball and played many years of semi-pro ball after graduating from DWU.
Doug Barth ‘68
Doug Barth, considered one of Mitchell’s greatest athletes, climaxed his high school career by winning the 1964 South Dakota High School Athlete of the Year Award. Enrolling at Dakota Wesleyan University that fall, Barth continued to display his athletic talents in football and basketball. He was a four-year starter in each sport and received South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference selections in both sports. Barth was a member of the famed 1965 backfield and the first one of the four to be inducted into the DWU Athletic Hall of Fame. Barth also excelled on the basketball court with his ability to score, rebound, pass and make the big plays. Barth set the school record for assists his senior year. He was a major factor in helping the Tigers win conference championships in 1967 and 1968. The 1968 team finished the season with a 20-3 record, becoming the fifth team in school history to win 20 or more games. During his career, the Tigers compiled 64 victories. Barth is considered one of DWU’s greatest two-sport athletes and is one of 11 DWU athletes in the SDIC Hall of Fame.
Ron Bartels helped anchor the Dakota Wesleyan University football team’s offensive line during several record-setting seasons. The 1994 DWU graduate was a four-year starter and letter winner at offensive tackle for the Tigers, and he helped DWU’s explosive offense put together some of the best seasons in school history. The Winner, S.D., native was a part of the 1991 SDIC championship team, and played a key role on the 1992 squad that went 10-0 in the regular season, won the SDIC title and earned the team’s first and only berth in the NAIA playoffs. Between 1991 and 1993, the Tigers set a school record with 18 consecutive regular-season victories. With his help, the Tigers also set school records for wins (10), points (319), points per game (31.9), rushing offense (3,244) and total offense (4,407) in a season. He also helped set records for first downs (41), rushing offense (613) and total offense (781) in a game. He earned All-SDIC First Team honors in 1992 and 1993 and was named to the All-District 12 team in 1992 and ’93. He is also one of just two football players in Dakota Wesleyan history to earn two All-American honors in his career. He earned NAIA All-America Honorable Mention accolades as a junior and senior in 1992 and 1993.
Clarence Beck ‘25
Clarence Beck, an outstanding football player for Dakota Wesleyan University during the early 1920’s when the college was the dominant team in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference, was a four-year starting end and halfback. He was praised by his coach as “…having great speed coupled with a unique skill for catching the ball.” Beck helped lead the team to three conference championships, never losing a game. He was named All-Conference his junior and senior years, and during his senior year he also coached the DWU academy baseball team. Beck spent over 30 years as a high school counselor and was responsible for guiding many students to DWU.
Tom Bell ‘74
Tom Bell, a two-sport standout for Dakota Wesleyan University, excelled at football and track. He arrived on campus in 1970 as one of many outstanding athletes that came from Pennsylvania during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Bell was a talented four-year starter at offensive guard for the Tigers, receiving two South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference selections and one National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12 honorable mention selection. In track Bell was a four-time conference javelin champion, gaining his greatest recognition in 1973 with a throw of 239’6”. The distance has been a school, conference, South Dakota College and NAIA District 12 record for over 30 years. Bell qualified for the 1973 NAIA national track meet and placed sixth, earning All-American status. Bell was the second DWU track performer to receive such an honor up to that time. For his football and track skills, Bell was listed in the 1974 edition of Outstanding College Athletics in America.
Fran Burd ‘72
Fran Burd, one of many talented football players from Pennsylvania who attended Dakota Wesleyan University during the 1960’s, had so much talent that he was one of the last athletes to play both offense and defense each game. Burd was the starting fullback on offense and starting linebacker on defense. Although a very accomplished fullback, it was at linebacker where Burd gained his conference recognition as a three-time South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference selection. At the completion of Burd’s football career in 1970, he was named to that National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-District 12 Team. At the fullback position, Burd was fearless runner and a very talented blocker. His coach Sam Sample said, “Fran always played with reckless abandon.” Burd’s work ethic, determination, endless enthusiasm and great attitude made him a leader both on and off the football field.
Jack Burroughs ‘38
Jack Burroughs was a two-sport standout at Dakota Wesleyan University. He was a four-year starting end and letterman for the Tigers. Burroughs was considered one of the best pass receivers in the conference during the 1930’s and was twice named All-Conference. Burroughs’ offensive and defensive skills were a major factor in the team’s 1936 5-0-1 record and South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship. Burroughs was elected to the team’s co-captain his junior and senior years. Burroughs also was a superior track performer and set school records in the javelin, the 440-yard dash, the 880-yard relay and the sprint medley relay. His 179-foot javelin toss in 1935 remained a school record for 39 years. After his graduation in 1938, Burroughs remained on campus as the assistant football coach for four years.
Craig Cheeseman ‘92
Craig Cheeseman launched his Dakota Wesleyan University athletic career the fall of 1987 and then climaxing in 1992 by becoming the only athlete in school history to receive 15 letter awards. Craig’s distinguished career covered four sports that included football, basketball, baseball and track. He was a three year starting quarterback for the Tiger football team, winning offensive most valuable player honors in 1990 as well as being selected Honorable Mention All-Conference. He was a two years starter in basketball and was elected co-captain of the team his senior year. Winning the team’s most valuable player honors twice and a 1991 NAIA District 12 Honorable Mention selection highlighted Craig’s four year baseball career. His track competition was capped by winning All-Conference honors in 1990 and 1991 by placing in the triple jump in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference meets. Craig not only excelled with his athletic ability but also as a team leader. He was instrumental in leading the Tigers to six conference championships spanning over three sports. Craig spent a three year period (1995-98) as the DWU head baseball coach and assistant football coach.
