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Wolves to enshrine three individuals and 1953 football team into athletics hall of fame

In partnership with the Northern State University Foundation, the Athletic Department announced the 2023 Hall of Fame induction class. The class of Barb Felderman (Kretchman Coaching Award), Matt Meuluners, Kyle Johnson, and the 1953 football team will be honor at the Hall of Fame Banquet set for Friday, October 6. 2023. 

Barb Felderman graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in Teaching and was inducted into the Northern State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 as a student-athlete with the volleyball and women’s basketball programs. In 2023, Felderman joins a prestigious group honored with the Kretchman Coaching Award. Following her graduation from Northern, Felderman was appointed the first woman coach in the history of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1981. She led the volleyball and women’s basketball programs for the Hardrockers, concluding her coaching career with women’s basketball in 2013 accumulating over 780 career wins. She led the women’s basketball program to 11 conference championships and nine NAIA appearances. Her teams advanced to the Sweet 16 on five occasions, as well as the Final Four in 1998 and 1999. In addition, Hardrocker volleyball captured seven conference titles in her 13 seasons at the helm. Felderman led the men’s tennis program for a small stint, advancing to two NAIA National Tournaments.

Her coaching stops include eight years at Kodoka and Pierre high schools, assistant basketball and softball positions at the University of Wyoming, and a head softball position at Ball State. The 1973 S.D. Mines and Technology volleyball team was honored as the South Dakota Collegiate Team of the Year by the Sportswriters Association. She was honored by the Sportswriters Association as the South Dakota College Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1998, and was multiple time Conference and District Coach of the Year in women’s basketball and men’s tennis.

Felderman is a member of the NSU Hall of Fame, Rapid City Sports Hall of Fame, South Dakota Softball Hall of Fame, South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Hall of Fame.

Kyle Johnson graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Accounting and Finance. He was a member of both the men’s basketball and men’s track and field teams from 1996-2000. Johnson played on four NSIC Championship men’s basketball teams in 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99. In addition, he was a 3-time NSU Defensive Player of the Year. As a jumper with the track and field team, Johnson was a 13-time NSIC All-Conference performer. He won seven NSIC Championships in the long jump (1996, 1997), triple jump (1996, 1997, 2000), and high jump (1996, 1997). In addition, Johnson earned NSIC Athlete of the Year honors in 1997 for outdoor track and field. He was the 1999 Northern State Clark Swisher Award recipient and a three-time NSU track and field MVP.

He is the owner and a mortgage consultant for Quality Choice Mortgage in Andover, Minn., since 2004. He is a member of the Minnesota Mortgage Association and has been recognized as Top Agent Magazine’s 2015 Featured Mortgage Professional, Angie’s List Super Service Award recipient, and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Magazine Top Mortgage Professionals Award honoree from 2011-2022. Kyle and his wife, Katherine, have two children.

Matt Meuleners graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Performance and Fitness, competing for the wrestling program from 2010-2013. He is the first and only four-time NCAA All-American in program history and a two-time NCAA National Champion. Meuleners is one of 11 Wolves to record over 100 career victories, holding the best record in program history at 145-39. In addition, he was a four-time NSIC All-Conference performer and the 2011-12 NSIC Wrestler of the Year. Meuleners earned his first All-American honors, taking eighth at 197 pounds in 2010. He followed that up with back-to-back NCAA National Champion performances at 285 pounds in 2011 and 2012. Meuleners capped off his Northern career taking second at 285 pounds in 2013 and was honored as the NSU Clark Swisher Award recipient.

Following graduation, Meuleners was a U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier in 2016, three-time place winner at the Dave Schultz Memorial Tournament, two-time U.S. World Team Trials Qualifier, and three-time U.S. Open Senior Freestyle All-American. Additionally, he earned a Master of Science in Sport Management from the University of Central Missouri in 2019. Matt and his wife, Jessica, have two children.

The 1953 football team went 8-0 under the direction of head coach Clark Swisher en route to the program’s 15th South Dakota State Championship. The squad recorded double digit victories over every opponent, including a 46-0 shutout of Valley City State to cap off the season. Jim Kretchman, Al Weisbeck and Bill Jordan were named to the SoDak Sports All-State team, while Clark Swisher tabbed Honorary Coach accolades. In addition, Don Vogt, LeRoy Nikolas and Bob Tracy were named to the second and third team. Kretchman set the single season record of years per rush at 9.7 and total rushing touchdowns at 16.

Members of the 1953 football team include Ed Dosch, Bill Nikolas, Dave Cody, Jim Kretchman, Walter Fiegel, Dave Hazeltine, Mel Tuscher, Luther Dappen, Ed James, Harold Kirchgasler, LeRoy Nikolas, Bill Taylor, Ken Mullan, Bob Tippy, Herb Cochrane, Jim Prescott, Don Lowenstein, Cal Johnson, Bob Tracy, Don Heckathorn, Bill Jordan, Joe Claflin, Gene Schlekeway, Dave Sabatka, Gary Shipley, Don Vogt, Al Wiesbecker, George Larson, Dick Gross, Jim Cordts, Ed Hoisington, Don Pearson, LeRoy Tuscher, Gilbert Watson and Larry Krein, as well as coaches Bob Wachs and Clark Swisher.

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