Dawson Community College has announced its inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Class. Basketball player Brad Pauley; Rodeo Coach Tom Ree; long-time coach, athletic director, and administrator Donald Kettner; and the 1981 National Championship Men’s Rodeo team will be honored at a banquet on February 9 and again during a home basketball game on February 10. The Hall of Fame is a part of DCC’s mission to foster a culture of excellence, and the college is excited to honor the individuals and teams who have achieved excellence in athletics over the past 60 years.
A committee of seven members, made up of former DCC coaches, student-athletes, and current Board members, reviewed and deliberated over the nominations and came to the final consensus. DCC Athletic Director Joe Peterson was excited about this endeavor. “The committee received over 20 nominations with a lot of worthy individuals and teams. These four inductees rose to the top in those conversations. I think the first class has to be extra special and this group fits the bill. It is going to be a great weekend honoring DCC’s rich athletic history!”
Anyone interested in purchasing tickets for the Hall of Fame Banquet on the evening of February 9 can contact Randi Johnson at 406-377-9401 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $25 each. Approximately 30 are available.
For more information on the Dawson Community College Athletic Hall of Fame, contact Joe Peterson at 406-377-9459 or email@example.com.
Brad Pauley made an immediate impact on Dawson Community College as a freshman after an outstanding career at Dawson County High School. The 6’5” forward averaged 22 points and 17 rebounds per game and scored 710 points in the 1969-1970 season. He was named All-Region for those accomplishments.
Pauley led the Buccaneers to a 28-8 record in his sophomore year. The team averaged a school record 96.7 points per game and scored 3,576 points – tops in the country for the NJCAA. The team set eight school records in the 1970-1971 season. Pauley’s career highs were 44 points and 32 rebounds, both in the same game against Sheridan College. He averaged 25 points and 17 rebounds on a team that regularly had 6 players in double figures. Pauley was named All-Region again as a sophomore, and ranked as one of the top 25 scorers in the country. The Buccaneers went 19-1 at home that season and won 10 straight games – both school records at the time – and won the region championship.
Pauley is one of the most decorated players in the history of Dawson Community College Athletics, scoring over 1,000 points and collecting over 1,000 rebounds in his two seasons at Dawson, setting the school record for points in a season (710) and rebounds in a season (600). He was highly recruited after finishing at DCC and signed a National Letter of Intent with Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
During a 37-year tenture with DCC, Don Kettner served as Basketball Coach, Cross-Country and Track Coach, Psychology and English Instructor, Athletic Director, Assistant Dean, Registrar, Vice President, and President. In his more than 10 years as Athletic Director, he helped to start the Cross-Country, Track, and Women’s Basketball programs. He coached the Buccaneer Men’s Basketball team from 1962-1966, winning two Regional Championships and producing an All-American player. Kettner won over 200 games as a high school and college basketball coach. He also served as the Track and Cross-Country coach for seven seasons at DCC, winning six Regional Championships and five Conference Championships.
Serving as President of DCC for 18 years, Kettner guided the College though some of its most successful years, lobbying ferociously for funding, new programs, accreditation, student acquisitions and always supporting the athletic program. Kettner retired from DCC on June 30, 1999 due to health concerns and proudly took on his title of President Emeritus. He always referred to DCC as his “5th child.”
Tom Ree worked with the Rodeo program at DCC for 33 years. He started the Agriculture program at the College in 1970 and, soon after, got involved in Rodeo. He was involved in various capacities with the Rodeo program as a coach, recruiter, and livestock provider until his retirement in 2003. The team became very competitive in 1973, largely because of Coach Ree’s strong recruiting efforts. His men’s teams finished 2nd at Nationals in 1977, 3rd in 1984, and 4th in 1976 and 1979. The pinnacle moment of his coaching career was winning the Men’s National Championship in 1981. His women’s team’s highest finish at Nationals was 5th in 1980, and they also placed 6th in 1987, 7th in 1990, and 8th in 1985. Coach Ree had numerous individuals finish in the top 10 at the College National Finals Rodeo in nearly every event. After retiring from teaching and coaching, Ree also served as the DCC Board Chairman for three years.
1981 National Champion Men’s Rodeo Team
The 1981 National Champion Men’s Rodeo Team is still the only National Championship team Dawson Community College has ever produced. In that magical year, Coach Tom Ree led the men’s team first to a Big Sky Region Championship and then to the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Men’s Championship. The team scored 1,077 points at Nationals - over 300 more than 2nd place finisher Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and ahead of five-time National Champion Southeast Oklahoma, who finished in 3rd place. The team was made up of Curt Clarke, Larry Peabody, Mark Fulton, Mark Kuhn, Kevin Jeffries and Chuck Simonson. The alternates on that team were Brad Waldhauser, Nick Econom, Lawrence Pretty Weasel and Lyle Bauman. Simonson won the National Bull-Riding title, and Peabody won the Bareback championship. Simonson also finished 2nd in the Men’s All-Around. Carol Hilliard was Coach Ree’s Assistant Coach and Rosemary Aus was the Rodeo Advisor.