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North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame

2015 Inductees | Past Inductees


Darin Giese-Bismarck High

Barry McCleary-Napoleon

Darin Giese was three-time state champion for Bismarck High School in the early 1990s. He amassed a 106-12 career record and was a member of the 1992 BHS team that was named ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today. He was a 1992 Junior National All-American in freestyle wrestling. He was named to the USA wrestling and Amateur Wrestling News High School All-American teams. Darin continued his wrestling career at the University of Nebraska where he was a four-year letter winner. He started as a true freshman and went on to qualify for the NCAA tournament twice. He was a three-time Big 12 Academic All-American and a member of the 1997 NWCA All-Academic Team. After graduation, he earned his Master’s degree in Exercise Science. He moved to Louisville, Ky., to manage a health and fitness center. Later, he moved to Nashville, Tenn., and worked for Concord Homes. In 2008, Darin’s life was cut tragically short at the age of 34. He is being represented here today by his brother Doug.

Barry McCleary is a 1973 graduate of Warsaw Community High School in Warsaw, Indiana, and a 1978 graduate of NDSU. He began his coaching career in the fall of 1979 as the head football and assistant wrestling coach at Napoleon High School. His first six years of coaching were under another hall of fame coach, Bert Gums. The Imperials took home 3 state team titles in those 6 years. Barry took over the head wrestling position in the 1985-1986 school year, a position he held through 2010-2011. In Barry’s 26 years as a head coach, his teams have won the Individual State Tournament 9 times, and the Dual State Tournament 6 times, both of which are coaching state records. His team was named the ND High School Male Team of the year in both 2005 and 2007. In 2007, in addition to winning the State Individual and Dual Tournament, his team won the prestigious Bismarck Rotary. Barry had the pleasure of coaching 37 individual state champions during his years in Napoleon. His coaching record is 459-94-1 including 63 straight dual wins. All of these stand as state coaching records. His individual coaching honors include: Regional Coach of the Year: 9 times State Coach of the Year: 2 times (1989 & 2005) NHSCA National COTY Finalist: 2 times (2005 & 2008) ND High School Male Coach of the Year: 2007 (Finalist in 2003 & 2005) In 2012, Barry was inducted into the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Barry and his wife Brenda have five sons: Kyle, Kelly, Keith, Kevin and Kriss.

Eric Sabot-Bismarck Century

Jeramie Welder-Bismarck High

Eric Sabot was a two-time state champion for Bismarck Century High School who helped lead the Patriots to the 2001 Team title. He was the 2002 Mr. Wrestler Award winner. Sabot also was a state runner-up as a sophomore and third place finisher as a freshman. He holds several Bismarck Century season and career records and finished with a career record of 193-15 including 88 straight wins over his final two seasons. He had 118 career pins and holds two retired state pin records. Sabot went on to be two-time junior college all-american at Northwest College of Wyoming which included an individual national championship in 2004 after finishing 5th in 2003.

Jeramie Welder was a two-time state champion for Bismarck High School, winning titles in 1991 and 1993 and earning the Mr. Wrestler award his senior season. He also finished second in 1992 and third in 1990. Welder compiled a 134-12 high school career record including 79 pins. He was a member of the 1992 BHS team that was ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today. He was named to the All-American teams of Wrestling USA, Amateur Wrestling News and Asics-Tiger. In 1991 Welder was a USA Wrestling Cadet National Runner-up in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. In 1992, he placed 8th in Greco Roman at the Junior National World Championships. He was also a Junior National All-America in Greco Roman and went on to be a National Champion in 1993. In 1994, Welder was a USAW Espoir National Champion in Greco and named the Outstanding Wrestler. In 1995, Welder was the USAW University National Runner-up in freestyle. Welder wrestled collegiately at the University of Nebraska where he was a four year letter winner with a 99-46 career mark. He was a captain, a three time NCAA National Qualifier and on the Big8/Big 12 Academic Honor Roll four times. Welder went into coaching after graduation leading Xavier High School in Kentucky to a state championship. He later led Franklin High School in Tennessee to a state championship. Currently, Welder is the founder and Head Coach of Wosbo Wrestling Club in Tennessee.