Elgie Coacher ‘25
Elgie Coacher, one of many outstanding Dakota Wesleyan University football players during the 1920’s, played offensive and defensive guard and tackle throughout his entire career. Coacher was considered a born leader by his coach and teammates and was elected team captain his junior and senior years. Noted for his defensive skills, Coacher outplayed his offensive opponent across the line in every game. Coacher was called “Great Barrier” by his teammates and was tagged “DWU’s Tower of Strength” by the press. Very few yards were ever gained by opposing runners through his side of the defensive line. Coacher was a major contributor to the Tiger’s winning three South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference undefeated championships during his four years, and he twice earned All-Conference selections.
Jack Cooper ‘67
Jack Cooper, one of many top athletes from Iowa attending Dakota Wesleyan University during the mid-1960’s, became a valuable member of the football team, playing both defense and offense his freshman year and leading the Tigers in rushing. For the next three years, Cooper concentrated on defense. He was a starter and letterman all four years. Besides his great leadership ability, Cooper led the team in tackles his sophomore and junior years and graduated with the distinction of being one of DWU’s greatest defensive secondary football players. During his senior year, Cooper was selected South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Week on three separate occasions. His athletic abilities did not stop with football, as Cooper also excelled in wrestling and track, winning a total of 10 letters in three sports. Cooper placed in the top five for three years in the conference wrestling championships and was a member of the conference championship mile relay team in 1966.
Mike Denny ‘69
Mike Denney was an outstanding football player and wrestler at Dakota Wesleyan University. Denney was a four-year starter and one of the most feared linemen in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference during his career. He received both All-Conference and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12 honors his junior and senior years. Denney wrestled heavyweight all four years at DWU and never finished lower than third in the SDIC conference meet. Denney was a two-time NAIA national qualifier. Following graduation Denny became one of the premiere wrestling coaches in NCAA Division II and won conference and national honors. Denney is a member of the Nebraska Wrestling Hall of Fame and was named Dakota Wesleyan’s Alumni Coach of the Year in 1997
Dan DeVries ‘88
Dan DeVries arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in 1984 already an accomplished football receiver. He continued to improve his extraordinary skills and fast became the university’s all-time pass receiver by the fall of 1987. During his career, DeVries broke all seven of the school’s pass receiving records, including most yards in a game, season and career, most receptions in a game, season and career and longest touchdown reception. These records remained on the books for over 11 years. DeVries was recognized for his greatness by being selected South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference in 1985, 1986 and 1987. DeVries helped lead the Tigers to the 1987 SDIC conference championship. All of his hard work and great ability came to a fitting climax his senior year when he was voted the team’s co-Most Valuable Player of the Year. That same year DeVries was named NAIA Second Team All-American, the first DWU football player to receive this recognition since 1976.
Ron Ehresmann ‘77
Ron Ehresmann proved that he was on his way to becoming one of Dakota Wesleyan University’s best running back during his freshman season. From Ehresmann’s first game until he completed his football career in the fall of 1976, he started 37 consecutive games. Ehresmann displayed his running ability many times during his four year in a Tiger uniform, setting four rushing records: 80-yard game run, 232 game rushing yard, 885 season rushing yards and 2,868 career rushing yards. Three of Ehresmann’s records remained on the books for close to 20 years. Ehresmann was named to the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference team twice, and in 1976 he was selected National Association of intercollegiate Athletics All-District 12. Ehresmann’s great running ability was a major factor in the 1976 conference championship.
Vern Fairfield ‘29
Vern Fairfield was one of Dakota Wesleyan University’s most outstanding linemen during the 1920’s. At that time in history, Fairfield’s physical stature gave him the appearance of a giant of a man, leading his teammates to respectfully tag him the “Fat Fairfield”. Fairfield played the guard position on both offense and defense, but he was primarily noted for his ability to open wide holes for the team’s running backs. Fairfield was team captain in 1927 and 1928. He played a major role on the 1926 team that finished the season with a 6-1 record and won the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship. Fairfield was named SDIC All-Conference in 1926 and 1927. He continued his lover for football after graduating by becoming one of the best known and most respected football officials in South Dakota.
Jeff Fischer ‘88
Jeff Fischer arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in 1984 and quickly became the starting quarterback, thus beginning a new passing era for Tiger football. By the time Fischer completed his senior season, he had amassed a significant number of accomplishments, among which were seven school passing records: career passing yardage, single season passing yardage, single game passing yardage, single game completions, career passing touchdowns, single season touchdown passes and longest touchdown pass. Fischer’s 5,962 total career-passing yardage and 95-yard touchdown pass ranked him in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics top 10. In 1987 Fischer led the Tigers to their first South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship since 1976, only the second championship for DWU since 1945. Fischer was selected the SDIC All-Conference quarterback three times and was named NAIA academic All-American in 1987.
Art Fishbeck ‘32
Art Fishbeck came to Dakota Wesleyan University in 1928 and quickly began to prove his athletic ability on the football field and basketball court. Playing the halfback position in football Fishbeck had exceptional speed and became one of DWU’s most talented broken field runners. His skills help give the 1929 team a conference championship and a five-game undefeated winning streak. Fishbeck was named South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference his junior and senior years. Fishbeck also was an equally talented basketball player His speed and shooting ability guided the Tigers to three conference championships and two appearances in the Amateur Athletic Union national basketball tournament, reaching the quarterfinals in 1932. Fishbeck was selected a two-time All-Conference performer. Fishbeck is the fifth member from the 1932 starting five included into the athletic hall of fame, which is considered one of the greatest basketball teams in DWU history.
