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

Dean, Wolfgang head 2007 inductees

December 05, 2006 by

Outdoor broadcaster Tony Dean and sprint car racer Doug Wolfgang are among 10 individuals chosen for induction into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. Wolfgang is the first auto racer ever chosen, while Dean is the first inductee chosen solely for his outdoor accomplishments. Fred Tibbetts, the winningest girls basketball coach in state history, also was selected. Others chosen were basketball player Jim Gremmels, basketball/track athlete Kay Besanson, cross country and track coach Dave Little, track/cross country coach/official Dean Mann, track athlete Kay (Stormo) Freund, broadcaster Jim Thompson and booster Ralph Macy. Dean lives in Pierre, Wolfgang, Mann and Tibbetts in Sioux Falls, Thompson and Little in Spearfish, Gremmels in Glenwood, Minn., Besanson in Wilmington, N.C., and Freund in Georgetown, Texas. Macy is being honored posthumously. The 10 will be inducted at a banquet April 14 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. 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 177. Tony Dean: He is the host and producer of "Tony Dean Outdoors," a regional television show that airs across the upper Midwest. He also produces "Dakota Backroads", a daily radio show that airs across both Dakotas and portions of surrounding states. His TV and radio shows have won more than 260 regional and national programming awards. He was inducted as a "Legendary Angler" into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Jade of Chief?s award, the top conservation honor given by the Outdoor Writer?s Association of America. He has received numerous conservation awards at a local, state, regional and national level. He writes regularly for Dakota Country, Dakota Outdoors, and Minnesota Outdoor News. He also does a weekly outdoor issues column for the Argus Leader, and a similar twice-monthly column for the Fargo Forum. Doug Wolfgang: The1970 Lincoln High grad was one of the Big Three (with Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell) on the World of Outlaws sprint car circuit throughout the 1980s. Wolfgang won more than 600 feature races in his career. He was selected eighth on the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame ?Drivers of the Century?? list. He won 107 feature events on the World of Outlaws circuit. He was a four-time runner-up for the Outlaws series points championship. He won the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals, the Indy 500 of sprint-car racing, five times (1977, ?78, ?84, ?85, ?89). In 1989, he won 20 events and $249,015 on the World of Outlaws circuit and also won 11 features and $178,525 on the United Sprint Association circuit. He also won 20 World of Outlaws events in 1981. He won the season championship at Knoxville Raceway in 1976 and ?77. He is credited with 60 feature wins at Knoxville. He won 31 races while competing at Huset?s Speedway near Brandon. He was seriously burned in an April 3, 1992 sprint car accident in Kansas City. He came back to win the IMCA championship for 360 sprints in 1995. He won the ASCA 360 Nationals at I-80 Speedway in 1996. He retired in 1997. He began his career in 1970 driving super modifieds in the Sioux Falls area. He stepped up to the more powerful sprint cars in 1975. Fred Tibbetts: The 1967 De Smet High and 1971 Dakota State grad won 551 games and 11 state titles ? both state girls basketball records. He guided Roosevelt HS to a state-record win streak (111 games counting four out-of-season wins at a tourney in Oregon) and six Class AA titles, including five in a row (1997-01). He retired after winning the 2005 state title. He was 551-101 in 29 seasons at the high school level (18 at Jefferson, 11 at Roosevelt). He also coached four years at the college level (USD, 1986-90). He started coaching at Jefferson, where he led the Hawkettes to a then-state record win streak of 67 games from 1978-80. His Jefferson teams were state champs in 1975, ?78, ?79, ?80 and ?85 and were twice runners-up as well. He also coached track at Jefferson, guiding his team to five straight state titles from 1981-85. He is the only coach to win state basketball titles in all three classes. In 1999 he was named National Coach of the Year in girls basketball. At USD, he was 64-47. His 1989 team was 22-7 and reached the Division II playoffs. Kay (Stormo) Freund: Stormo still holds the all-time South Dakota record for the girls 800-meter run, a 2:07.90 she registered in 1978. It was also in 1978 that she anchored Watertown?s sprint medley team to a Howard Wood Dakota Relays Class A record time of 4:06.34 ? a mark that stood until 2005. At the 1976 Watoma Relays, she established meet records in the 440 and mile, and anchored the Arrows? mile and medley relay teams to wins in meet record times. It was a sensational year for Watertown and Stormo as the Arrows won every race in which she participated. She earned 11 letters while competing in cross country, basketball, and track, and is a member of the Watertown High School Hall of Fame. Stormo went on to the University of Iowa, where she earned Hawkeye Hall of Fame and Iowa Female Athlete of the Year recognition. She was a three-time Big Ten Conference champion and still holds the Hawkeye school record for 800 meters outdoors (2:05.67). She was an NCAA runner-up in the 800 and a three-time All-American. Jim Gremmels: The Washington High grad was a charter member of the Augustana sports hall of fame. He was the first person to win back-to-back MVP awards in the North Central Conference, doing so in 1951 and ?52 while playing on teams that finished last and next to last in the standings. A transfer, he was eligible for just 2 1/2 years at Augustana. He still ranks sixth among all-time scorers at Augustana and had a 21.7 point per game scoring average, second best in school history. He also competed in track. He was the first coach of the Minn.