Class of 2022 Coyote Legends Announced
Banquet scheduled for Thursday, October 6th at 5:30 pm at the Old Armory
Purchase tickets HERE or in person at the Old Armory Monday-Friday, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The Williston High School Heritage Committee proudly presents the 2022 Coyote Legends inductees to be honored on Thursday, October 6th, 2022, in conjunction with WHS Homecoming activities. This year’s inductees include a trio of athletes from the Class of 1959, a trio of Cross-Country Legends, a two-sport star, and an MVP football player:
Bob Lee -- Class of 1951
Larry Hanson -- Class of 1959
Dennis Hoffelt -- Class of 1959
Gary Sukut -- Class of 1959
Lori Carriere Klabunde -- Class of 1981
Rob Heen -- Class of 1987
Corey Ihmels -- Class of 1992
Clint Chamberlin -- WHS Cross Country Coach (40 years)
BOB LEE, a Class of 1951 graduate, was an excellent student and an excellent football player; this is evident since he was voted “Most Valuable Player” in the 1950 season. After Bob graduated from WHS, he went on to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and continued his football career. In 1954 he was Co-Captain of the team and received an honorable mention for “Little All American” by the Associated Press. Bob continued his college education at Iowa State where he graduated in 1957 with a degree in Civil Engineering.
Bob went on to live in Hudson, Wisconsin where he was noted to be a role-model, teacher, council member, School Board member and the President of the Rotary Club. In 1974, Bob was inducted into the Luther College Athletic Hall of Fame for his distinguished football career and his valuable contribution to society. WHS Coyote Football coach HL Pedersen, 2019 Coyote Legend, had a picture of Bob on his office wall while he was a coach as a way of honoring Bob, his former player. Sadly, Bob died in 1984 after a courageous battle against cancer.
LARRY HANSON was born in Powers Lake, ND January 7, 1941, moving to Williston, ND at age 7, and graduating from Williston High School in 1959. During his time at WHS, he played 4 years of basketball, and was named not only a team captain, but an All-State selection as well. He was the only player in the state to average over 20 pts per game, winning the state “scoring title” with an average of 20.7 pts per game. In 1959, Larry was selected to National High School All-America Basketball Squad, and was invited to play in 3rd Annual East-West All Star basketball game in Kansas that summer.
He attended the University of North Dakota on a full basketball scholarship, playing four years for the Fighting Sioux, serving as co-captain of the team and being named Most Valuable Player his senior year. He was also the top scorer with 428 points that season. In 1963, after completing flight training and as an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate, he received his BS in Business Administration as well as his commission as a 2nd Lt in the US Army.
As a helicopter pilot, he attained the rank of Captain and was stationed at various bases in the United States before being assigned for one year to a Medical Service Corps MASH unit in Korea. After a short period back in the United States he was sent to Vietnam, where he flew medical evacuation missions for another year and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf clusters.
In 1968 he returned to Williston and met PattiAnn Benth. They were married August 30, 1969 and established their home in Williston. Larry worked as a parole/probation officer for the State of North Dakota and began building their rental and laundry business. Over the next thirty-three years they operated Mobile Village, Hanson Mobile Home Park, Village Laundry, Park Laundromat, the Wash House and Village Apartments. During that time, he actively served in leadership roles for organizations as varied as the Chamber, Area Development Foundation, Great NW Boy Scout Council, Country Club, Upper Missouri Lake Sakakawea planning, as well as participating in major fund drives for community projects. He was instrumental in creating property tax relief while serving as Mayor of the City of Williston and later also served as a Williams County Commissioner. With the ability to engage with all sides, he received appointments from six governors of both political parties to positions on the State Pardon Board, State Water Commission, ND Employment and Training Forum and others. He played handball, amateur basketball for thirty years and has been an avid golfer, hunter, and fisherman. Sadly, Larry passed away in 2018.
DENNIS HOFFELT is another graduate of the Class of 1959. Athletically, he was involved in baseball, basketball, track, and football. He fondly remembers his youth being filled with sports. Dennis participated in football, basketball, and American Legion baseball while in high school. By his sophomore year, he started as a varsity tackle, playing both ways for three years alongside Sukut. He was named to all-conference and all state teams in football as well as the Sporting News All American high school football team. Also, he was named the “lineman of the year” for the Western Division of the state high school football conference. His coaches, H.L. Pedersen and Norm Furuseth, were very influential in his life and helped him recognize and chase his goals.
Sports gave Hoffelt the opportunity to attend UND on a football scholarship. At UND, Dennis was on the varsity team for four seasons. After UND, Dennis returned home where he began his career in Triangle Electric with his father Harold. He became involved in many community activities. He was active in the Lions Club, First Lutheran Church, Chamber of Commerce, the Williston Country Club, and the Shrine Club. He was on the boards of American State Bank and Geo Resources locally. Statewide, he was involved in the National Electric Contractors Association.
He and his wife Susan raised their three children Lynne, Garth, and Brad in Williston, following in line with his parents, Harold and Evelyn, sister Nancy, and brothers Steve, Greg, and Donn, all being born and raised as Coyotes!