Mike Flyger ‘77
Mike Flyger became an instant Dakota Wesleyan University starting linebacker his freshman year. Flyger showed such great skill and ability to read players that he never relinquished his starting position during his entire four-year career. Flyger’s senior year was one that every player dreams of achieving; he helped lead his team to a conference championship. The 1976 football team was not only the South Dakota Intercollege Conference championship team but was named to the South Dakota College Team of the Year. Flyger twice won All-Conference honors, and he was selected National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-District 12. Flyger also was selected NAIA honorable named Second-Team-All-American. Flyger was the only DWU football player to have accomplished this feat at that time. Flyger is recognized as being one of DWU’s greatest football defensive linebackers.
Forest “Bing” Gaetze ‘37
Forest “Bing” Gaetze attended Dakota Wesleyan University after an outstanding high school football career at Mitchell High School. Gaetze became an immediate starter on the Tiger football team and played both guard and tackle all four years, leading the team in tackles three years. Gaetze’s excellent offensive and defensive line play was a major factor in the team winning the 1936 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship with a 5-0-1 record. Gaetze was named All-Conference junior and senior years. Gaetze also participated in track and held the school record for shot put and discus. Gaetze continued his love of completion after graduating by becoming one of South Dakota’s greatest horseshoe players. Gaetze was inducted into the South Dakota Horseshoe Hall of Fame in 1988.
Bill Gallipo established himself as one of the top defensive backs and punters in school history during his football career at Dakota Wesleyan University. A 1968 DWU graduate and a hometown recruit from Mitchell, Gallipo was a four-year letter winner for the Tiger football team, and he received All-Conference honors as a defensive back during his outstanding career. Though statistical records are incomplete from his era, Gallipo accumulated at least 112 tackles, seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries during his career. His best defensive season was 1965 when he racked up 58 total tackles, picked off six passes and recovered two fumbles. Gallipo’s punting also proved to be a special team’s weapon for DWU. At the time of his Hall of Fame induction, Gallipo’s 78-punt in 1965 still stood as the longest punt in school history, making him the record holder for 45 years and counting. In two seasons as the team’s full-time punter, Gallipo punted 79 times for 2,848 yards- a 36.1 average. During his time at Dakota Wesleyan, Gallipo spent 34 years as a coach and an educator, which included 20 years as a head basketball coach, 15 years as a head football coach and 12 years as a head golf coach.
Hallie Gregory ‘62
Hallie Gregory, along with other athletes from Rockford, Illinois, came to Dakota Wesleyan University in 1958. Gregory played basketball for two years but found that his greatest talent was playing football. Gregory was a starting halfback for the Tigers and became one of DWU’s fastest runners. Gregory was particularly noted for his fast starts that led to long gains. Gregory became one of DWU’s best halfbacks during the 1960’s and was selected South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference in 1960 and 1961. Following his graduation, Gregory entered the coaching profession, and, during his college coaching career, he was twice named Basketball Coach of the Year. As a track coach, Gregory developed two national champions and six National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III All-Americans. Gregory later became the athletic director at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Ken Harkness ‘20
Ken Harkness, perhaps the finest Tiger athlete of the pre 1920’s era, excelled in football and basketball at Dakota Wesleyan University, and, at the time of his graduation, his coach praised him as one of DWU’s and the conference’s best athletes. Harkness played various backfield positions in football; however, his best talent was at quarterback. Harkness was captain of the team his senior year and led the 1919 team to a conference championship and an undefeated record. Harkness was first played on the intercollegiate level at DWU in 1917, and Harkness took advantage of the new sport and became the Tiger’s first All-Conference basketball player, winning the award his junior and senior years. Harkness led DWU to its first conference basketball championship in 1919.
Wayne Heisinger ‘69
Wayne Heisinger enjoyed a great career as a four-year starter for the Dakota Wesleyan University football team. As an All-State linebacker at nearby Parkston High School, Tiger fans were already familiar with Heisinger when he came to campus, and his college career met all expectations. During his four years, 1965-68, DWU went 20-15, including a 7-2 season in 1965 and a 6-3 season in 1968. Heisinger was selected to the All-SDIC Honorable Mention team in both 1967 and 1968, and he served as senior captain in 1968. A four-year member of the “W” Club, Heisinger was also selected as a member of homecoming royalty during Blue and White Days in 1968. Heisinger has enjoyed a successful career coaching high school football and track and field in Minnesota, and in 1998 he was named the DWU Alumni Coach of the Year.
Irven Herther ‘25
Irven Herther arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in the fall of 1921, and it was evident during his first football season that he was destined to be one of DWU’s greatest players. Herther took over the quarterback duties his sophomore year and led the team to three undefeated South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championships. Herther was one of the SDIC’s leading passers and ball carriers his entire career. Herther’s teammates elected him team captain his junior and senior years. For his outstanding talents, Herther was named All-Conference in 1923 and 1924. Herther also was a four-year letterman and starting guard for the basketball team and was elected captain his senior year. Herther was one of the team’s leading scorers; however, he was best known for his floor leadership and pinpoint passing.
Don Hilton ‘79
Don Hilton continued family tradition by attending Dakota Wesleyan University. However, after excelling at football and track for four years, Hilton left his own legacy. As a defensive back, Hilton won All-Conference honors his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also was the team’s co-captain his junior and senior years. Hilton not only was an exceptional tackler, but he had the uncanny ability to read quarterback passes and became one of DWU’s most accomplished players in pass interceptions. At the conclusion of Hilton’s career, he had set two school pass interception records, single season and career. Both of these records remained on the books for more than 10 years. In track, Hilton’s specialties were hurdles and relay events. His times in the hurdles and three relay events still rank high on the all-time list. Hilton joined his father Earl in the hall of fame, and they became the first father and son duo.
