Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
Inductees to the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame fall into the following categories: athlete, team, Mayville State coach, Mayville State athletic staff, or honorary member. In order to qualify for induction, athletes must have graduated from or left school at Mayville State at least ten years prior to induction, and have earned two letters in one sport or one letter in two or more sports. The Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee chooses inductees from a pool of nominations submitted throughout the year.
The 1995-96 Comet men's basketball team, coached by first-year high-energy head coach Tim Miles, went on an impressive winning tear that led to the NDCAC conference championship and a trip, the first since 1962, to the NAIA national basketball tourney held in Nampa, Idaho. With balanced scoring, the Comets wrapped up the conference title, de-throning Jamestown College, the previous NDCAC titleholder. The Comets finished the regular season with a 10-2 record and an overall record of 15 and 10. With their swarming defense, they held NDCAC opponents to an incredibly low 43% shooting percentage. The team received votes in the NAIA national polls in recognition of their amazing accomplishments. They were eighth in the NAIA in free-throw percentage. Members of the team and staff were Tim Miles, Tim O’Brien, Jeff Walen, Reed Roisum, Dave Finlayson, Aaron Fearne, Brad Raymond, Kent Bauman, Damir Radjenovic, Derrick Dotson, Doug Orvik, Brandy George, Jay Jesperson, Pete Hansen, Tim Grove, and Rick Karboviak.
Loaded with talent, the 1996-97 Comet men's basketball team built on the successes of the 1995-96 team. For the first time in Mayville State history, the Comets won both consecutive conference titles and consecutive trips to the NAIA national tournament. Under the dynamic leadership of second-year head coach Tim Miles and led by a bevy of NAIA All-America and NAIA Scholar-Athletes, the team compiled an 18-11 season record and a 9-3 record in the NDCAC. The Comets finished with a three-way tie for the conference regular-season title before making a 3-0 run through the post-season. The team received votes in national polls and were seventh in the NAIA in free-throw percentage and fifth in the NAIA in team defense. Moreover, every player who completed eligibility graduated with a Mayville State degree and many players were on the dean's list. Members of the staff and team were Tim Miles, Kris Brekken, Lance Roisum, Jay Jesperson, Jeff Walen, Pete Hansen, Brad Raymond, Brady Roisum, Justin Turnquist, Kent Bauman, Doug Orvik, Aaron Fearne, John Maus, Brandy George, Aaron Thompson, Jeremy Macejkovic, Jason Sunde, Damir Radjenovic, Craig Smith, Rick Karboviak, and Tim O’Brien.
From first-year head coach at NAIA Division II Mayville State to head coach at NCAA Division I University of Nebraska in the Big Ten Conference, with stops between, charismatic basketball coach Tim Miles has established a reputation for turning programs around, guiding men's basketball teams to impressive levels. At Mayville State he set new standards of excellence and expectations and led the 1995-96 Comets from the bottom of the NDCAC to the conference championship and a berth in the NAIA national tourney in Nampa, Idaho. The 1996-97 Comets repeated as the conference champion and participant in the NAIA equivalent of “The Big Dance.” The consecutive appearances in the national tourney were a first for any NDCAC team. In recognition, Miles was named 1996 NDCAC men's basketball coach of the year. The dominant, unprecedented turnaround under the passionate coach had implications not only for the Comets but for the entire league. In just two seasons he left an indelible mark on men's basketball in North Dakota. Miles is the only active coach who has taken teams to the postseason at the Division I, Division II, and NAIA ranks.
Randy Capouch played golf and baseball for the Comets from 1983 to 1986, but baseball was where he excelled. As a junior he was named all-conference and all-district. As a senior he was not only all-conference and all-district, but he also earned the honor of being the district player of the year. His stats are proof of his accomplishments, as he led the team in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage. His batting prowess grew as he banged out five home runs as a sophomore and raised that total to 10 in each of his junior and senior years. In his senior year, Capouch and Head Coach Scott Berry agreed that the Comets needed a regular starting pitcher and he took the challenge to heart, notching a perfect 7-0 record. Capouch graduated in 1986 with a major in business administration and a minor in accounting.
