2013 DSU Athletics Hall of Fame Class announced
Dakota State University will welcome three new members and a team to its 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame.
Larry Dirks (Football, Class of 1958), Brian Leighton (Football, Class of 1981), Joel Swisher (Football Head Coach) and the 1973 Trojan South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference (SDIC) football team will be officially inducted at the annual Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday, June 8 at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse.
Dirks attended Dakota State (then General Beadle State College) from 1952-1954 and played football for the Trojans. He left college to serve in the Army in 1954, playing football for the Army team in the European Conference. Dirks returned to General Beadle in 1956 and attended through 1958. He was named All-Conference in 1956 and 1957 at right tackle. Dirks was an integral member of the Trojan Football team that produced their best start in school history with an overall record of 6-1-1 in 1957.
Leighton was a four-year starter at wide receiver for the Trojan football team from 1977-1980. He was part of the undefeated 1977 DSC football team that achieved a perfect 10-0 record, including the SDIC conference title. Leighton was a three-time SDIC Football All-Conference selection from 1978-1980. He was tabbed as an NAIA All-District Football selection in 1979 and 1980, as well as NAIA Football All-American Honorable Mention in 1980. Leighton was selected as the team’s most valuable player in 1980.
Swisher was the head football coach at Dakota State for four seasons (1973-1976), producing a stellar 24-12-1 overall record and a 16-4 record in the SDIC. He guided the Trojans to their first ever SDIC football conference title in 1973 with a 5-0 conference record. In addition, he coached the 1975 and 1976 DSU Football teams to a pair of SDIC conference titles with an identical 4-1 conference records. In 1976, Dakota State earned a No. 9 ranking in the final NAIA Division II Football national poll.
The 1973 DSC Football team was the first football team to win a conference title in school history. After dropping the first two non-conference games to start the season, Dakota State defeated all five SDIC conference opponents to earn the regular-season title. The Trojans completed their season with an overall record of 6-3. A total of six athletes were named to the SDIC Football All-Conference team, including Darwin Robinson, Wayne Stowell, Toney Blanks, Craig Ebert, Mick Twiss and Deny Lather.
The Hall of Fame Banquet will be held in conjunction with the 25th annual Blue and Gold Golf Classic, June 7 and June 8. The golf classic is on June 7 at the Madison Country Club. For additional information or tickets for these events, contact the DSU Athletic Department at 605-256-5229 or e-mail DSU Assistant Athletic Director Tom Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org (golf classic events) or Athletic Director Jeff Dittman at email@example.com for Hall of Fame information.