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Theeler, Tjeerdsma to be inducted into SD Sports Hall of Fame

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Mitchell resident Jack Theeler has been selected for induction into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.

Theeler will be inducted on April 12 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center for his efforts on the basketball court.

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“I am honored,” Theeler said Wednesday. “It wasn’t expected but I feel honored to be so designated.”

Joining Theeler in the hall of fame class of nine are coaches Ted Kessinger and Mel Tjeerdsma, former South Dakota State University athletes Jay Dirksen, Herb Bartling and Arnold Johnson, football player Dick Callahan, baseball player Doug Stanford and softball pitcher Paul Ferrie.

Theeler is also a member of the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame and the University of South Dakota Hall of Fame.

As a basketball player at USD, Theeler scored 1,573 points during his career, averaging 21.5 points per game. He also garnered all-North Central Conference honors three consecutive seasons. Theeler still holds the highest scoring average in a season (26.53 points per game) for any Coyote, which he set during the 1966-67 season.

He also starred on the 1963 Sisseton High School basketball team, which claimed the Class A state championship.

“It has been a while since I played,” Theeler said. “That was so many years ago, but it is nice to be remembered.”

Tjeerdsma, a Springfield High School graduate, coached at Northwest Missouri State. Tjeerdsma had a 183-43 record and won three NCAA Division II football national titles.

Tjeerdsma coached in seven Division II national title games and amassed a 32-10 NCAA DII playoff record.

He was also named the American Football Coaches Association’s Division II coach of the year four times during his career, which spanned 25 years.

Tjeerdsma retired in 2010 after guiding Northwest Missouri State to the DII semifinals.

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