Wrestling, Football

Years Played


Year Inducted


Two-year starter at defensive tackle for Ron Erhardt's 1970 and 1971 Bison teams that combined for a 16-2-1 record including a victory over Montana in the 1970 Camellia Bowl. Backlund's greatest claim to fame, however, is on the wrestling mat, where he became the second NDSU wrestler ever to win a NCAA Division II national championship when he took the 190-pound crown in 1971 before the home fans in Fargo. He compiled a two-year dual meet record of 16-4-1 at NDSU and closed out his career with a fifth-place finish at heavyweight in the 1972 NCAA championships. Placed second and third in the NCC over those two years. Continued on with his wrestling fame after leaving NDSU as he joined the world of professional wrestling, holding the World Wrestling Federation title from 1978-83.