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Ron Bartels, a 1994 DWU graduate, was a four-year starter at offensive tackle for the Tiger football team during one of its most successful stretches.  Bartels, a Winner, S.D., native, was part of the 1991 SDIC championship team and the 1992 squad that went 10-0 in the regular season, won the SDIC title and earned the team’s first and only berth in the NAIA playoffs.  He earned All-SDIC First-Team honors in 1992 and 1993, was named to the All-District 12 Team in 1992 and 1993, and earned NAIA All-America Honorable Mention accolades as a junior and senior in 1992 and 1993.  With his help, the Tigers also set school records for wins (10), consecutive wins (18) points (319), points per game (31.9), rushing offense (3,244) and total offense (4,407) in a season. He also helped set records for first downs (41), rushing offense (613) and total offense (781) in a game.


Amanda Williams Block, a 2004 DWU graduate, played a key role during the Tiger women’s basketball team’s most successful stretch in school history.  She was a four-year starter from 2000 to 2004 and helped the Tigers to three national tournaments, two top-three finishes in the nation and a 100-41 record.  She earned the NAIA National Tournament Hustle Award in 2002-03 and finished her DWU career with 1,121 points – 12th on the school’s all-time scoring list.  She still holds the school record for assists average and steals in a season, and assists, steals and steal average in a career.  She also had a successful track career, and she holds the school’s outdoor record in the 400-meter hurdles.  She was a part of several record-setting relay teams, including the 2001 sprint medley relay team that still holds the school record.


Jay Drake, a 1999 DWU graduate, had a successful career at DWU after transferring into the Tiger men’s basketball program before his sophomore season.  The Winner, S.D., native earned All-SDIC First-Team honors in 1998 and 1999, and he was named an NAIA All-American Third-Team honoree as a senior in 1999.  He scored 1,087 points in his career and averaged 12.9 points per game.  He played on the 1997 squad that shared the SDIC title with South Dakota Tech, and he helped the Tigers to a 50-36 record in three seasons.  He still holds the school record for free-throw accuracy in a game and consecutive free throws. After graduating from Dakota Wesleyan, he spent several years as an assistant college basketball coach – including four seasons as an assistant at Dakota Wesleyan – and he is currently coaching high school boys’ basketball, track and football in Vermillion, S.D.


Christi Harter, a 1992 DWU graduate, had a solid career for the Tiger women’s basketball team.  She was a four-year starter and played on the 1990-91 team that was co-SDIC champions with South Dakota Tech.  She earned All-SDIC First-Team honors in 1991 and 1992, and second-team accolades as a sophomore in 1990.  She held the school record for career assists (415) for many years. Harter, who was a four-year Randall Scholar at Dakota Wesleyan, entered the Peace Corps right after graduation, and since leaving DWU she has taught and coached in five different states and two other countries.


Dr. Robert McWhirter has been synonymous with Dakota Wesleyan athletics for more than 25 years.  He came to Mitchell in 1985 and has been working with the Tiger athletic teams ever since.  He attends as many home games as possible, including nearly every home football and basketball game, and he works closely with the DWU athletic training program and athletic training students – all on a volunteer basis.  Dr. McWhirter also generously donated to many of the DWU athletic programs, including money for a new softball field, which was dedicated in 2010. He also had a hand in supporting the soccer fields at the new Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex and the training room equipment at the newly renovated Joe Quintal Field. He was honored with the Sacrifice or Service Award from Dakota Wesleyan in 2000.

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Last updated: 8/20/12