1988 Bismarck Century Team

The 1988 Bismarck Century wrestling team was one of legend and is the first team to be inducted into the North Dakota High School Wrestling Hall of Fame. With 13 weight classes at the state tournament, the Patriots sent nine wrestlers to the finals and crowned five state champions. 12 of the 13 Century state qualifiers placed in the top 6 at state and if there would have been eight placers, every Patriot would have placed. Century scored 299 points at the state tournament. Earlier in the season, they won the prestigious Minnesota Christmas tourney by over 100 points; the largest margin of victory ever at that tournament.

The team was led by two of the greatest wrestlers ever to emerge from the state of North Dakota, twin brothers Troy and Terry Steiner. Troy collected his third individual state titles at the 1988 state tournament and was named Mr. Wrestler. Terry won his second title. Both went on to become NCAA individual national champions at the University of Iowa. Troy was a four-time All-American for the Hawkeyes and Terry earned those honors three times and was the 1993 Outstanding Wrestler. Both brothers have been inducted in the North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Iowa Hawkeye Hall of Fame. Troy is currently the Associate Head Coach at Oregon State University where he has recruited several North Dakota wrestlers to OSU. Terry is currently the national women's head wrestling coach for USA Wrestling and he has coached several Americans to Olympic and World medals.

Another state champion on the team was Monte Trusty, another multi-time state champ, who went on to be an NAIA national champion for the University of Mary in Bismarck. Monte now coaches in Windsor, Colorado where his teams have won back to back state championships. As a senior, Monte earned the Mr. Wrestler award and is already in the North Dakota wrestling Hall of Fame.

Jon Gums was also a state champion for the Patriots in 1988. Jon was a multi-time placer who went on to coach high school wrestling in North Dakota for many years. He is the owner and editor of the Dakota Grappler. Century’s fifth state champion that season was Jon Korwin. Other finalists included Mike McCormick, Karl Lembke, Trent Gillis, and Ted Cash. McCormick went on to become a two-time state champion and a NCAA All-American at NDSU. He was recently inducted into the ND wrestling Hall of Fame. Lembke went to on to become an NAIA All-American. Gillis and Cash were multi-time state placers.

Mike Seeger placed 5th for the Patriots in 1988 and went on to be a state champion and junior National champion in 1993. Seeger was also a two-time NAIA national champion at the University of Mary and is in the ND wrestling Hall of Fame.

Trang Doan placed 4th, his third time placing at state, and Karsten McCollum placed 6th. Dean Milkey was the 13th member of the team. The head coach of the 1988 Bismarck Century team was William McCollum and his assistant was Ken Gabriel. Both are in the ND wrestling Hall of Fame.

13 wrestlers, 12 placers, 9 finalists, 5 champions, 7 Hall of Fame members. The 1988 Bismarck Century Patriots: a team of legend.




Harold L. Peterson

Father of North Dakota Wrestling, began in Williston

Dean Bachmeier

First NAIA Champion from North Dakota, wrestled for Dickinson State.

Dave Stewart

First 4-time North Dakota State Champion, wrestled for Willison.

Bill Demaray

First NCAA Division II Champion from North Dakota.

Adrian Nelson

Williston Sportswriter who reported the 1st two State Tourneys from Williston.

Vern Gale

First North Dakota College Wrestling Coach, started at Valley City State.

John Pederson

Sportswriter from Bismarck who actively promoted wrestling in its early and formative years.

Jerry Halmrast

North Dakota's first National Wrestling Coach of the Year, a leader in North Dakota wrestling for many years from Bismarck.

Lee Petersen

NCAA Division II Champion from NDSU & Bismarck.

