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

Paul Tierney - Inducted 2022

Paul Tierney is one of the best cowboys to come out of South Dakota after breaking into the sport in 1977. Tierney was born in Kearney, Nebraska in 1952 and earned a business degree in Rapid City. It didn't take long for Tierney to make an impact in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). He placed second his rookie year and in 1980 won the all-around championship.

The world tie-down roping champion in 1979, Tierney put together an even better season in 1980 to end Tom Ferguson’s six-year reign as all-around champion and become the second rodeo cowboy to surpass $100,000 in earnings during a single season. Tierney, who typically competed in large, black-framed eyeglasses, was second in the tie-down standings in 1980 and fourth in steer wrestling. He was reserve all-around champion in both 1977 and 1979, finishing second both times to Ferguson and was fourth in 1981 behind Jimmie Cooper, Roy Cooper and Ferguson. Seven times he rated among the top 10 all-around cowboys, before retiring in the late 1980’s after suffering a ruptured disc. Tierney was reserve tie-down champion in 1977-78 and 1980. He had nine National Finals Rodeo tie-down qualifications (1977-1982, 1984-86) and five in steer wrestling (1977, 1979-81, 1984). He posted rodeo championships at Black Hills Roundup, California Rodeo Salinas, Deadwood Days of ’76 Rodeo, Dodge City Roundup, Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo, Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, Reno Rodeo, and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

Tierney competed in six events while studying for his agricultural-business degree at the National College of Business in Rapid City, S.D., winning 10 regional titles.

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