My American News teammates and I have spent hours and hours over the last several months doing research on the career of Northern State women's basketball coach Curt Fredrickson.
We started thinking about this project as soon as the NSU women's basketball season ended last year. Here are some things to know about Coach Fredrickson:
· 700 wins, 249 losses in 33 seasons at NSU.
· Second in wins all-time in NCAA Division II.
· Sixteenth in wins all-time regardless of division, 11th among active coaches. Pat Summitt of Tennessee is No. 1 in both categories as she is 1,080-202 in 38 seasons.
· Has coached 293 players.
· Was a multi-sport standout athlete at Aberdeen Central and an All-American baseball and football player at Northern State.
· Was one of the best amateur baseball players in the history of South Dakota. The Hall of Famer is the only player in state history to have hit more than 250 home runs and record more than 250 pitching victories.
· I, personally, have never heard Curt swear.
· Win or lose, Curt is easy to talk to after a game.
· Won his first game, 83-51, against Jamestown on Dec. 6, 1977, in Aberdeen.
· 22 seasons of 20 wins or more, plus three more seasons with 19 wins.
· Left coaching in the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons for private business, but returned in the fall of 1985. NSU athletic director Bob Olson was the women's coach for those two seasons.
· Pioneer and tireless worker in helping women's sports grow, gain popularity and achieve equality over the years.
· Didn't lose his 10th game until his fourth season.
· Teams won two NAIA national titles.
· His first loss was 99-73 on Dec. 29, 1977, to the University of Colorado. The Buffaloes got 32 points from Jean Raikeo and 26 from Dori Fischer.
· Curt's teams are 11-12 in overtime games.
· Curt's teams have scored 100 or more points 51 times, and have won all of those games.
· Although a complete count could not be compiled, Curt has coached players from at least 75 different South Dakota towns.