Northern State Wolves
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|Northern State Wolves|
|University||Northern State University|
|Conference||Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference|
|Athletic director||Josh Moon|
|Location||Aberdeen, South Dakota|
|Football stadium||Swisher Field|
|Basketball arena||Wachs Arena|
|Baseball stadium||Fossum Field|
|Soccer stadium||Jerde Field|
|Colors||Maroon and Gold
The Northern State Wolves are the athletic teams that represent Northern State University, located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. The Wolves compete as members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for all 15 varsity sports. Northern State has been a member of the conference since 1978, and they also have the second smallest enrollment of the 14 member schools. In the 1990s, all members of the NSIC solely became members of NCAA Division II, after spending many years with dual membership with the NAIA.
The Northern State Wolves compete in 16 inter-collegiate athletics. The athletic program began in 1902 with men’s basketball, track and American football followed in 1903, and baseball in 1904. Northern State has had two national championships in women’s basketball which occurred in 1992 and 1994. Today Northern offers men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track, women’s soccer, women’s fastpitch softball, volleyball, American football, wrestling, and baseball. In 2007 Northern will also be starting women’s tennis and women’s swimming.
Northern State athletics are well supported by both the students and the community, as men’s and women’s basketball as well as football are consistently ranked in the top ten nationally for NCAA Division II attendance. The men’s basketball team was ranked number one in the nation in attendance for the 2005-06 season.
Thunder the Wolf serves as the official mascot of the Wolves and of Northern State University. Thunder currently appears in a maroon T-shirt with black shorts, each with gold stripes. Prior to Thunder, the mascot had been known as "Waldo" since the 1950s. However a dispute with the Walt Disney Company necessitated a change in the name in the early 1990s.
List of teams
Northern’s football team plays at Swisher Field, a 6,000 seat stadium located on the south side of town where outdoor track meets are also held. Swisher Field is the second largest football stadium in the NSIC, behind only the University of Mary’s Bismarck Community Bowl. The softball team competes at the Moccasin Creek softball complex located near campus. The baseball team plays at Fossum Field, located on the northeast edge of town. The soccer field as well as the tennis courts are located adjacent to Jerde Hall on the east side of campus. In 1987, the Barnett Center opened on the southeast edge of campus. The Barnett Center is utilized by all of the athletic teams for their off-season workouts. Some of its features include a weight room, gym, swimming pool, racquetball courts, a wrestling room, training room and a batting cage, as well as several classrooms, offices and locker rooms. The Barnett Center also is the home of the 8,000 seat Wachs Arena, the home of the basketball, wrestling and volleyball teams, as well as the indoor track teams. Wachs Arena has over twice the capacity of the next largest arena in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Wolves head basketball coach Don Meyer has been coaching basketball for over thirty years and over that span has amassed a number of awards. He achieved 700 wins faster than any other coach in college history. He began his head coaching career at NCAA Division III Hamline University in Minnesota where he posted a 37-41 record in three years before taking command of David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. In his 24 years at Lipscomb Meyer had a record of 665-179, including a national championship in 1986. In 1999 Meyer accepted the head coaching position at Northern State, and in his first nine-plus seasons has a record of 201-81. Meyer is first on the all-time win list for four-year college coaches, surpassing legendary coach Bobby Knight on January 10, 2009 with his 903rd victory. He hosts an annual coaches academy every summer in Aberdeen which has brought in college coaches such as the University of Tennessee’s Pat Summit, the University of Kansas’ Bill Self, the University of Minnesota’s Tubby Smith, Gonzaga University’s Jerry Krause, and in 2002 the keynote speaker was former UCLA head coach John Wooden.
Women’s head basketball coach Curt Frederickson is currently in his 28th season at Northern State, and over that span he has amassed a career record of 612-183. During his tenure he has led the Wolves to two national championships as well as a second- and third-place finish. He has been named the National Coach of the Year twice, as well as being named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference coach of the year. He is one of only four NCAA DII women’s coaches to reach 600 career wins, and he set a national record by leading his Wolves to 45 straight wins from 1993 to 1995. After losing their season opener in the 1993-94 season, his Wolves won 32 straight games to win the national championship and finish the season with a record of 32-1, a school record. Frederickson was also an All America selection during his baseball career at Northern, and he was recently inducted into the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. He is the only player in South Dakota amateur baseball history to win 200 games on the mound and hit 200 home runs in a career. He has also was the head baseball coach at Northern State from 2003-2006.