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.
LaVerne Torczon blazed a trail from Nebraska’s six-man fields to professional football where he earned the nickname “Tarzan Torczon” while playing for the Buffalo Bills, New York Titans/Jets and Miami Dolphins. At Platte Center, he was a three-year starter in football, playing end as a sophomore and running back his junior and senior years, which included a one-loss season in 1951. He lettered all four years in basketball, averaging more than 20 points per game his junior and senior seasons. A walk-on football player at Nebraska, he earned a scholarship after his freshman year and twice earned All-Big Seven honors as a lineman.
As a professional, he earned All-AFL honors at defensive end in 1960 and played in the 1961 AFL All-Star Game.
Dennis Troester never strayed far from home or far from winning. In a 41-year coaching career, he won more than 1,000 games at Republican Valley/Southwest high schools. A Red Willow High School graduate, he returned home to begin his teaching career in 1971. His volleyball teams enjoyed the most success, winning seven state championships and finishing second five times. His teams claimed 21 conference and 12 district championships. He retired in 2012 with a record of 709-157 victories. In basketball, he logged a 337-206 record.
Athlete–When Lexington High School graduated this husky young man in 1958, he had just completed two years as a terrific center on football teams of the Minutemen. In the fall of 1957, for example, they had an undefeated season over almost all Class A opponents ending the year as state champion according to many observers. As a University of Nebraska Cornhusker, he lettered three years between 1959.and 1961, including the great victory in 1959 over Oklahoma. He then played for 17 years in professional football as starting center for the Minnesota Vikings, getting to the Super Bowl four times. Unlike some former football players, Mick Tingelhoff emerged from his great football career without serious injury.
Earning the nickname “Dean the Dream” for his smooth, fluid playing style, Dean Thompson could score like few others. He had outside range, couild drive to the basket and pull up and shoot on a dime. At Omaha Westside, Thompson led the Warriors to the Class A boys basketball championship as a senior, averaging 23 points per game and gaining all-state honors. Voted to the golden-anniversary Metro Conference Holiday Tournament Basketball team, Thompson also made an indelible mark on the basketball program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Playing before the advent of the 3-point line or the shot clock, Thompson set the school scoring record with 1,816 points, a record that still stands. He played in 117 games, leading the Mavericks to three NCAA Division II tournaments.
Athlete. In the last half of the 1970s, during the sprouting of sports programs for girls in Nebraska high schools, a scant few saw much more than the heels of Cindy Tatum of North Platte High School. If and when Cindy Tatum lost a high school race, it was to someone who was setting a state record or winning a gold medal. Her sprint resume is a good as it gets: Seven gold medals at the state meet, three consecutive gold medals in the 100 yard dash and 220-yard dash, district record holder in 50, 100 and 220 and Class A or state record holder in 50, 100 and 220. She paced her school to a team state championship.
Athlete. Without question one of the best left-handed shooters ever to take the floor in Nebraska high school basketball, Kerry Trotter was a 1982 graduate of Creighton Preparatory High School in Omaha. His sensational career began as a freshman there and he was three times selected All-Metro and twice All-State. He scored a total of 1,672 points while in high school. In 1981 he led the Junior Blue Jays to a Class A Boys State Championship in basketball. His senior year he averaged 26.8 points a game and once scored 46 points in one game. Following graduation he had four fine years playing at Marquette University. One of the most significant historical facts was his inclusion in 1982 on the McDonald’s High School All-American Basketball Game where, as expected, he did well.
Athlete. This 1970 graduate of Broken Bow High School was a wrestler, a football player and a track man while there, but is best known for his accomplishments in the rough-and-tumble world of rodeo as a most athletic cowboy. While still in high school he was named nationally as champion in all around and calf roping in 1970. He was part of the professional rodeo circuit from 1977-1986. He was world champion calf roper in 1970, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association awarded him the World All-around Champion title in 1980.