Gary Hoffman

NJCAA 2-time National Chamption from BJC and Ashley.

Ed Maisey

4-time WAC Champion for BYU, NCAA Division I All-American, State Champion from Williston.

Phil Reimnitz

NCAA Division II Champion from NDSU & Bismarck.

Tom Lowe

NCAA Division II placewinner for NDSU, 3-time State Champion from Minot.

Roger Kellar

First North Dakota NJCAA Champion, wrestled for BJC and St. Mary's

Tony Huck

2-time NAIA Champion for Valley City State College from New Salem.

Al Larson

Carrington coach started foreign exchange programs in North Dakota.

Don Lemnus

Valley City State College coach for 22 years, produced 44 Conference Champions and 13 All-Americans

Rodney Anderson

2-time State Champion and longtime promoter of North Dakota wrestling from Lisbon.

Malcolm McLeod

4-time NCAA Division III All-American and 1-time NAIA All-American from West Fargo

Mark Reimnitz

NCAA Division II Champion for NDSU from Bismarck.

Bill Barney

Longtime Fargo wrestling coach and co-originator of North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Dean Hermes

Williston coach and co-originator of North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Dave Haas

NCAA Division II placewinner from Valley City.

Kurt Lesser

NAIA Champion for Dickinson State College from Minot.

Paul Syvrud

3-time NAIA Champion for Jamestown College from Mandan.

Lon Brew

3-time All-American for NDSU from Bismarck High.

Andy DeCoteau

4-time NDCAC Conference Champion for Mayville State from Belcourt.

Gary Dietz

Bismarck Junior College All-American from Bismarck High.

John Christen

NCC Champion, NCAA Division II placewinner, Academic All-American for UND from Minot Ryan.

Kent Ness

2-time State Champion for Devils Lake, NDCAC Champion for BSC, NCC Champion for NDSU.

Mike Norland

Coach of 6 State Championship teams from Velva.

Mark Carter

2-time State Champion for Mayville-Portland, 2-time NAIA All-American, At Bismarck High, his 1991 team ranked #2 in USA & 1992 team ranked #1 in USA.

Randy Burwick

2-time State Champion for Dickinson, 4-time NDCAC Champion and 1985 National Champion for DSU.

Keith Burwick

2-time State Champion for Dickinson, 3-time NDCAC Champion, 1977 North Dakota Athlete of the Year.

Hank Pankratz

3-time State Champion for Dickinson, 2-time NDCAC Champion for DSU.

Mike Schaff

2-time NJCAA All-American. Ten State Championships at Bismarck High.

Jeff Schumacher

4-time All-American NJCAA and NCAA Division II. National NJCAA Coach of the Year at BSC.

Bert Gums

Coached at Garrison and coached 4 State Championship teams at Napoleon.

Troy Humphrey

State Champion from Carrington. Nationsal NAIA Champion at Western Montana in 1988.

George Bowman

2-time State Champion from Grand Forks Red River, NCAA Division I national qualifier for University of Minnesota.

Stan Halling

Longtime coach at Hughes Junior High in Bismarck. Coached many Century & Bismarck High State Champions.

Dave Mellen

All-American at Dickinson State College. Coached 21 years at Mandan High School

Charlie Wagner

State Heavyweight Champion for Bismarck High, 3-time NDCAC Champion, 2-time college All-American.

Terry Steiner

2-time State Champion for Bismarck Century. All-American and National Champ at Iowa.

Troy Steiner

3-time State Champion for Bismarck Century. All-American and National Champ at Iowa.

James Buchli

State Champion for Fargo Central, USA Astronaut.

Lance Koenig

3-time State Champion for Carrington and All-American at NDSU.

Brett Maughan

4-time State Champion for Fargo North, formerly held State record for consecutive individual victories (126).