Herb Hasz has been dubbed “one of the best all-around athletes at Mayville State.” He earned that accolade as a member of the Comet basketball team, where he was a two-year letter winner and co-captain of the team in the 1966-67 season, and in baseball, where he was a three-year letter winner. Because he was a transfer, he played just half of the 1964-65 basketball season, but played full seasons from 1965 to 1967. He played full seasons in baseball from 1964 to 1967. He played for the Mayville Red Caps while attending summer school and was part of the team that won the North Dakota and South Dakota state tourney in 1966. He also played amateur baseball with the Crookston Reds for many years. He taught and coached for 33 years at Crookston, Minn. He is a member of the Crookston High School Hall of Fame. He graduated from Mayville State in 1967 with majors in mathematics and physical education.
Andee (Burris) Thompson has been described as tenacious and tough, making her a top player for opponents to fear. As a Comet women's basketball player from 1996 to 2000 she piled up impressive stats. She was a three-time team MVP; a three-time team captain; a three-time all-conference player; a three-time team leader in scoring and rebounding; was in the top five for both scoring and rebounding in the conference three years in a row; scored 1,200 career points; and averaged 20 ppg and 12 boards as a senior. The Comet women were ranked 16th in the NAIA her senior year. Andee graduated from MSU in 2000 with a major in elementary education and a minor in coaching.
Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame Inductees
The MSU Athletic Hall of Fame adopted the “Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame” in 2010. The purpose of this division of the Hall of Fame is to recognize Mayville State alumni who have excelled in their coaching careers. The Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee chooses the recipients of the award from a pool of nominations submitted throughout the year.
Rick Anderson, a 1974 Mayville State graduate, has spent his entire coaching career at Cooperstown, N.D. where, in 42 years, he led teams to conference, region, and state titles in boys track, girls cross country, and girls basketball. A member of the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, he has been named region coach of the year 21 times and state coach of the year nine times, all in boys and girls track and field and cross country. His teams earned five state titles in boys and girls cross country combined. He has been a national boys cross country coach of the year nominee twice and was a national finalist once. He has also presented at state and national coaches clinics. At Mayville State he majored in mathematics and minored in science.
Mike Belseth, a 1971 Mayville State graduate, has a special distinction: game-changer. As a high school football coach in Breckenridge, Minn., to try to bring equity to football playoffs, he proposed and successfully lobbied for the current Minnesota State Football Play-off System. He began his coaching career in Thompson, N.D., guiding the American Legion baseball team to their first state tournament appearance. Beginning in 1971, he was part of the Breckenridge system, where he taught in his college subject areas and coached football. He was named head coach in 1975, and in 17 years, his teams notched a 135-50 record, appearing in several state play-off games. He was named Heart 'O Lakes Conference Coach of the Year numerous times. In 1988, after guiding the team to winning the Minnesota Class B state football championship, he was named Minnesota Class B Football Coach of the Year. He is a member of the 25-Year Club of the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association and is on the Minnesota all-time winningest high school coaches list with a winning percentage of 72.97%. In his career, he also helped coach track and wrestling
Ryam Brantl retired in 2013 after 37 years of teaching and coaching baseball at Thompson (N.D.) High School, notching a win-loss record of 537-193. During that span, the Tommies made 15 state appearances, winning state titles in 1983, 1985, 1999, and 2005. Brantl claimed five Region 2 Coach of the Year awards and was selected as the 1985 Class B State Baseball Coach of the Year. He was also among the final eight for National Baseball Coach of the Year in 2008, and was up for the award again in 2014. In addition to coaching baseball at the high school level, Brantl coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball for 20 years, and American Legion baseball for 23 years, all at Thompson. Ryam is a 1973 Mayville State graduate.
A stalwart in girls high school basketball in Minnesota, Gary Gillis graduated from Mayville State in 1968. His stellar teaching and coaching career took him from Buffalo, N.D. to Storden, Minn., Storden-Jeffers H.S. in Jeffers, Minn., and Red Rock Central H.S., Lamberton, Minn. At Storden-Jeffers, where he was named teacher of the year in 1993, his “Chiefs” went to the state tourney five times, winning the coveted title in 1989 while finishing as runners-up in 1988 and 1990. His Red Rock Central “Falcons” went to state three times, finishing second in 1999. He was inducted into the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996 as one of the state's all-time winningest coaches and was the MGBCA president in 1992. He is a member of the Grand Forks (N.D.) Central H.S. Hall of Fame.
