Michael Brenkus (FB 1937-39; Tr 1939-40)
Brenkus is a native of Whiting, Indiana, and was recruited to play football as a halfback and played extremely well. He was selected to the All North Central Conference team twice, 1938 and 1939 and was also a sprinter on UND's 1938 and 1939 North Central Conference track teams. He lettered three times in football and twice in track before graduating in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
Gordon Caldis (FB 1939-41; BB 1940; Tr 1941)
Caldis came to UND from Thief River Falls, Minn., to further his education and plans of becoming a lawyer. He became an excellent football back and competed one year each in basketball and track. In football he lettered three years in 1939-41 as a right halfback on offense and cornerback on defense. Among the football honors he achieved were being elected co-captain in 1941 and being named North Dakota's most improved player as a sophomore. His basketball letter was in 1939 and track was in 1941. Following his Sioux football career he graduated in 1942 with a degree in commerce and then was invited to tryout with the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles pro teams, but didn't play because he was forced in to the U.S. Navy.
Lt. Gen. Donn J. Robertson (BB 1936-38)
Gen. Robertson established himself not only as an outstanding academic student but a great basketball player. His career was limited to basketball where he served as team captain in 1938 and the same year was named to the All North Central Conference team. He also won a number of personal awards including the coveted Sioux Award, is listed in Who's Who in America, received the Significant Sig Award from his Sigma Chi fraternity.
July 15,1983 Sioux Rendezvous Inductees
Kenneth Brown (Box 1932-36)
Brown, a Grand Forks native, developed into one of the finest collegiate boxers in the nation. A middleweight he won the Northwest Golden Gloves championship three times and also became the Northwest Diamond Gloves champions and four years won the North Dakota middleweight crown. He graduated in 1942 from UND with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree, and later received his Law Degree.
Carl Ekstrom (Box 1936-39)
A highlight of the 1937 season was when Carl (Cully) Ekstrom won the National Collegiate Featherweight Championship by defeating the national champion in Sacramento, Cal . He and Carlyle Loverud were appointed by C.A. (Jack) West as coaches in the 1937-39 seasons when Professor Russell resigned to devote full time to duties as Head of the English Department.. In February of 1938 he withdrew from school, along with a couple other members of the team, and the team was forced to cancel some of their trips. But before all of this in the first semester he and a few others won State Golden Glove Titles in Bismarck. The last season of boxing at UND Ekstrom went to the National Collegiate Tournament to regain his featherweight title he won two years earlier, but was decisioned by another coach.
Carlyle Loverud (Box 1936-39)
Loverud was considered a featherweight star of the 1936-37 team. With his teammate Carl Ekstrom, he was appointed by C.A. West to coach the team when the head coach Professor Russell resigned to devote full time to being Head of the English Department for the 1937-39 seasons.
Ralph L. Pierce (FB 1931-33, Tr 1932-34)
Pierce, a native of LaMoure, N.D., ranks as one of UND's all-time great football backs. He lettered as a Sioux quarterback and halfback in 1931-33 and was a standout sprinter on the UND track team from 1932-34. Pierce earned high academic honors while attending the University and was one of the few people at UND ever twice named to Who's Who. He was also a Rhodes Scholar candidate. After graduating in 1934 with a liberal arts degree and mathematics major he was a standout back for the Regina, Saskatchewan, Roughriders pro rugby football team four years, receiving Canadian All Pro Hockey Honors four straight years. One well-known North Dakota sportswriter called Ralph "North Dakota's greatest track athlete of the first half century."
Frank A. Zazula (FB co 1946-59; Tr & CC co 1956-82)
Few call him Frank, he's better known to thousands of former UND student-athletes as simply, "Zaz." Zaz retired after a 33-year UND coaching career, first as a fine football coach and later as a standout track and cross-country coach. Born in Passiac, N.J., and grew up in Canton, Ohio, where he was a schoolboy athletic legend. He followed his outstanding prep career by attending the University of Akron, where he was named to the Little All America football team and also lettered in track, gymnastics and swimming. Later he coached at University of Oregon. Then in 1949 he came to UND as an assistant football coach and a year later he was named head coach. He resigned as football coach after seven seasons and became track and cross-country coach, producing six All America runners in that sport. He is a member of four other Halls of Fame- University of Akron, Summit, Ohio, County Athletic; North Central Conference and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Hall.
Roger F. Bonk (FB 1964-66)
Bonk lettered as a standout Sioux linebacker and offensive guard in 1964-66 and was named to the All America team in 1966 as a linebacker. A native of Appleton, Minn., he was unquestionably an outstanding leader and premier football performer. He was named to the All-NCC team twice and served as a tri-captain in 1966. After receiving his UND degree in Business Administration he played pro football for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1967 and 1968.
Corey A. Colehour (FB 1964-66)
One of the truly gifted football passers in UND history, Colehour, came to UND from Minneapolis. He rewrote the Sioux passing record books. Several of his passing records remain on the books today, including completions, yards, touchdowns and just about every category you can name. Two other important records he set were 42 career touchdown passes and 23 season TD passes. After his junior and senior season he was named to the All-NCC team. He also served as tri-captain, and was named the conference most valuable offensive back in both 1965 and 1966, In both his junior and senior seasons he was named UND's most valuable back, and All American honorable mention. Colehour was the seventh draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team and played there in 1967 and 1968, then went on to play for the Edmonton Eskimos. After retiring he was an assistant football coach in 1970-71.