Earl Hilton ‘51
Earl Hilton was an outstanding South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference football and basketball player for Dakota Wesleyan University. Hilton was a four-year starter in football and received the team’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1950. Hilton was a starter on the basketball team, never placing below fifth in the conference standing during his athletic career, and led the team to 47 victories. In his junior and senior years, the Tigers finished as runners-up in the conference race. Hilton continued his love of athletics after graduation by becoming a successful coach for various schools throughout South Dakota before returning to Mitchell as a football coach, a track coach and an athletic director. Hilton and his son Don are the first father and son combination to be inducted into the DWU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Clare “CY” Holgate ‘28
Clare “Cy” Holgate was a standout football and basketball player at Dakota Wesleyan University. Noted for his extreme downfield speed in football, Holgate was placed at the halfback position his freshman and sophomore years. Holgate also was a talented passer; consequently, many plays were designed for him to pass as a halfback. Holgate was shifted to quarterback his junior and senior years because of his passing ability and his leadership qualities. In 1926 he led the team to the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship with a perfect 5-0 record. Holgate was named to the All-Conference team in 1926 and 1927. He played forward for the basketball team and was the leading scorer all four years. Although he never experienced a conference championship in basketball, the team finished second in 1926 and 1928. Holgate received All-Conference selections his junior and senior years.
Sid Horman ‘33
Sid Horman excelled in football and basketball during his Dakota Wesleyan University athletic career. Horman played guard on the basketball team and was instrumental in the Tiger’s four conference championships and three appearances in the Amateur Athletic Union national basketball tournament. Nevertheless, Horman’s greatest talent was his superior defensive tackling ability. Horman led the football team in tackles all four years, and his superior quickness allowed him on numerous occasions to stop the quarterback from handing off the ball and to catch runners behind the line of scrimmage. Horman played a major role in helping the 1929 conference championship team go undefeated in five games. For his outstanding ability, Horman was named to the South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference team his junior and senior years.
Terry Kurtz ‘67
Terry Kurtz came to Dakota Wesleyan University as a quarterback with the specific task of changing the fortune of DWU’s football program. He was an instant starter and never missed a game during his football career. Kurtz led the 1965 team to a 7-2 record, which was only the second time a Tiger football team had won seven games in a season, the first being in 1915. During Kurtz’s four years at DWU, he accounted for 30 touchdowns and set records in career total offense and passing offense, which was a testimony to his skills quarterbacking a primarily running team. Kurtz attained South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference honors in 1964 and 1965. Also in 1965, Kurtz received the university’s Bob Memorial Award for Outstanding Athletic Ability. The entire backfield of the 1965 team, who are all hall of fame members, is considered to be one of the best in DWU football history.
Barry Kusel ‘69
Barry Kusel was a four-year starter and letterman in football, playing offensive and defensive end. He also handled the punting duties. Being one of a few football players to “go both ways”, Kusel distinguished himself as one of the best ends in the conference. As a reward for his skills, Kusel won South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference honors in 1967 and 1968 and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-District 12 honors in 1968. Kusel also was an outstanding track performer in various events; however, his specialty was running the half-mile. He won a number of meets during his four years, but his most memorable victory came in the spring of 1967 when he set a school record in the half mile, becoming the first DWU runner in history to break the two minute barrier by winning the SDIC half mile championship with a time of 1:57.04.
Jeff Larson was a two-sport varsity athlete at Dakota Wesleyan University and excelled at both sports. He was a four-year starter at cornerback for the Tiger football team. He is tied for the school record for interceptions in a game (3) and career (18), and held the record for interceptions in a season for several years after picking off eight passes his senior year. His eight interceptions was good for second in the NAIA that year. He was a three-time All-Conference performer, and earned NAIA District 12 honors as a senior. He helped DWU to a conference title in 1987, and earned the team’s Hustler and Defensive MVP awards. The Mitchell native also started four seasons at second base and shortstop for the Dakota Wesleyan baseball team, and he was named the team MVP twice in his career. As a senior, he was named the KMIT Student-Athlete of the Year. After graduating with a double major, he was an assistant football coach at Dakota Wesleyan for two seasons.
Frank Lochridge ’50
Frank Lochridge was a talented football player for Dakota Wesleyan University during the late 1940’s. He was a four-year starter who was equally skilled at quarterback and halfback. As a quarterback, Lochridge was noted for his long passes and outstanding completion record. Lochridge was a skilled passer but also was the team leader on and off the field. At the conclusion of his career, Lochridge had set records in most all of the school’s passing categories, and those records remained until the mid-1960’s. Lochridge was honored for his athletic talents by being named a two-time South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference performer.
Chris Long ‘98
For four years in the late 1990’s, Chris Long treated Dakota Wesleyan University fans to great performances on the basketball court and on the football field. Long was an NAIA Men’s Basketball All-American Honorable Mention selection in 1996-97, and his 1,541 career points total was the 11th highest in school history at that time of his induction. Long helped Dakota Wesleyan win SDIC Championships in 1994-95 and 1996-97, and advance to the NAIA Division II National Championships in 1995. Long also crammed a career’s worth of accomplishments in two years with the DWU football team. The two-time All-SDIC First-Team selection is still second all-time with 1,780 career receiving yards, fourth all-time with 108 career receptions and fifth all-time in scoring with 24 career touchdowns and 148 points. At the time of his induction, Long’s 902 receiving yards in 1997 is still tops in school history, and his 875 yards in 1998 is the second-highest single season total. Long’s single-game record of 199 receiving yards also still stands. In another testament to his versatility, Long was also a one-year member of the Tiger baseball team.
