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

Terry Nielsen - Inducted 2023

A 1964 Sioux Falls Washington High/1968 SDSU graduate, Terry Nielsen has a lifelong passion for sports history and promotion. He’s volunteered thousands of hours over the years to keep three important South Dakota sports organizations thriving (Howard Wood Dakota Relays, SD Tennis Hall of Fame, and SD Sports Hall of Fame). He was a linchpin who helped transition to keep the SD Sports Hall of Fame alive as it went from the SD Sportswriters Association (which formed the group in 1968) to a statewide committee of people who love sports. Nielsen served two years as the SDSHOF president, including in 2014 when the ribbon was cut for the HOF showcase at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

Nielsen is an accomplished tennis player. He captained the SDSU Jackrabbit tennis team in 1968 as a two-year letter winner. As a board member of the Northwestern Tennis Association/USTA for eight years, he led several efforts to raise money to renew and construct tennis courts in Sioux Falls and reignite the passion for youth tennis through school programs. He took the early lead in re-starting the Sioux Falls Tennis Association in the early 1980s, serving two years as president. He was a leader in starting the SD Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.

Nielsen’s passion for writing and media relations has played a big part in his work with his three main sports organizations. He soon reaches 50 years of service as a board member of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, having served as its president from 1995-1997. His recent pet project with the Relays was helping start the Hall of Fame Courtyard at Howard Wood Field. Nielsen worked his way through college as a sportswriter at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and then spent a year with the Associated Press before starting his insurance career in 1970.

« Back to Contributors