Stephen Alex Cooley (Base 1966-68; Tr; BB)
A former stellar UND baseball performer, Cooley lettered in basketball and track. His UND career spanned 1965-68 and was marked with outstanding achievements. He performed on the mound, at first base and in the outfield for the Sioux, hitting .310, .357 and .320 with his name found in the record book as a RBI leader. His baseball talents were recognized by other coaches and voted him to the All Conference in his junior and senior years. He was also named to the NCAA All District Team his last two years as a Sioux player and served as team captain his senior year in 1968. After graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 1969 he played pro baseball three seasons in the Oakland A's organization in Florida, Washington and Iowa, earning All Star honors each season.
Martin Gainor (FB 1934-36)
Very simply this man was a great football player, an outstanding two-way tackle. Gainor was popularly known as Butch in those days, showed his multiple skill as a Sioux on 1934-36 teams that won 22, tied two and had only five losses. Honors he received was twice named to the All NCC team by league coaches, named the outstanding football player in the conference of 1936 and served as team co-captain the same year. While a UND student he was named to the Blue Key National Service Fraternity and also won the M.B. Rudd Athletic Scholarship. After graduating he played pro with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1937-39 and again in 1946. In 1941-42 he was with the Wilmington Clippers pro team. At Winnipeg he was named one of their all-time great tackles and also earned CFL honors three times. Besides football he was also and outstanding boxer in 1935 and 1936 under Coach Howard Russell.
Harold C. Kraft (Base co 1953-81)
A man know throughout America, Harold (Pinky) Kraft, richly deserves induction into the Hall of Fame. A native of Enderlin, N.D., he took his college work at Minnesota where he was a pitcher. After an meritorious U.S. Army career in World War II he returned to prep coaching and from there came to UND in 1953. In 1956 Pinky reactivated the long dormant Sioux baseball program and immediately produced successful teams. He coached baseball and served as intramural director until his death. Known for his love of his fellow man, he worked long hours to help people in all walks of life. He was president of the 2,500-member American Association of College Baseball Coaches and held many other important offices in civic, fraternal and military organizations. Among his many honors were inductions into the North Central Conference and North Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
Irv Kupcinet (FB 1933-34)
Kupcinet is probably best known as "Kup" to millions of newspaper readers, television viewers and radio listeners. Kup was a quarterback for the late Jack West on teams that were known all over the country and frequently played some of the top teams. An excellent passer and signal call, he recalls a 7-6 Sioux victory over George Washington U in Washington D.C. when that school was a nationally ranked football power. While in school he served as sports publicity director. After graduating from UND in 1935 with a journalism degree, Kup played pro ball with the Philadelphia Eagles until a shoulder injury ended his pro career.
Bartley W. Larson (H 1958-61; Base 1959-61)
Larson was a two-sport Sioux performer in the late 1950's and early 1960's in baseball and hockey. He came to UND from Minneapolis under the persuasion of ex-Hockey Coach Bob May. Statistical records prove that Bart is one of the best hitting baseball players UND has ever had. He consistently hit over .300 and for many years his .544 conference batting average led that phase of the records. He was twice an All Conference outfielder. Larson also lettered three seasons as a hockey wing and played on UND's first national collegiate championship hockey team in 1959.
David L. Lince (FB 1963-65; BB 1963-66; Tr 1964-66)
He is known far and wide as Butch Lince and is one of the last outstanding three-sport athletes UND has had. A native of Mott, N.D., Lince performed extremely well as a Sioux football end, basketball forward, and track weightman. He earned nine letters in those three sports 1964-66. Lince earned All American honors as a Sioux end and twice was named to the NCC team. He also played on the Sioux basketball team that won three straight NCC titles and appeared in the NCAA national tournament Final Eight twice. In track he set both school and conference records as a javelin-thrower and still holds the UND javelin mark of 213-2. After college he played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1967-69, with the Minnesota Vikings in 1969, and had a shot with the Los Angeles Rams in 1970 and then retired. With the specialization that now takes place in college athletics, Lince was one of the last UND athletes to achieve this type of standout activity.
A. Paul Pederson (BB 1964-66)
Pederson, a native of Minot, N.D., ranks as one of our all-time great basketball guards. He began his career in Minnesota, where he lettered once, and then transferred to UND. He played at UND,1964-66, on teams that won NCC championships and had a combination record of 50-10 under Coach Bill Fitch. An outstanding playmaker and an excellent shooter, Pederson was often called "my coach on the floor," by Coach Fitch. And truly he was just that. He received All American honors in 1965 and was a two-time All Conference selection. His expert direction of such starts as Phil Jackson, Jim Hester, and Butch Lince led UND to great cage heights.
Ronald C. Thompson (Tr 1952-53, FB 1951)
Thompson was an outstanding Sioux trackman in 1952 and 1953 and also served as a football halfback in 1951. He became one of the greatest sprinters in UND's track history. In fact, he was never beaten in a 100 or 220-yard dash race during his Sioux career. He ran the 100 in 9.6 seconds in an exhibition and considering our cool, windy spring weather that is an outstanding time. He was also a successful halfback too. The first two times he touched the football in games he scored touchdowns-on an 84-yard kickoff return and a 13-yard run. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1953 and later his Master of Science from UND.