How is this for special achievements: A man who has been inducted in to five Hall of Fames. A college football program that won an unprecedented seventh national championship and earned a trip to the White House and a high school where three teams won state titles and five others placed at state. Dick Limke, North Dakota State’s football program and Thompson High School athletics were honored by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association with its Special Achievement Award, the highest award given by the group.
In addition to being a standout athlete at Minot State, Dick Limke spent more than 30 years of coaching at the high school and collegiate level in North Dakota. It explains why Limke is a member in five different Hall of Fames that include: Minot State, North Dakota Amateur Basketball, Manitoba Baseball, North Dakota High School Coaches Association and Minot Baseball. His illustrious career all started at Minot State where he was a standout in basketball and baseball from 1959 to 1963. In basketball, he was a member of the 1963 conference champions and currently ranks ninth on the all-time scoring list. In baseball, he was named the top NAIA pitcher in the nation with a 0.54 earned run average. He spent three years in the St. Louis Cardinals organization before returning to North Dakota to start his coaching career. After coaching five years at both Center and Tioga, Limke was the head boys basketball coach at Bismarck St. Mary’s from 1972 to 1985 - when he won a state title his first year and took St. Mary’s to three other state tournaments including a 1981 runnerup finish. Limke became the head men’s basketball coach at Minot State in 1985, a gig that lasted until 1998. He led Minot State to two NDCAC regular-season titles and two NDCAC tournament titles - guiding the 1994-95 team to the NAIA national tournament.
NDSU’s 2018 football team was arguably one of the program’s best during its incredible run of seven Football Championship Subdivision titles in the last eight years. Loaded with 24 seniors, the Bison rolled to a 15-0 record - outscoring its opponents 41.5-12.6. No other team in college football has won seven titles in eight years or five in a row. Mount Union (Ohio) won nine NCAA Division II titles in 13 years beginning in 1996 and ending in 2008. Carroll College (Mont.) took the NAIA championship six times in a nine-year period from 2002-10. Alabama won five FBS titles in 10 years. NDSU surpassed Georgia Southern for the most titles in FCS history - becoming the fifth FCS team to finish an undefeated season as national champions, joining the 2013 Bison team. Two months after winning a national title, 110 players and more than 40 coaches and athletic department staff got to visit the White House and meet President Donald Trump.
State tournament trips became commonplace for Thompson High School during the 2018-19 school year. Thompson teams won Class B state championships in 9-man football, volleyball and boys basketball. Thompson also won region championships in girls basketball finishing third at state and baseball finishing second at state and qualified for the state softball tournament with a runner-up region finish finishing fifth at state. In addition, Thompson was runner-up in its region in boys and girls track, finishing second at the Class B girls state track meet, and the Tommies finished eighth in both the girls and boys B state cross country meets.