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Three individuals and the women’s basketball team from 1999-2000 inducted into DSU Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday
June 5, 2012
MADISON, S.D. – The Dakota State University Athletic Department inducted three new members as well as a team into the Hall of Fame last Saturday (June 2) at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. Inductees included Maureen Green Casey (posthumously), Dawn Gaffney Dittman, Dan Stratton and members of the 1999-2000 Lady T's basketball team.
Rick Sterling, volunteer coach for the 1982 DSU women's golf team commented on how the team came together and especially the impact Maureen Green Casey had in making that happen. Casey was an integral member of the women's golf team that took third-place honors at the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division III National Tournament in Willingham, N.C. She placed sixth individually at the national event and earned AIAW All-American honors. Casey was a top-flight golfer, leading her team to a first-place win in the AIAW Region Six Tournament in North Dakota. She graduated from Dakota State with an associate's degree in computer science in 1982. Maureen's husband, Mike Casey, accepted the award.
Jeff Dittman introduced his former Lady T's basketball player Dawn Gaffney Dittman. During Dawn's four years at DSU, the Lady T's improved and went from finishing last in the South Dakota-Iowa Athletic Conference (SDIC) her freshman year to a third-place finish her senior year. As the forward/post for the Lady T's, Dawn was named third-team NAIA All-American her senior year. She earned first-team SDIC All-Conference honors and was also named SDIC Athlete of the Year her senior season. Her accomplishments in the classroom were as stellar as her athletic accomplishments as she was a two-time NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete. She set a number of Lady T records which still stand. Dawn graduated from Dakota State in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in English for Information Systems. In 2003 she earned her MSIS degree from DSU and then completed the Doctorate of Science in Information Systems (D.Sc.IS) from DSU in 2012.
DSU's Hall of Famer and former football coach Lee Moran introduced inductee Dan Stratton. On Dec. 4, 1971, Stratton and his fellow Dakota State football Trojans made South Dakota college football history by becoming the first college team in the state to win a post-season bowl game. For his outstanding play, Stratton was named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention his senior year as well as SDIC All-Conference and NAIA District 12 both his junior and senior seasons. After his collegiate football career at DSU, the Cleveland Browns invited Stratton to camp. Stratton graduated from Dakota State in 1976 with an education major.
The 1999-2000 Lady T's basketball team was introduced by head coach Jeff Dittman. It was a year to remember for the Lady T's and their fans. They tied for the SDIC regular-season title with a 10-4 record. DSU breezed through the SDIC semifinals against Mount Marty by a score of 79-61 at the DSU Fieldhouse. The SDIC post-season championship game was held in Rapid City, S.D. at South Dakota School of Mines, where the Lady T's prevailed over the Lady Hardrockers 79-71. As a result, the Lady T's basketball team was the first women's team from DSU to qualify for the NAIA Division II National Women's Basketball Tournament. Dakota State rolled over St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) 74-55 in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament. The Lady T's "Sweet 16" game was a rematch against nationally-ranked Briar Cliff. DSU rallied back from a seven point deficit in the final minutes and pulled out a 58-54 victory over the Chargers. The Lady T's post-season run ended when they met No. 3 seed Northwest Nazarene (Idaho) in the Elite 8 round of the NAIA national tournament. DSU finished their historic season with an overall record of 25-8, the most wins by any Lady T's team. Members on that team included Kathy Shypulski, Amy Gappa Soost, Sheila Haack Peterson, Kazmann Foster-Teel, Jessica Honerman Bauer, Jennie Sonne Olson, Kate Sizer Olson, Krista Peterson, Alissa Krause Christianson, Heidi Honerman Klingenberg, Melanie Zink Lunn, Kimberly Richert Bland and Erin Nielsen. The head coach was Jeff Dittman assisted by Judy Dittman, Wayne Pauli and Dawn Gaffney Dittman.
The Class of 2012 inductees joins 70 other DSU Athletic Hall of Fame members. The 1999-2000 Lady T's basketball team became the seventh team to be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director