Rick Metcalf graduated from Mayville State in 1985 with a double major in physical education and social science. He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009 with a compiled win-loss record of 534-179 as head coach and an incredible 46 championships since 1991. Metcalf is the only coach in Illinois who has coached in the IBCA all-star game as head coach for both the boys and girls division. In his noteworthy basketball career, he has had only one losing season as a player or coach since 1975. Prior to being a high school coach, he was an assistant coach at Kankakee Community College and later at Murray State. The Murray “Racers” played in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. In 1983, Metcalf was an assistant coach at Mayville State.
Chad Omdahl, a 1978 Mayville State graduate who majored in elementary education and physical education, has been “Mr. Baseball” in Hatton, N.D., as a head coach for both the high school program and the American Legion baseball program. He has coached baseball for more than 40 years at some level. His 1988 team took the state Class B championship, as did his Legion team the same year. The 1997 Legion team won the state Class B title. He was named state Class B baseball coach of the year in 1997, 2006, and 2012, and he was a national coach of the year finalist for baseball in 1997, 2009, and 2012. During his career, he also served as a JV coach for boys and girls basketball. At Mayville State Omdahl played baseball and lettered as the football team manager.
Performing Arts Hall of Fame Inductees
The purpose of the Mayville State University Performing Arts Hall of Fame is to honor and preserve the memory of those who performed in band, choir, speech, or theater, the representative faculty, and others who have contributed in a very outstanding and positive way to the promotion of Mayville State University performing arts programs.
Patti Baker, a 1974 Mayville State graduate, took a life-long love of dance from a fledgling jazz dance unit in a P.E. class program at Roseville High School in California to a program said to be the largest in the country. Encouraged by the popularity of that class, she wrote a proposal and curriculum to teach dance. Unique in that part of the state, the program exploded in popularity, even in a bare-bones facility. Estimates are that in her 22 years of taking student dancers out to teach in elementary schools, they taught well over 100,000 children in California. Ultimately, in 2005, the state-of-the-art Patti Baker Performing Arts Theater was built at RHS, primarily because of the size, scope, and importance of the dance program. In 1992 she was named Placer County Teacher of the Year. In 1993 she was named a National Performing Arts Teacher of the Year by the Walt Disney Company and was featured, along with 74 of her dancers, on the annual American Teacher Awards show broadcast from Disney World. She has been featured in magazines, newspaper articles, and on TV news programs for her promotion and leadership for dance as an art form. She has danced with various companies and has been a professional clogger. She retired in 2009, after 35 years as a teacher, but continues to choreograph for and act in local theater. Her love of and engagement in performing arts continues.
Cordell Bugbee, a 1966 Mayville State graduate, has literally had a “melodious” career, using his composite instrumental and vocal music major to the fullest, playing in or directing ensembles of various sizes from elementary school to adult groups. Especially interested in jazz, the talented trumpet player is a member of numerous professional organizations in all facets of music and music education. He has been part of various bands, drum and bugle corps, and swing bands. A 45-year member of the North Dakota State American Legion Band, he played with that group at dedication ceremonies for major war memorials in Washington, D.C. He was a music contest adjudicator for 25 years and judged jazz festivals for 15 years. He was an instructor at the International Music Camp for many years. Other career highlights include playing in backup bands/orchestras at Hostfest for artists and performers such as Red Skelton, George Burns, Bob Hope, Ray Price, Andy Williams, and many performers from the Lawrence Welk Show. He retired in 2000 from Ramstad Middle School in Minot, N.D., where he was the band director for 20 years.
Janet Klevberg Day graduated from Mayville State in 1984. Her career is a fascinating mix of performing/accompanying and being part of the music business world. An accomplished pianist, organist, and vocalist, she taught in the public schools before earning a master's degree in choral music education at Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. At ASU, she was a teaching assistant, a member of the concert choir, and the choir accompanist. Since 1990, she has been with the Hal Leonard Corp., Milwaukee, Wis., the world's largest print music publisher, where she is editor-in-chief of Music Express Magazine, an elementary music curriculum resource used around the world. Interviewing musicians/composers such as John Williams, The Canadian Brass, and composers of hit Broadway shows is part of her editorial charge. She has more than 150 music compositions, arrangements, and articles in print. In addition to editing choral publications for school choruses, she presents at in-service workshops and clinics across the nation. She is an accompanist for choral music workshops and reading sessions across the nation as well. She continues to be a church organist in Milwaukee.