Mike Armstrong

1970 Captain at Bismarck High, 2-time Rotary Champion, Founder of Dickinson Wrestling Club.

Nick Storhaug

State Class B 2nd Best Career Won/Lost Record (217-27) at Lisbon.

Duane Hennessy

Longtime Grand Forks Central Coach and Wrestling promoter for North Dakota.

Dan Unruh

Coach and veteran State Wrestling Official from Wahpeton.

Joel Vettel

NCAA National Placewinner from NDSU and High School State Champion for Hillsboro.

John Richter

1983 State Champion for Bismarck St. Mary's, 2-time All-American for Bismarck State College

Tom Christen

Williston High School Coach for 22 years, Overall record of 253-158-1, Longtime promoter of wrestling.

Mike Seeger

5-time Placwinner (1992 Champion), 2-time National Champion, University of Mary Outstanding Wrestler, NAIA and 1996 ND College Athlete of the Year.

Howard "Bucky" Anderson

One of two coaches to receive COTY Honors in both Class A and Class B, Coached several individual Champions at Napoleon and Bismarck Century.

Linda Anderson

Organized first Northern Plains Regional for Kids and Cadets, Served 25 years as Secretary to USA Wrestling of ND.

Clay Nagel

2-time North Dakota State Champion, Coaching record 304-83-5.

Scott Braun

2-time State Champion at Bismarck Century and 3-time Division II National Runner-up.

LeRoy Boesflug

State Runner-Up, Coach and Official.

Chad Renner

3-time undefeated State Champion at Bismarck, USAW Jr. Nat'l Freestyle Champ & Runner-up, NCAA Division I All-American at Oregon State.

Kasey Gilliss

3-time State Champion for Bismarck Century, 1995 Mr. Wrestler of North Dakota, High school record of 143-3; NCAA Division I All-American at University of Iowa

Garry Opp

8-time Region COTY, State COTY, 49 consecutive dual victories, 9 consecutive tourney victories, 1993 State Champions, 7 individual champions.

Ken Gabriel

3-time Rotary Champion & 1973 State Champion, Coached 5 State Champion teams and 41 individual Champions as assistant/head coach, and 4 Mr. Wrestlers.

Leroy McCormick

1981 State Champion at Bismarck, 1984 NDCAC Champion & 1985 NAIA All-American at DSC, 3 Mr. Wrestlers and 13 individual champions as HC at Century.

Brian Biel

3-time State Champion at Beulah, NAIA Runner-up 2000 and Champion 2001 for University of Mary

Dale Beckman

Coaching record 362-191-8, 27 Individual State Champions, 115 State placers during 32 years as head coach at New Salem, coached 3 National Champions.

Clint Lien

Larimore head wrestling coach for 31 years with 228 Dual and Triangular wins, 20 years elementary wrestling coach, 13 years wrestling official, 40 years Athletic Director and promoter of wrestling.

Ron Zehren

Four-year letterman at NDSU. Coached 28 years at Jamestown High School, 22 years as head coach with a record of 214-69-5.

Milo Trusty

Mandan High School's first State Champion, 110-11 career record at VCSU, pioneered 3 successful ND wrestling programs: Century HS, U of Mary and Matpac WC, 4 time National NAIA Coach of the Year at U of Mary.

Dave Hilliard

First 5-Time Lakota State Champion in North Dakota, career record 162-9, 87 pins, lives in Center now.

Kris Nelson

Two-time high school State Champion, three-time collegiate All-American, National Champ and MVP of the 2000 NCAA Division Tournament from NDSU.

Jeff Enzminger

High School Record 171-21, College Record 101-24, two-time State Champion, four-time Regional Champion and 1994 Outstanding Graduating Senior, two-time All-American in college.

Vince Ames

3-time UND letter winner at University of North Dakota. 23 years as head coach with a record of 292 -171-4. Over 40 years of involvement with wrestling. Inducted into the GFC Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.

