The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

2009 Inductees Announced

December 04, 2008 by

Eight people have been chosen for induction into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame at the organization?s annual banquet April 4 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Members of the 2009 inductee class are golfer/coach Peggy Kirby, basketball player Lisa Van Goor, track sprinter Lee ?Lefty? Hisek, football coach Bob Young, Olympic trapshooter Frank Hughes, state activities association official Ruth Rehn, basketball player/referee Roger Nelson and USA Today founder Al Neuharth. Kirby lives in Sioux Falls, Young in Brandon, Nelson in Brookings, Rehn in Pierre, Neuharth in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and Van Goor in Lafayette, Colo. Hisek and Hughes are being honored posthumously. Ticket information will be released at a later date. The Hall of Fame was established by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association in 1968 and is now an independent non-profit organization. With these new inductees, the Hall will boast a membership of 195. § Kirby was inducted into the state golf Hall of Fame in 2005. She won the state women?s stroke play championship five times ? 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1982 ? and the Sioux Falls city tournament 17 times. A Sioux Falls native, Kirby played collegiately at Arizona State, where she helped the Sun Devils capture the 1975 NCAA championship. She is in her sixth year as Augustana?s women?s golf coach. She has transformed the Vikings into one of the top programs in NCAA Division II, culminating with the program?s first-ever appearance in the Division II national tournament in 2008. Augustana won its first-ever North Central Conference title in 2007. § Rehn, a Lyons High and 1966 South Dakota State grad, was an assistant executive director for the S.D. High School Activities Association for 34 years, starting in 1974. During her tenure, South Dakota added basketball, volleyball, cross country, and competitive cheer and dance for high school girls. She helped lead South Dakota as the first state to advocate the use of a smaller basketball for girls as well as experimenting with the use of rally scoring and the libero player in volleyball. Rehn taught and coached in Minnesota from 1966-73, coaching gymnastics, volleyball and track at the varsity level. In 1974, she was one of the first two women to run in the Jackrabbit 15 road race. § Hughes and his twin brother, Jack, were hunting guides in Mobridge. At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, he won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. team in the team clay pigeons competition and a bronze medal in the individual trap. In 1919, while shooting in a driving rain in St. Paul, he pulverized 496 clays out of 500. Following a shoot in South Bend, Ind., a newspaper account said ?Frank Hughes is without a doubt the best shot in the country.? In Dayton, Ohio, in 1924, he hit 199 out of 200, missing his first shot and hitting all the rest. At an Oklahoma shoot, he hit 410 clay bird targets in one string without a miss. § Nelson, a 1954 Brookings High and 1958 USD grad, has been a referee/official/umpire for more than 50 years in a host of sports: football, boys/girls basketball, volleyball, wrestling, track, baseball and softball. At 6-2 1/2, he was the starting center for USD?s 1958 NCAA Division II basketball champs. He also started on USD?s team that was third at nationals the year before. He played guard at Brookings High, where he held the career scoring record for more than 50 years. He helped Brookings to the 1952 state title, was quarterback of the mythical state champion football team, was a two-time state discus champ in track and he was a catcher in Legion baseball. He coached in Hartley (Iowa), Colman, Fort Pierre and Canova. At Canova, he guided the girls basketball team to a 102-17 record and four state-tourney berths in five years (1975-79) and was 77-49 as the boys coach. § Neuharth, an Alpena High and 1950 USD grad, built the nation?s largest newspaper company (Gannett) and started the nation?s most widely ready newspaper (USA Today). Much of Neuharth?s start in journalism involved sports, and much of the success of USA Today is due to its innovative sports section. At USD, Neuharth was the sports editor of the student newspaper, the Volante. In 1952, Neuharth launched a statewide sports weekly called SoDak Sports. Though the publication was popular with readers, the tabloid, printed on peach newsprint, was not a financial success, and it went belly up in less than two years. After stints at the Miami Herald and Detroit Free Press, he joined Gannett in 1963. In 1982 he launched USA Today. Since his retirement from Gannett in 1989, he has been an author, speaker, columnist and world traveler. § Van Goor, a 1980 Yankton High grad, was the first female to be inducted into the Colorado University Sports Hall of Fame, in 1999. The 6-3 center is still the all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker (male or female) in Colorado basketball history. She was the first player in Colorado basketball history (male or female) to score 2,000 career points. She also was the first to get 1,000 rebounds. She was three-time all-conference at Colorado (1981-83). She was a finalist for the Wade Trophy (given to the best women?s basketball player in the nation) in 1983 and ?85. Colorado was a Top-20 team in 1981 and ?82 and played in the AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women; this was before women?s sports came under the NCAA) postseason both seasons. She played on the World University Games team in 1981 and the Jones Cup team in 1982 and ?83. Before women?s pro basketball started in the United States, she played professionally in Spain, Italy and France for seven years. At Yankton, she was first-team all-state in 1978 and ?79 and led the team to the state Class A title both seasons. She worked in the Colorado University athletic department and its fundraising arm, the CU Foundation, for eight years in events and fundraising. § Young, a Beresford High and 1961 University Sioux Falls grad, is the winningest football coach in USF history with a 172-69-3 record in 22 seasons. Young guided USF to nine South Dakota-Iowa Conference crowns and four Great Plains Athletic Conference titles. Under Young, the Cougars made 10 NAIA postseason appearances, including nine of his last 11 seasons. In 1996, USF was 14-0 and won the NAIA Division II national championship. The Cougars were NAIA runners-up in 2001. Six times USF had unbeaten regular seasons under Young. Prior to coaching at USF, Young was 72-23-5 at Maryvale High School near Phoenix. Playing both linebacker and offensive guard from 1957-61 at USF, he was all-conference and team MVP as a senior. § Hisek, a 1967 Tyndall High and USD grad, the ?Tyndall Tornado? was one of the state?s greatest track sprinters. He was state prep champ in the 100-yard dash three times, and in college he was the North Central Conference 100 champ four times. He was a three-time state prep champ in the 220 as well. He set state records in the 100 (9.8) and 220 (22.3). In the 1967 state meet, he earned gold medals in all four events he entered (100, 220, 440 relay, 880 ofrelay), setting a Class B state-meet record in each event, to help the Panthers to their second consecutive state title. He also was an all-state running back in football. Hisek also coached for about 10 years. He was an assistant at USD, then coached three years at Gettysburg and a year each at Aberdeen and Pierre, then was coach at Yankton College for two years.

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