Troy Loundenburg ‘88
Troy Loundenburg began his Dakota Wesleyan University athletic career in the fall of 1983. Troy was a four-year letterman in football at DWU. He was a four-year starter at running back from 1983-86. He began his career in 1983 by being named the team’s rookie of the year. Troy went on to be a two-time All-SDIC performer in football in 1985 and 1986. His best season came in 1986, when he had more than 1,000 rushing yards during the year. Troy was named the conference, district and NAIA National Player-of-the-Week after gaining 488 all-purpose yards in a single game in 1986. He still holds the school record for total offense in one game with 400 yards. Troy was a two-time team offensive MVP and was the team co-captain. He finished this standout football career with more than 2,000 rushing yards to rank in the DWU career top-10 rushing chart. Besides his standout football career, Troy was also a member of the DWU baseball team. He was selected to the All-SDIC Team in baseball in 1985. Troy was also named the homecoming king.
Chris Lounsbery ‘92
Chris Lounsbery began his outstanding football career at Dakota Wesleyan University in the fall of 1988. He played at the offensive guard position and was a perfect fit for the Tiger’s potent rushing attack. His quickness and outstanding blocking skills in opening up holes for the running backs helped make long yardage gains a reality not just a possibility. He was instrumental in the team leading the conference and District 12 in rushing during 1990 and 1991 seasons. During his four-year career Chris helped the Tiger football team win South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championships in 1989 and 1991. He received first team all-conference and NAIA All-District 12 honors in both his junior and senior years. However, his senior year truly climaxed his brilliant career in grand style by being named the SDIC Most Valuable Player and becoming only the second football player in school history to be named a first team NAIA All-American. Chris was also a track athlete placing second in the 1990 and 1991 conference meet in the shot put.
Steve Mach ‘77
Steve Mach arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in 1973 and immediately displayed his athletic ability in football and track. Mach played both defense and offense in football, finishing his career as the quarterback for the 1976 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship team that was named South Dakota College Team of the Year. Mach was not only an outstanding player but was also a natural team leader and was elected the team captain for the 1975 and 1976 seasons. During the 1976 season, Mach broke the school’s single season passing record, tossing for 1,340 yards. He was named the quarterback for the SDIC All-Conference team. Mach, also an excellent runner, set records in the indoor 800-meter run and the outdoor mile and medley relays.
Cliff Mackey, a three-sport athlete at Dakota Wesleyan University, excelled in football, basketball, and track. In football Mackey was considered one of the best triple threat halfbacks in the conference and was selected South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference three years. He also was voted team captain by his teammates in 1932. Mackey’s basketball career was very successful at the guard position, and he was a consistent scorer and great playmaker, which helped him gain all-conference selections his sophomore, junior and senior years. With a combined conference record of 21 victories and one defeat, Mackey helped lead the team to SDIC conference championships in 1932 and 1933. Those same years the team also participated in the Amateur Athletic Union national basketball tournament, winning two games in the 1932 tournament. Mackey also was an excellent track performer and won numerous times in the dashes and field events.
Jim Martin ‘73
Jim Martin was an outstanding three-sport athlete during his four years at Dakota Wesleyan University and won a total of 12 varsity letters. He was a four-year starting halfback in football and was selected South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference honorable mention twice. Martin also was a four-year starter for the Tiger basketball team and was an excellent shooter and one of DWU’s most outstanding floor leaders. Martin scored 1,097 career points while leading the Tigers to SDIC conference championships in 1969 and 1970. He was an All-Conference and NAIA All-District 12 selection his junior and senior years. On the track Martin excelled in the sprints and set three school records. His time of 49.04 seconds in the 400-meter dash held for 19 years. After Martin’s graduation in 1973, he returned to campus in 1975 as the assistant basketball coach. He became the head coach in 1983 and won the conference championship in 1984 and 1985.
Mike McKay ‘63
Mike McKay began his Dakota Wesleyan athletic career in the fall of 1959. He participated in three sports but was primarily known for his many skills on the football field. During his football career, he played six different positions. He was noted many times for his leadership ability as was proven by not only leading the Tiger football team at quarterback, but also twice being selected team captain. For his excellent skills on the field, he was twice selected a South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference performer and in 1962 was named NAIA Honorable Mention All-American. Mike’s athletic and leadership ability was also prevalent on the track by his participation on four Dakota Wesleyan conference championship relay teams. His 1960 championship 800 meter relay team not only set a school record that lasted 11 years, but is still 10th best in school history.
Ed Melcher ‘68
Ed Melcher was a two-sport athlete and lettered all four years in football and wrestling. Melcher was the second member of the heralded backfield of 1965 to be inducted into the hall of fame. Melcher is considered by to be one of the most talented fullbacks of that era for his skills in gaining necessary short yardage for the 7-2 team that had an outstanding running attack. Melcher also was noted for his superior play as a defensive tackle and was selected as a two-time South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference performer and named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-District 12 team his senior year. Melcher also was an outstanding wrestler and placed in most of his matches his entire career.
Lauritz Miller ‘03
DWU Academy 1897-99
Lauritz Miller was considered by many to be Dakota Wesleyan University’s greatest all-around athlete for the university’s first 50 years. With no eligibility limits in the early years of college athletics, Miller competed in football and track for six years- two years while attending the DWU Academy and four years while attending the university. Miller’s size, speed and overall desire made him the most feared athlete in the Dakotas during his playing days. On the football field Miller played guard, tackle, end and running back, leading the Tigers to an 18-2-3 record and five South Dakota College championships. During that time the team piled up a total of 638 points, most of which were scored by Miller, to their opponents, 154 points. In track, Miller was equally outstanding and participated in hurdles, dashes, high jump, discus, hammer throw, and shot put, winning in nearly every meet. Miller’s throw of 41’6” in the shot put was a school record that stood for 25 years. Miller’s times in the 100-yard dash were close to 10 seconds flat in every race he ran.