Duane Barnhardt

2 time state wrestling champion for Century High School. Career high school record of 108 wins and 15 losses. All -American at Bismarck State College. 2 time All-American at University of North Dakota.

Dennis Friestad

Head Wrestling Coach at Valley City High School for 39 years. Class A Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1987. 2 time state wrestling champion for Napoleon High School. 4 year letter winner and 2 time MVP in wrestling at Valley City State University. 4 time NDCAC wrestling champion for Valley City State University. NAIA All-American placing third at 157 lbs in 1965. NDCAC Outstanding Wrestler Award in 1965. Valley State University Athletic Hall of Fame member .

Mark Pazdernik

High school record 197- 4 time high school state champion from New Salem. 1998 National Champ in NCAA Div II 3 time All-American from NDSU.

Frank Fish Coached 29 individual state champions and 3 state championship teams at Watford City.
Roger Loerch

Broadcasted 20 state wrestling tournaments and is “The Voice” of wrestling in Harvey.

Mike Peterson

Three time state champion, high school All-American from Carrington. Three-year letterman at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point

Dave Reimnitz

State champion at Bismarck High, Junior College Hall of Fame Member & National Champ (BSC),  NAIA All-American (Eastern Washington), Junior Pan Am Champion.

Ryan Wolters State Champion; Second Place-Folkstyle Senior Nationals; Second Place-USA Wrestling Greco Nationals; Three time All-American at NDSU including 1995 National Champion
Theo Shalesky

Long-time Hettinger assistant high school coach and head coach of Hettinger Kids Wrestling Club

Brandon Lemer

Two-time state champion from Harvey; three-time All-American at Jamestown College

Lee Nagel Long-time head coach in Wahpeton
James Kisgen Two-time state champion from Devils Lake; two-time NJCAA All-American at BSC; two-time NCAA D2 All-American at UND; Head coach of McKendree University since starting the program
Norman Kleppe

Head coach in Lakota where he coached David Hilliard; long-time assistant coach in Napoleon; part of the staff that coached Napoleon to six consecutive state dual & individual championships

Jack Maughan

Two-time state champion at Fargo North; two-time All-American at NDSU under father Bucky Maughan; head coach for 22 seasons at University of Northern Colorado

Dave Michaelson

Long-time assistant and head coach at Dickinison High; produced 15 individual state champions & 76 state placewinners; WDA coach of the year 4 times; state coach of the year in 2003.

Scott Owens Two-time state champion from Devils Lake; state Triple Crown winner; two-time Cadet National champion, three time Junior National champion. NAIA national runner up twice at U-Mary
Adrian Simmons

Two-time state champion from Grand Forks Central; coached Grand Forks Freestyle Club out of high school; four year wrestler at UND; three-time D2 national qualifier

Mark Slater

Three-time state champion from Minot Bishop Ryan; played football at the University of Minnesota and in the NFL for six years with San Diego and Philadelphia

Jason Wagner Two-time state champion from Carrington; US Army National champion; wrestled at the University of Minnesota and UND
Rhett Hilzendeger

Bismarck High state champion in 1972, All-American at Bismarck Junior College, conference champion at D-1 Arizona, All-American at Moorhead State

Bill Kelly

Started wrestling programs in Wyndmere and Enderlin; head coach at Central Cass from 1968-1976; middle school wrestling coach at Jamestown from 1976-2001

Rick Mellmer Coach for the Dickinson Wrestling Club for 25 years coaching 18 high school state champions and 10 triple crown (state freestyle, state Greco-Roman, & state high school title) champions
Chuck Seamands

128-25-1 career record at Hettinger High School including 65-0-1 record during his junior and senior years and state titles at 105 and 112 pounds

Dusty Swanson

Three-time state champion from Fargo South compiling a 128-28 reocrd and earning Mr. Wrestler in 1998; qualified for World Team Trials in 2005; wrestled at NDSU from 1998-2003