Donna (Severson) Evenson (deceased), who graduated from Mayville State Teachers College in 1953, taught in public schools and in the NDSU graduate program before joining the North Dakota Council on the Arts, where she was on the staff for 20 years, the last 12 as the executive director. She was the driving force behind the council's motto of “promoting, preserving, and perpetuating the arts in North Dakota.” She was the catalyst in developing arts councils across the state, initiating visual and performing arts events for people of all ages, promoting folk and traditional art work and apprenticeships, and securing funding for projects and programs such as artists-in-residence, fellowships for individual artists, and teacher incentives. She dealt with the Legislature to secure NDCA funding and cooperated with arts agencies from other states to help support the work of the National Endowment for the Arts in the state. She was the inspiration for the North Dakota Christmas Tree Project at the state Capitol and was the prime mover for displaying North Dakota Native American artists' work at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. Under her watch, many important state-based touring programs and displays were organized and promoted. Her influence has been felt in classrooms, galleries, and museums across North Dakota.
Robert (Bob) Hetler graduated from Mayville State in 1965 with a composite major in English/Speech/Theatre/German. Self-described as “mediocre at best” as a singer and actor, in his career he took his interest in and advocacy for the performing arts to such a level that he has been described as being “the face of fine arts in North Dakota.” He started out in 1965 as an English teacher, speech coach, and play director at Northwood (N.D.) High School. In 1978 he became a member of the North Dakota High School Activities Association, where he remained for thirty years. At the time the NDHSSA was taking a more prominent role in promoting fine arts and he soon began to make major contributions to that effort. Fledgling speech programs and both speech and music educators needed more support in making those programs integral parts of a high school curriculum. With cooperation from high school and university faculties, performing arts student participation proliferated. Hetler's accolades are many, including several national awards for contributions to music, speech, and fine arts activities; induction into the N.D. Speech Association Hall of Fame; the NDHSSA award of merit; and the group's distinguished service award upon his retirement. His work to help students, teachers, administrators, and parents understand the importance of performing arts in the schools and beyond is exemplary.
Larry Pladson graduated from Mayville State in 1969. At Mayville State, he was in band, choir, and jazz band from 1965 to 1969. In his professional career he was the band and choir director in Northwood, N.D. and Clara City, Minn., and for 27 years, he was the band director in Roseau, Minn. His Roseau concert band and jazz bands earned superior ratings at music contests for 27 years in succession, with the jazz band also taking first place in Class C competition at the Eau Claire (Wis.) Jazz Festival three times. He was named Roseau's teacher of the year in 1995. In addition to his public school work, he was a frequent performer for weddings, funerals, and church services and has directed church Christmas and Easter cantatas. He has played in several bands, including Larry's Combo, Jim and the Jay Notes, the Wurst Band, Nite Ryders, and the Dick King Band.
R. Craig Sheppard graduated from Mayville State in 1971, although his career as a music director began at age five, when he directed his dad's band in his hometown of Northwood, N.D. His dynamic and innovative involvement in music and music education has continued even beyond his retirement. From 1972-2012 he was the instrumental music director in Pinedale, Wyo. In 1979-80 he took a sabbatical to earn a master of arts degree in music at the University of Wyoming. From 1988-2013 he played trumpet in Neil Hansen's Yellowstone Big Band, the band that was the headliner for the Northwest Jazz Festival in March 2013. In 2015, he began playing with the Jackson Hole Community band, performing at venues around northwest Wyoming. In his goal of providing ways for his students to excel musically he was active in the Pinedale Fine Arts Council, and thus was able to give his students hands-on access to major artists. Throughout his career, music excellence was his focus as he worked at many levels to enrich his students' enjoyment of music. Those efforts earned him teacher of the year and Southwest Music Educator of the Year awards, but what he treasured most was seeing how his students made music a major part of their lives. In retirement he continues to give private lessons.