Jack Mitchell ‘50
Jack Mitchell, a 1950 DWU graduate, was a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Tiger football team. The Cambridge, Ohio, native was part of the 1945 team that went 4-0 and was named the state champion. As a freshman that year, he was named to the ‘mythical All-State team’. Dakota Wesleyan went 12-13 in his career, and Mitchell started every game the three seasons he played. Mitchell coached and taught in Plankinton, S.D., for four years before moving back to Ohio and working in the newspaper industry for 39 years. He is retired and lives in Conway, S.C.
Lyle Nelson ‘26
Lyle Nelson was another of Dakota Wesleyan University’s talented football players during the 1920’s. Nelson was an outstanding halfback noted for his great speed and keen sense of finding holes when plunging through the line, which often led to long yardage gains. Nelson was a four-year letterman and starter, and he played on two South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship teams in 1922 and 1923. For both years the Tigers were undefeated in conference play. Nelson was one of the top runners for the school and conference during his football career, and he was rewarded for his skill by being selected a two-time all-conference halfback.
Randy Oldenkamp ‘79
Randy Oldenkamp, an outstanding football and track athlete at Dakota Wesleyan University, was a four-year starter and letterman in football, playing primarily defensive linebacker until his senior year when he moved to the quarterback position. This switch proved to be an excellent coaching decision, not only because of Oldenkamp’s skills on the field but also because of his leadership ability. Oldenkamp was selected the team’s captain and most valuable player, and for the second year in a row Oldenkamp was named South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference. Oldenkamp is one of few Tiger players who can claim All-Conference honors for both offense and defense. Oldenkamp also excelled in track, showing tremendous all-around talent. He was the SDIC and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12 decathlon champion in 1978 and 1979. In his senior year, Oldenkamp set a school decathlon record that remained for 18 years, and he has ranked in the top 10 in three track categories for many years.
Ron Parks ‘64
Ron Parks, a four-year offensive center letterman on the Tiger football team, received all-conference honors in 1963; however, Parks is best remembered as one of Dakota Wesleyan University’s most successful football coaches. Parks returned to his alma mater as head football coach in 1972 and remained head coach until 1977, compiling 27 wins, which was third best in DWU’s history at that time. Parks’ 1976 team won the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship, a feat that had not been accomplished since 1945, and was selected the South Dakota College Team of the Year, only the second DWU team at that time to receive such an honor. This 1976 team, ranked as high as number two in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics ranking polls, finished the season with eight wins and set a single-season record. Parks was selected the 1976 NAIA District 12 Coach of the Year.
Mark Payne ‘15
Mark Payne was a talented football player in the early days of intercollegiate athletics at Dakota Wesleyan University. Although an outstanding punter, Payne’s primary skill was his extraordinary ability to dropkick a football. Payne was so accurate that his dropkick field goals became the Tiger’s most potent scoring weapon. Payne kicked field goals from almost any yardage, primarily within the 50-yard line until his junior and senior years when his accuracy was lengthened to an even greater distance. In his senior year, after already making kicks from 45, 53, and 55 yards, came the most legendary day in DWU football history. On Oct. 9, 1914, at Northern State College, Payne kicked a 63-yard field goal to break the national record held by Pat O’Dea from the University of Wisconsin. The most unique fact about this kick is that the record will never be broken since the dropkick is no longer used. For his true kicking ability, Payne was named All-Conference for three years.
John Rice ‘66
John Rice made his football presence known as a starting offensive guard during his freshman year at Dakota Wesleyan University in 1962. Rice’s “presence” continued throughout his career, climaxing in 1965. Along the way Rice attained four letters and two South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference selections. Also in 1965, Rice helped lead the Tigers to a 7-2 season, the most wins by a DWU football team in 49 years. Rice had a unique blocking ability that was instrumental in gaining necessary yardage and touchdowns. However, it was not only Rice’s athletic ability that made him so valuable, but also his great attitude and tremendous leadership skills will always be remembered by his coach and teammates. Rice’s coach Gordon Zapp credits Rice, a team co-captain, as being one of the main reasons for the success of the 1965 team. Zapp singles Rice out as one of the best blocking lineman he ever coached, as well as the premiere lineman in the SDIC during the 1960’s. Rice also was one of DWU’s first wrestlers, earing three letters.
Daryl Rippentrop ‘76
Daryl Rippentrop was an outstanding football player at the defensive safety position. He became a four-year starter and letterman, and for his extraordinary talents he was named South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference in 1974 and 1975. Also in 1975, Rippentrop received honorable mention in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12. Rippentrop had an exceptional skill in pass receiver coverage, as evidenced by establishing two Dakota Wesleyan University pass interception records. He also had the unique ability to always be at the right place at the right time, making the “big plays.” In the words of his coach, “Daryl was always there.” Rippentrop’s superior quickness and speed along with his great attitude made him one of DWU’s most valuable athletes in the mid 1970’s.
