VERMILLION, S.D.—Six Coyotes comprise the 2014 Henry Heider Coyote Sports Hall of Fame Class announced Wednesday by South Dakota’s athletic department. The induction ceremony will take place Sept. 20 during USD’s Hall of Fame Weekend.
Men’s basketball players and teammates Ben Ries (’00, ’02) and Nate Tibbetts (Sioux Falls ’03), women’s basketball player Mandy Koupal (’04, ’10), football player Josh Stamer (’01), distance runner Molly (Wedel) Radigan (’03) and swimmer Justin Devlin (’00) represent the class of 2014. The group brings the Hall of Fame total to 288 individuals.
An abbreviated bio of the 2014 Hall of Fame Class follows:
Ben Ries, basketball (1996-2000)
Ries scored 1,252 career points and helped lead South Dakota to back-to-back North Central Conference championships in 1999 and 2000. Ries earned all-NCC honors following his senior season and was a three-time academic all-NCC honoree. He made 290 three-pointers (third-most in program history) and shot 45 percent from beyond the arc. In 113 games, Ries averaged 11.1 points, 2.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.
Ries, his wife, Amy, and their three kids, Carly (8), J.J. (6) and Chelsea (1), reside in Norfolk, Neb. Ries teaches physical education and is the head boys basketball coach and assistant junior high football coach at Norfolk High School. The basketball team has qualified for six state tournaments under Ries, and has placed in the top four three times since 2010.
Nate Tibbetts, basketball (1997-2001)
Tibbetts is the all-time assist leader in the 88-year history of the North Central Conference. He handed out 465 assists, or 6.5 per game, in conference play while leading the Coyotes to three consecutive NCC championships (1999-2001). Tibbetts ranks second on USD’s all-time lists for both career assists (678) and steals (215).
Tibbetts earned all-NCC honors in 2001 and was named to the NCC all-tournament team that season. In 112 games, Tibbetts scored 572 points (5.1 ppg) and grabbed 321 rebounds (2.9 rpg) while shooting 55 percent from the field.
Tibbetts is currently an assistant coach with the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. He previously spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers and two seasons as head coach of the NBA Development League’s Tulsa 66ers. In 2011, Tibbetts was selected to be the United States head coach in the 2011 Pan American Games where he led the group of D-League players to a bronze medal, USA’s first medal since 1999.
Tibbetts began his coaching career as an assistant coach for Shane Murphy at the University of Sioux Falls from 2001-05. He was a member of the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce coaching staff for four seasons from 2005-09 and was promoted to head coach after his first two campaigns.
Tibbetts and his wife, Lyndsay, reside in Portland.
Mandy Koupal, basketball (2000-04)
Mandy Koupal is perhaps the most accomplished basketball player in Coyote history. She was twice named National Division II Player of the Year (2003, 2004), a three-time All-American, and the only player in North Central Conference history to win three consecutive NCC Most Valuable Player Awards.
Koupal scored a program-record 2,142 points (23.0 ppg) in just three seasons in Vermillion. South Dakota was 42-4 at home and 71-22 overall with Koupal in its lineup. Koupal shot 51 percent from the field, made 93 three-pointers, had 195 assists, 121 blocks, 160 steals and averaged 11 rebounds per game.
Koupal continues as the 10th-leading scorer (2,496 points) and 17th-leading rebounder (1,246) in Division II history. She is the NCC’s all-time leader in both categories. She scored a program-record 40 points in a game against Augustana in 2003 and pulled down 26 rebounds in a game against North Dakota State that same year. She also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in both years she was eligible to make the team.
Upon graduation, Koupal spent four years teaching fourth grade for the Watertown School District. She returned to USD and completed her master’s degree in 2010 while serving as a graduate assistant coach for the Coyotes. She spent another two years on USD’s staff before moving to Colorado State University for two seasons. Koupal recently returned to her hometown of Wagner, S.D., where she will teach and coach.
Josh Stamer, football (1997-2000)
Stamer served six seasons in the NFL as a special teams specialist. He played five seasons with the Buffalo Bills (2003-07) and spent the 2008 season with the Tennessee Titans. Stamer played 90 games in the NFL and compiled 78 tackles (61 solo) and an interception.
Before arriving in the NFL, Stamer registered 152 tackles, 15.5 sacks and 36 tackles-for-loss in three seasons for the Coyotes. Stamer earned all-NCC honors following his junior and senior seasons and was a two-time academic all-NCC honoree. In his senior year in 2000, Stamer led the team with 71 tackles, six sacks and 21 tackles-for-loss, the third-highest single-season tally in program history.
Stamer and his wife, Jessica, currently reside in Raleigh, N.C. They have a 3-year-old son, Maximus. Stamer is using his master’s degree in public accounting as a program manager at Lenovo, the worldwide leader in personal computers.
Molly (Wedel) Radigan, track and field/cross country (1998-2003)
Radigan is the first female student-athlete at USD to earn All-America honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in the same calendar year (1999) – a feat that has been duplicated once in the 15 years since. Radigan was a 12-time All-American at USD (10 times in track, twice in cross country) who won the 2003 outdoor national championship in the 10,000-meter run. She was a national runner-up three times – twice in the 5,000 and once in the 10,000 – and totaled seven top-four finishes at national track championships.
Radigan qualified for three cross country national championship meets. She placed fourth at nationals as a freshman in 1998 and was third as a sophomore the following season when she was named Regional Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Radigan also qualified for the 2001 national meet and placed 37th.
Radigan’s program record in the 10,000 of 35:01 stood for 13 years before being surpassed this past spring. She graduated holding program records in the indoor 3,000 and 5,000 in addition to the outdoor 5,000 and 10,000.
Radigan and her husband, Todd, have two daughters, Maya Jane and Callie. The couple owns Maya Jane’s and Main Street Pub in downtown Vermillion.
Justin Devlin, swimmer (1996-2000)
Devlin is a 12-time All-American who led the Coyotes to two NCC championships, four top-11 finishes at nationals, and became the program’s first national champion in 2000 when he won the 200-yard breaststroke. Eight of Devlin’s 12 All-America awards came in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. The other four came as a member of medley relay teams.
South Dakota’s two NCC titles came in 1997 and 1999, Devlin’s freshman and junior seasons, respectively. The Coyotes went on to place third at nationals in 1999, which remains the program’s top placing. Devlin placed second and fourth in the 200 and 100 breaststrokes, respectively, at the 1999 national meet and finished second as a member of the Coyotes’ 400-yard medley relay team.
Devlin was the NCC’s Rookie of the Year in 1997. He won three NCC breaststroke titles and set NCC records of 57.28s in the 100 and 2:02.77 in the 200 during his career. His national championship time of 2:02.37 remains a USD record. His program record in the 100 (56.93) was broken this past season after 14 years.
Devlin moved back to Phoenix, Ariz., upon graduation from USD. He taught middle school math for two years before returning to school. He studied four years at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and three years at the Temple University Emergency Medicine Residency Program. He currently works for Emergency Profession Services in Phoenix.
Courtesy: USD Bryan Boettcher