-Morris men?s basketball program (1960-64). At Washington, he competed in football, basketball and track. Dave Little: The Watertown High and Northern State grad was the track and cross country coach at Black Hills State from 1968 to 1998. He led the Yellowjackets to 53 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference titles (21 cross country, 32 track) and 12 NAIA District 12 titles (10 cross country, 2 track). He was District 12 Coach of the Year 14 times (10 cross country, four track). Has also served as BHSU director of athletics from 1986-90 and 1996-02. He was president of the NAIA cross country association for two years (1984-86). Before coaching at BHSU, Little was a high school coach in Aberdeen (1965-66) and Dowagiac, Mich. (1966-68). He competed in track and cross country at NSU. Kay Besanson: One of Yankton College's all-time greats in basketball and track, he ran the 220-yard dash in 20.9 seconds in 1956, breaking the school record set by the legendary Joe Mendel. That time remained a YC record until the school closed its doors in 1984. He also ran a 9.7 100. In basketball, he was the Greyhounds? leading scorer and rebounder all four years. He ended his career as the leading rebounder and No. 2 scorer in YC history. He was a two-time all-South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference selection. Although he didn?t play football in college, he played football at Fort Carson, Colo., and was good enough to be invited to the St. Louis Cardinals training camp as a tight end in 1961. He broke his leg during training camp and retired. In high school, he was an all-state selection in 1954, leading Delmont to the state tournament. He is a member of the YC and SDIC halls of fame. Ralph Macy: The Vermillion High grad was a great booster of amateur athletics in South Dakota, and teams he sponsored were among the most successful in the state. The Rapid City Macy?s basketball team played in numerous state amateur tourneys, reaching the finals four times and winning titles in 1979 and ?81. Twice Macy took all-star teams to Europe, and in the summer of 1976 his team played 30 games in 60 days in the Soviet Union, France and Italy. He served as a player, coach, manager, sponsor, regional commissioner and director. The Rapid City Macy?s baseball team won the 1973 state tourney and was runner-up twice. Macy also was a baseball player himself, pitching in seven decades. He also sponsored teams that went to Arizona for the national over-30 and over-40 World Series. He is a member of the S.D. Amateur Baseball, S.D. Amateur Basketball and Rapid City Sports halls of fame. Dean Mann: The Washington High and Augustana grad has been an official in South Dakota for 53 years: 10 years in basketball (starting in 1954), 19 years in football (starting in 1958) and 49 years in track (as a starter and referee starting in 1958; still active). He was the referee for the state track meet for more than 25 years. He is a USA Track and Field certified national track official. Mann was an assistant track and cross country coach at Washington High for 13 years (1957-69) and head coach for nine (1969-79). He guided the Warriors to the state cross country title in 1977 and a runner-up finish in 1978, and a state track runner-up finish in 1979. He was director of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays for eight years, assistant director for 33 years and has been involved in the meet as an athlete, coach or worker for more than 50 years. As an athlete, he was four-year letterwinner at Washington and Augustana. He was a member of two state champion track teams at WHS. He is a member of the Washington High and South Dakota Coaches Association halls of fame. Jim Thompson: He has been a radio broadcaster in South Dakota since 1970. A four-time South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year, Thompson was the first broadcaster from Pierre and Watertown to win the award. In 1980 he was a finalist to be the Minnesota Twins radio broadcaster alongside Herb Carneal. Well known as a professional rodeo announcer, Thompson has been selected to announce every major rodeo finals in the country. He has done a daily syndicated radio rodeo program called ?On the Road Again? for over 30 years. He also does a weekly rodeo newspaper column. He has been inducted into the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Hall of Fame.

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