Don Rose ‘61
Don Rose was one of many Ohio athletes who followed their coach to Dakota Wesleyan University in 1946. Rose was a four-year starter in football and basketball. After starting on the Tiger football line, Rose was invited to try out with the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. Rose was named to the All-Conference team in 1949. Rose also had an outstanding career as the basketball team’s center. He helped lead the 1947 team to a 25-3 season record, the conference championship and a berth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national basketball tournament. The team’s 25 victories was a school record that held until 1979. Rose was the third DWU basketball player to score over 1,000 career points, and his 1,174 points was second best in school history at that time. Rose was the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference scoring champion in 1950 with 375 points, earning him All-Conference selection.
Brooks Schild ‘88
For four years, Brooks Schild was an anchor on the Dakota Wesleyan University football team’s defensive line during the team’s successful run during the mid-to-late 1980’s. Schild earned numerous team, conference, and national honors at defensive tackle from 1985-88, including NAIA Division I All-American Honorable Mention honors in 1987. He was also an NAIA All-District 12 selection and an All-SDIC performer. Schild was voted the Tiger’s most valuable defensive player as a pivotal member of the 1987 DWU SDIC Championship Team. Schild was just as successful in the classroom. He was a NAIA Scholastic All-American in 1988. He was a four-year member of the DWU Dean’s List, a member of the National Dean’s List in 1986 and the National Collegiate Natural Sciences Award winner in 1988.
Tom Schnabel ‘83
Tom Schnabel began his Dakota Wesleyan University football career at the linebacker position in the fall of 1979, and at the conclusion of his career he was touted as one of DWU’s greatest defensive linebackers. Schnabel’s value to the coaches and to the team was recognized by being a four-year starter and letterman, selected team captain for two years and named the team’s most valuable player his senior year. Schnabel was both a two-time South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference selection and a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-District 12 selection. In 1982 Schnabel was named NAIA academic All-American. His defense ability and skill were also noticed by professional football scouts, and he played for the Denver Gold and Houston Gamblers of the United States Football League. Unfortunately, injuries ended his professional career.
Terry Shelsta '71
Terry Shelsta arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in 1967 to play football, and it was evident from the onset that he was destined for stardom. Shelsta had an outstanding four-year career and became one of DWU’s most talented linemen, playing both offense and defense. Shelsta was selected South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference and National Association of Intercollegiate All-District 12 his junior and senior years. As a result of Shelsta’s line play, he received the opportunity to play for the Omaha Mustangs in the Continental Football League and later was offered a chance to tryout with the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League in 1973. From 1974-1976 Shelsta played for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League and became one of DWU’s few athletes to play professional sports. In 1975 Shelsta was named the league’s Most Outstanding Lineman. Shelsta received DWU’s Alumni Coach of the Year award in 1988 after several years of successful coaching in Omaha, Nebraska.
Floyd Smith ‘73
Floyd Smith was one of Dakota Wesleyan University’s and the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference’s fastest running backs in football during the 1960’s. He was a three-time, All-Conference performer and finished his career setting three school records, including career scoring, single season scoring and career rushing. Smith’s career scoring record of 154 points held for 26 years, and his 2,355 career rushing record remained until 1976. Smith also had over 4,000 all-purpose yards during his four-year career. He was the third backfield member of the 1965 team to be inducted into the athletic hall of fame. Smith also participated in track and was a four-year letterman. He placed in numerous sprint events during his career and anchored the 1966 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship 880 yard relay team.
George Smith ‘57
George Smith followed his brother Russ to Dakota Wesleyan University in 1957. Smith soon proved his athletic talents and skills by excelling in football, basketball, and track. He was a four-year starting end in football and was considered one of DWU’s best during the 1950’s. Smith was named twice to the South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference. Smith also was an excellent basketball player and was one of the team’s leading scorers for three years. Although never realizing a conference championship, Smith helped lead the Tigers to 46 victories and second place conference finishes in 1956 and 1957. During his career the team never ended a season below fifth in the conference standings. As in football, Smith was an All-Conference performer. In track Smith was the conference high hurdle champion and placed in numerous meets as a pole-vaulter.
Russ Smith ‘55
Russ Smith, an outstanding football player at Dakota Wesleyan University at the end and halfback positions, had great talent for playing offense and defense and became one of the most feared competitors in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference. Smith was a superior runner and an exceptional pass receiver. Smith’s best year came in 1954 when he was the conference’s leading scorer with 61 points. He helped lead the Tigers to back to back 5-3 records in 1953 and 1954, the most wins for a DWU football team since 1945. Smith’s football talents were recognized by the SDIC when he was named twice to the All-Conference.
During his outstanding four-year career with Dakota Wesleyan University football team, Todd Sprang established himself as one of the best defensive backs to ever wear the Tiger uniform. A four-year starter, Sprang was honored as an All-SDIC First Team selection following all four seasons. In 1997, he was an NAIA All-American Second Team selection and a three-time All-District 23 pick. Sprang received the team’s Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year award in 1994 when he helped the Tigers win the SDIC Championship, and he was named DWU’s defensive MVP in 1995 and 1997. No Tiger has been more prolific in pass coverage, as Sprang graduated with 18 career interceptions and three interceptions in a single game- both school records. In addition, Sprang racked up 456 total tackles and 30 pass defenses, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, three blocked kicks and two safeties during his career. Sprang’s athletic excellence also extended to the baseball field, when he also enjoyed a great three-year career. In fact, Sprang’s career .422 batting average is believed to be one of the best ever at Dakota Wesleyan.
Charles Summers ‘46
Charles Summers, an outstanding high school athlete from Mitchell, South Dakota, played football and basketball for Dakota Wesleyan University. A powerful runner who was talented on defense and as an offensive down field blocker, Summers was twice named South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference. Summers played guard for the basketball team and was known for his playmaking skills. He helped lead the 1939 and 1940 teams to consecutive conference championships. Summers also played a major role in the Tigers’ participation in four National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national basketball tournaments. The 1939 team had a 20-3 record and was one of the most successful teams up to that time, making it to the quarterfinals in the national tournament.
