At the time of his retirement in 2018, Tim Turbam ranked seventh in Nebraska’s football coaching ranks with 307 career victories. His storied coaching career (307-159-2), which began at Fairmont in 1972 and included a stint at David City before he took over the Bishop Neumann program in 1980. His Bishop Neumann career spanned 39 years. At Bishop Neumann, his teams won back-to-back state championships in 2002 and 2003 and reached the state championship game five other times. In all the Cavaliers qualified for the state playoffs 25 times, winning 11 district championships. Fifty-one of his players earned All-State Honors. Two players went on to play pro ball. Turman also coached track, with his teams winning three State Championships and finishing second once. His sons, Matt and Seth, followed him into the coaching ranks, coaching football and track.
Few football coaches lead a school to 100 victories. Carl Tesmer did it at two schools, climbing into the rarified air of 300-plus coaching victories. At the time of his induction, Tesmer had put together a 339-89-2 record, 39 winning seasons, 13 undefeated regular seasons and more than 25 top-ten teams in a 41-year career as head coach. He led his alma mater, GICC, to the state finals three times. He then won three state titles at St. Cecilia in 2000, 2009 and 2010. Known for his passion about coaching, Tesmer has a reputation for building up those around him.
Jim Tenopir took the path from small-town Nebraska to the peak of high school sports in the United States. The Chief Operating Officer of the National Federation of State High School Associations from 2010-15, Tenopir oversaw the day-to-day operations of the organization that governs high school sports across the nation. He drew on experience gained as the Nebraska School Activities Association Executive Director from 2001 to 2010 – a position he returned to in 2015. A Harvard High School graduate, Tenopir’s coaching and teaching career started at Otis-Benson High School in Kansas in 1970. He returned to Nebraska two years later as a coach, teacher and administrator at McCook. He went on to serve as the athletic director at Scottsbluff and superintendent at Cambridge before accepting his position with the NSAA. During his career he has tackled several difficult issues, including athlete safety and transgender rights.
Heather Taggart led Millard North to the state soccer championships in 1988, recording 10 shutouts and earning all-state honors. The three-sport standout played a state championship team in volleyball (1987), winning all-state honors in this sport, too. She gained state honors in basketball. She became a record-setting soccer goalkeeper at the University of Wisconsin. Wisconsin went to the NCAA finals all four years she was there, losing in the 1991 final. She was the Big 10 Female Athlete of the Year in 1992. She was inducted into Wisconsin’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Irv Thode was a dominating all-around athlete in high school. His 6-foot-3 high jump was the unofficial national schoolboy best in 1949. He was gold medalist in the long jump in 1948 (21-9) and 1949 (22-3) and the high jump in 1949 at the state meet. He was on the 1948 Class C All-State football team. He received state honors in basketball. He went on to attend the University of Nebraska where he was on the track team from 1951-53.
Athlete. Bottom line in the outstanding high school track career for Kathy (Travis) Miiller: She never lost an individual race during an NSAA-sanctioned event. She also was a volleyball all-stater and the female high school athlete of the year in 1991. In her four starring years of track at Lincoln Christian, she led her team to three state championships and one runner-up finish. She was a 14-time state champion at the state track meet, with nine of those all-class gold medal performances, including a Class C record in the 400. At the University of Nebraska, she lettered four years and won 12 Big Eight championships. She was All-American six different times in relays and sprint races. Lives in Bismark, ND.
Athlete. A seven-year NFL player, Charlie Toogood got his start as a high school star in North Platte. Toogood was a two-time all-state football player in 1943 and 1944 at tackle. He also won the gold medal in the shot put at the 1945 state track meet with a throw of 47 feet, ¼ inch. Toogood went on to play college football at the University of Nebraska. Besides being a 1950 team captain, Toogood was an All-Big Seven selection in 1949 and 1950. In 1950, he played in the East-West Shrine Bowl. Toogood played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1951 to 1956 and was part of the Rams team that beat the Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship. He then played for the Chicago Cardinals during the 1957 season and for the New York Giants during the 1958 season. In 1984 Toogood was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
Athlete, Class of 1976. In the early days of girls athletics, Laura Tietjen dominated. A four-year starter in volleyball and basketball, Tietjen made her mark early, scoring 30 points in her first basketball game as a freshman. Throughout her career she had multiple games of 40 points or more, twice scoring 49 points and twice more breaking the 50-point barrier. Tietjen’s 57 points against Ohiowa, stood as the Nebraska single-game scoring record for the next 12 years. In her senior season, Tietjen led Byron to a 14-0 record, averaging 38 points and 15 rebounds per game. An all-class, all-state selection, she went on to play at the University of Nebraska, setting a single-game records for free throws (14 of 14) and the single-season record for free-throw percentage (.861). Professionally, she served as coach and teacher at Columbus High School and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She entered into athletics administration at UNK and in 1998 became only one of 19 female Athletics Directors in Division I while serving at the University of Evansville.
Athlete. Class of 1959. Larry Tomlinson earned his place in Nebraska history when he caught the first touchdown pass for the first touchdown of the Bob Devaney era with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The O’Neill St. Mary’s standout had more than one play in his career. Tomlinson earned all-state honors while leading St. Mary’s to a No. 1 eight-man ranking in 1958, catching 26 passes for 560 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also set school scoring records in basketball where he was a four-year starter and averaged more than 20 points per game his senior year. In track, he set school records in the mile, the 120-yard high hurdles, the 180-yard low hurdles, the shot put, the discus and the 880-yard relay. He finished second to Hall of Fame inductee Bob Hohn in the state pentathlon meet. In college, he lettered three years for the Cornhuskers, playing end and linebacker. He went on to play three seasons in the Canadian Football League.
Class of 1995
Ed Thompson wasn’t the typical small-town superstar, he was the prototype. Whether it was football, basketball or track, Thompson excelled on teams that excelled. A three-year starter at quarterback, Thompson led the Cambridge Trojans to a 38-1 record. He earned all-state honors on offense, defense and as a punter. In basketball, he made 17 free throws in the district final, most in the fourth quarter, to get his team to the state tournament. In track, he set three school records, medaled at state all four years and scored 28 points his junior year to lead the team to the state title. At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he led the Mavericks to two North Central Conference championships and in 1997 became the first player in NCAA Division II to run and pass for 1,000 yards, a feat he repeated the following year.