Rich Voegeli Three-time state place winner at Ellendale High School; All-American wrestler at Northern State in Aberdeen; wrestling official and wrestling broadcaster for Oakes
Jason Anderson Three-time state champion from Carrington High School; national high school honorable mention wrestler by ASICS; NCAA Division II All-American at University of North Dakota where he placed 6th; volunteer wrestling coach for Carrington and Jamestown wrestling programs
Delaney Berger Two-time undefeated state champion for Mandan High School; wrestled at the University of Minnesota; was a Freestyle Espoir National Runner up, Greco Roman All-American and University National freestyle All-American.
Ron Gadberry Long-time wrestling coach for Moorhead High School and Hillsboro High School; leading voice for the state dual tournament championships; North Dakota record was 241-89 with 28 tournament championships.
Cy Kittleson Assistant wrestling coach at Velva for 31 years; A two-time state place winner at Velva and went on to wrestle for NDSSS where he was a national qualifier
Kris Lengenfelder Undefeated state champion and runner up from Bismarck High; two-time NJCAA National Tournament runner up; two-time Division II third-place finisher at UND
Mike McCormick Two-time state champion and one-time runner up from Bismarck Century; Division II All-American at NDSU; placed third in Espoir Nationals in freestyle, second in the Junior Olympics in Freestyle and Greco, and third in the Junior Olympics in Sambo
Troy Sabot Four-time state champion from Bismarck Century; won the 1995 prestigious Ohio Ironman championship; All-American at North Idaho College
Lynn Forde Wrestling coach for 37 yrs; 304 career dual meet victories; ND Class 'A' State Championship 1997; Coached 23 individual state champions;4 NDHSCA Coach of the Year Awards
Ryan Kringlie Two-time state champion for Bismarck High; 122-22-1 career record; USA Wrestling
Cadet All-American in Greco; Junior All-American in Greco; 1991 Junior National Champion in Greco; wrestled at Oregon State University
Ben Berogan Two-time state champion for Bismarck High; 134-14-1 career record; NCAA
Division II All-American with UND; Academic All-American and graduated UND Cum Laude
James Belohlavek Dickinson State University wrestler; Mandan Brave volunteer coach for 30 years; helped guide 21 wrestlers to state championships; 1994 NDEA Outstanding Youth Service Award
Kirk Zink 89-7 career record with the Carrington Cardinals; part of 2 state championship teams; three-time regional champ; state champion 1992; 102-11 college career record with VCSU; three-time NDCAC Conference champ, two-time regional champ, three-time All-American; VCSU Athletic Hall of Fame 2012
Darin Giese Three-time state champion for Bismarck High School in the early 1990s; amassed a 106-12 career record; a member of the 1992 BHS team that was named ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today; four time letterwinner for the Nebraska Cornhuskers
Barry McCleary Head coach at Napoleon for 26 years; his teams won the state individual 9 times & state dual tournaments 6 times; team was named the ND High School Male Team of the year in 2005 & 2007; team won the Bismarck Rotary in 2007; coached 37 individual state champions and had a coaching record is 459-94-1 including 63 straight dual wins.
Eric Sabot Two-time state champion for Bismarck Century; member of 2001 state championship team; 2002 Mr. Wrestler Award winner; holds several Century season and career records and finished with a career record of 193-15 including 88 straight wins over his final two seasons
Jeramie Welder Two-time state champion for Bismarck High, state champ in 1991 and 1993; Mr. Wrestler award in 1993; compiled a 134-12 high school career record including 79 pins; member of the 1992 team that was ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today.
1988 Bis. Century "Patriots" First team to be inducted into the North Dakota High School Wrestling Hall of Fame; in 13 weight classes, the Patriots sent nine wrestlers to the finals and crowned five state champions; 12 of the 13 Century state qualifiers placed in the top 6 at state; team scored 299 points at state; team won the prestigious Minnesota Christmas tourney by over 100 points; the largest margin of victory ever at that tournament.

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