Bill Talich ‘64
Bill Talich participated in football and basketball during his four years at Dakota Wesleyan University. He was a four-year starting end in football and was a skilled pass receiver, excellent blocker and defensive standout Talich’s all-around ability led his coaches to rate him as one of the best ends during the 1960’s. Talich was named to the South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference team in 1962 and 1963. Talich also was a four-year letterman for the basketball team. He was a valuable contributor to the team’s 1963 and 1964 conference championship seasons, and the 1964 team qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national basketball tournament. Following graduation, Talich had several successful seasons coaching high school basketball in Denver, Colorado, before entering private business.
Louis Todnem ‘20
Louis Todnem arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in the fall of 1917 with dreams of becoming a Tiger running back. However, Todnem’s football coach had other plans for the 165-pound freshman and placed Todnem at the tackle position. Todnem became an instant star at tackle, becoming a two-time All-Conference performer. His coach labeled Todnem as one of the strongest gridiron men to play for DWU up to that time. Todnem helped lead the Tigers to a 5-0 conference championship his senior year and the team outscored their opponents 157-14. Todnem was also a standout baseball player, making All-Conference three times as a catcher. DWU’s baseball success reached its height in 1919 when the Tigers won the conference and finished with a perfect 10-0 season. Todnem later became a very successful high school football coach in Minnesota and was inducted into the Minnesota Athletic Hall of Fame, also in 1997.
Lloyd “Lefty” Turnwall ‘43
Lloyd “Lefty” Turnwall was a three-sport letterman during his athletic career at Dakota Wesleyan University. Turnwall excelled in football, basketball, and track; however, he was probably best known for his leadership ability and his knowledge of the sports in which he participated. Turnwall was regularly selected as the team captain for football and basketball. In 1943 he was named DWU’s Outstanding Athlete and Scholar. Turnwall’s talent and leadership on the basketball court helped the Tigers win two conference championships in 1939 and 1943. The 1943 team won a total of 21 games, the most of any basketball team in DWU’s history up to that time. During Turnwall’s four years, the team also participated in three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournaments, reaching the quarterfinals in 1939.
Galvin Walker ‘23
Galvin Walker was an excellent high school athlete at Gregory, South Dakota, and continued his athletic career on the football field at Dakota Wesleyan University, becoming one of the Tigers best players at that time. Walker played halfback and quarterback and helped the Tigers win the conference championship his freshman year with a 5-0 record. After recovering from a season-long injury in 1920, Walker returned to the lineup and led the Tigers to two consecutive championship his junior and senior years. Walker was one of the team’s leading rushers for the three years he played and was named to the South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference team in 1921 and 1922. Walker entered the coaching profession following his graduation and later became one of the most respected college track coaches during his many years at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jerry Walton ‘56
Jerry Walton was a four-year starter and letterman for the Dakota Wesleyan University football team. He was an outstanding runner, earning him numerous honors and recognition as one of DWU’s most talented and skilled players at the fullback position. Walton led the team in rushing all four years and was one of the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference’s top performers in rushing and scoring. His single game 286 rushing yards in 1952 set the school record that held for 39 years. That same year Walton led the team and conference in scoring with 79 points and average rushing yardage of 8.91 yards per rushing until 1967. Walton averaged close to nine yards per carry his entire career and was a two-time All-Conference performer. Walton is one of 11 former DWU athletes who are members of the SDIC Hall of Fame.
John Weber ‘70
John Weber was raised on a farm near Lesterville, South Dakota, and enrolled at Dakota Wesleyan University in 1966. Weber became a two-year letterman in football and one of DWU’s most outstanding wrestlers. In four years as an All-Conference wrestler. Weber never placed below fourth in any of his matches, finishing his four years with a 15-1 record. Weber was a South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference champion in 1969 and 1970 and competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national wrestling championships both years. After he graduated in 1970, Weber continued his dedication to athletics and the ministry. He became affiliated with Athletes in Action and served as chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Weber has helped hundreds of professional athletes lead more spiritually fulfilling lives.
Zach Wipf ‘24
Zach Wipf, a very talented football and baseball player, came to Dakota Wesleyan University in the fall of 1918. In football Wipf had outstanding receiving and passing skills, which made it quite difficult for his coach to decide where he would be the most valuable to the team. Wipf started at end for most games during his career and filled in at quarterback when needed. Wipf also was a talented runner and made many long gains after pass receptions. He played on two undefeated South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship teams in 1919 and 1921. Wipf was named All-Conference as an end his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also was a very talented baseball pitcher and led the team to a 10-0 record and a conference championship in 1919. Wipf was named to the All-Conference baseball team that same year.
Steve Withorne ‘77
Steve Withorne came to Dakota Wesleyan University to play basketball; however, he will always be remembered for his basketball and football prowess. Withorne, a four-year basketball letterman, a 1973 tri-captain and a 1973 Honorable-Mention-All-Conference player, was instrumental in two conference championships. In the fall of 1973, Withorne decided to play football, and he became an instant starter, playing various positions and mastering them all. Withorne played on the offensive and defensive line and handled the punting and place kicking duties. He won several games with his field goal accuracy. Withorne’s football success was recognized at the conclusion of his senior year, being chosen for the South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference team and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-District 12. Withorne’s play as an offensive guard drew attention from the National Football League scouts, and he was granted a free agent tryout with the Dallas Cowboys in 1975.