Montana Tech set to host Hall of Fame Weekend

Montana Tech set to host Hall of Fame Weekend

Montana Tech Athletics hosts the annual Hall of Fame Weekend Friday and Saturday.

The Orediggers will induct three individuals and three teams Friday night at the Front Street Station. The event starts with a social hour at 6 p.m. and induction ceremony at 7. The 2019 Hall of Fame Class is Dan Mahoney, Laura (Stout) Mortensen, David “Maynerd” Barrick, and the men’s basketball teams from 1982-83, 1983-84, and 1984-85.

The inductees will also be honored at halftime of the football game against Southern Oregon on Saturday. The tailgate opens at 10:30 a.m. and kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Oredigger Hall of Famer and current University of Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson who coached all three basketball teams entering the Digger Hall of Fame will be in attendance at the weekend’s events.

“We are very excited about the incoming Montana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame inductees,” said Athletic Director Matt Stepan.  “This group represents Digger Athletics across a diverse spectrum and all have made significant contributions to their respective programs. While the pool of nominees was deep and worthy, this group of leaders and champions will be great additions to our Hall of Fame.”

Dan Mahoney was a three-sport athlete for the Orediggers from 1970-73 participating in football, basketball, and baseball. But it was the gridiron where Mahoney truly excelled. The four-year starter was a tough, hard-nosed linebacker during a successful period for the Orediggers. Mahoney was part of the 1970 Frontier Conference Championship team that went on to play in the famed Copper Bowl.

Mahoney was a three-time all-conference selection and named honorable mention All-America in 1972. He received the Ed Simonich Award in 1973 for the top senior football player. Mahoney was inducted into the Butte Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Laura (Stout) Mortensen was a setter for the Oredigger volleyball team from 1990-93. A four-year starter, Mortensen earned all-conference accolades every season of her collegiate career. She was named honorable mention as a freshman, second team has a sophomore, and first team her junior and senior seasons. Mortenson was named the Frontier Player of the Year in 1993. She was also named to the All-District 12 team, selected AVCA All-Region, and an NAIA third team All-American. Mortensen was the recipient of the Peggy Sarsfield Award in 1993.

Mortensen set the career assists record for Tech with 4,113. Mortensen holds the fourth best mark for assists in a single season with 1,173 which she set as a freshman. She has the fourth best mark for assists in a single match with 67.

Mortensen has continued her involvement with volleyball as the assistant coach at Butte High. Her son Bo is also a member of the Montana Tech football team.

David Barrick, better known as “Maynerd” to Oredigger faithful, has been dedicated supporter and contributor to Montana Tech athletics since 2002. Starting as an unpaid student football manager his freshman year, “Maynerd” proved to be incredibly resourceful and extremely hard working. He was an integral part of playoff football teams in 2004 and 2005. A partial list of his duties include: cleaning uniforms, filming games and practices, washing thousands of towels, repairing equipment, supplying water, painting fields, inventory management, setting stadium for game day, and acting as a true friend to many Orediggers.

“His true devotion to all things Oredigger is an example for all of us,” said former head football coach and Digger Athletics Hall of Famer Bob Green. “The guy can name every first team All-American in the history of the institution and every single Ed Simoinich Award winner.”

Since graduating, “Maynerd” has continued enthusiastic support for Tech athletics through his donation of time and his great wood working skills on numerous Oredigger inspired items. Barrick has created numerous “Maynerd Made” items for former Oredigger senior student-athletes, former student-athletes, and are present at all Oredigger fundraisers and events. “Maynerd” has also contributed time and dollars to the Digger Athletic Association, Digger Turf, Touchdown Club Trailer, and annual Jackpot Trip. “Maynerd,” a civil engineer, helped design and construct Bob Green Field at Alumni Coliseum.

Three men’s basketball teams from the Kelvin Sampson era are the final inductees in the 2019 class. Montana Tech won just 17 games combined in the three years before Sampson’s arrival in Butte. After a last place finish in the conference standing his first season at the helm, Sampson produced three straight 22-win seasons.

In 1982-83, the Orediggers finished third in the Frontier Conference regular season standings (22-9, 10-5), but won the conference tournament earning a berth in the NAIA District 12 Tournament. The Orediggers season ended in the District 12 title game. Sampson earned his first Frontier Coach of the Year honor with Craig Russell and CJ Johnson receiving first team all-conference awards. Johnson, who entered the Digger Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016, was also named to the All-District 12 team.

Montana Tech (22-7, 11-4) won their first of two back-to-back regular season crowns and second straight conference tournament title. The Orediggers lost in the District 12 Tournament. Johnson was selected first team all-conference and all-district for the second time. Bryan Vaughns also earned a first team nod by the Frontier and Kent Andre and Terran Carter were named to the second team.

In Sampson’s final season at Tech, he led the Orediggers to their best record under his tenure finishing third straight Frontier Conference Tournament. Tech entered the District 12 Tournament with the best record, but lost in the championship game. Sampson earned his second Frontier Coach of the Year award in just four seasons. Vaughns and Robert Montague earned first team all-conference honors and Vaughn’s was named second team all-district. Ron Atkinson was named second team all-conference.

For more information about the Digger Athletic Hall of Fame or the weekend events, call Montana Tech Athletic Department at 496-4105.

— Montana Tech

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