GARY SUKUT graduated from Williston High School. He participated in football, basketball, track, baseball, band and choir. He continued his education at UND, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics. Attending UND on a football scholarship, Gary earned all-conference honors and was a quad-captain his senior year. During his high school and college athletic career, Gary earned countless accolades, including lettering in football, basketball, and track as a sophomore, qualifying for state track as a freshman, being selected to the All-West football team as a senior, being runner up for lineman of the year as a senior, and being honorable mention All-West for basketball as a junior and senior. He earned a football scholarship to UND, where he was a three-year starter as a defensive end and tight end, playing on both sides of the ball. He was inducted as a Fighting Sioux football Legend in the fall of
2019. He even played one season of basketball at UND in his spare time.
After graduation, he, his wife Leora and daughter Tammy moved to Fairmont, MN where Gary taught math and coached football and track. The family, now four with the addition of daughter Nadine, moved back to Williston the spring of 1964 to help with the family business. The fall of 1964 found Gary teaching part time at UND Extension Center as well as working at the family business. Over the next 10 years, Gary was full time at the college and full time at the family business as well as being active on many community and state boards. In 1973 Gary retired from the college to dedicate full time to the family business.
After twenty plus years with the Communities for a Modern Highway 2, 41 years with Sukut Office Equipment, Gary finished his career serving 12 years in the ND legislature, retiring November 30, 2018. He and Leora have three daughters, Tammy, Nadine (died March 2018) and Kathy. They are enjoying retirement visiting their 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Gary’s time at UND Extension Center (WSC) was a very important part of Gary’s life and growth in the community. He is forever grateful to Garvin Stevens for giving him the opportunity to be a part of Williston State College’s history.
LORI CARRIERE KLABUNDE was a 1981 graduate of WHS. During her high school career, Lori played basketball and tennis. She was played on the Coyote’s 1977 state championship team. She was named to the Class A all-state basketball team three times and was named the ND Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s High School Female Athlete of the year in 1981 and the ND Female College Athlete of the year in 1982. Lori was a part of two state championship tennis teams, 1980 and 1981.
After high school, Lori played basketball at UND-Williston under coach Penny Slagle. The team finished in 4th place at the national tournament her freshman year. Lori was named to the Kodak All-American team. Lori played the final two years of her college basketball career at The University of North Dakota where she was a two-time All-Conference selection.
Lori has remained active athletically through adulthood. She enjoys running and has completed several marathons and a couple ultra-distance running races. She also enjoys competing in triathlons. Currently, she’s training for the most challenging athletic adventure to date, The Race Across America (RAAM), where she will partner up with 3 other women to ride over 3,000 miles in a relay fashion, from the west coast to the east coast in June, 2022.
Lori is the proud mother of two boys, Joshua (age 33) and Justin (age 30). She currently works as a Physician Assistant in Bismarck.
ROB HEEN was a 1987 graduate of Williston High School. He earned a degree in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin in 1992. Sportswriter Tom Kvamme writes, “Heen is credited with being the pacesetter for the Williston program as he won back-to-back state cross country titles in 1985 and 1986, while being the number 3 runner on the state championship team in 1984. Going on to graduate from WHS in 1987, Heen closed out his stellar career with a sweep at the state track and field meet. In the spring of 1987 he won the 800, 1600, 3200, and was a member of the 3200-meter relay that also brought home championship hardware. At that point his time was good enough for the 800 record and set the overall mark in the 1600. As a junior, he had won the 1600 and 3200 events at the state track meet and was third in the 800.”
Rob took part in the Kinney Invitational Cross Country meets in December of 1987 and took third in the regional and seventh overall in the national event. Following the Kinney Meets, Rob signed a letter of intent with the University of Wisconsin in Madison and became a member of the Badgers, where he was three-year varsity member of the track and cross county programs and was a member of the 1989 Big Ten Cross Country Championship team. Rob received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed his Executive Master of Business Administration from the University Iowa.
After college Rob has worked in health care for nearly 30 years, starting as a Physical Therapist, and has been in leadership roles for over 26 years. Rob is married to his wife, Pam, and is the proud father of three sons Arik, Jacob, and William. He is an avid Wisconsin Badger fan, and loves outdoors activities, especially trips back out to North Dakota for pheasant hunting and fishing. Rob credits his personal and professional success to his childhood growing up in Williston. “I feel blessed that I was able to grow up in such a supportive community and very proud to be a Williston High School graduate. I owe much of my personal and professional success to my faith in God and values which I learned from my family and all the incredible teachers and coaches at Williston who touched my life.”
Heen is the one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of Williston High School as a seven-time state champion, and according to WHS Cross Country coach Shane Wahlstrom, the current cross-country teams are still chasing the records that Rob set in the state, which is high praise from the successful coach and team.
COREY IHMELS, a fellow cross-country runner, graduated from WHS in 1992. At Williston High School, Corey excelled in cross country and track and field. He was the North Dakota State Class A Individual Cross-Country Champion three times, from 1989-1991. He won 5 individual state track titles and was the member of one championship relay team from 1990 to 1992. In 1991 he was both the Footlocker Midwest Regional and National Cross-Country Individual Champion. For these accomplishments, he was awarded the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Special Achievement Award in 1992. Following his stellar high school career, Corey was heavily recruited and finally decided on Iowa State. He was a member of the Iowa State 1994 NCAA championship cross country team. He was a six-time All American long-distance runner for the Cyclones and the 1997 Big 12 Conference Indoor Athlete of the Year. Corey earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Iowa State University in 1997, and a Master of Education from Arizona State University in 2001, and he is presently the head coach of the Boise State University track and field and cross-country programs. Prior to coming to Boise State, Ihmels spent six seasons as head coach of cross country and track and field programs at his alma mater, Iowa State. He has a long list of coaching accomplishments at both schools, including coaching 4 individual national champions, winning 2 Mountain West Championships, guiding runners to 5 Mountain West Athlete of the Year awards, and 64 All-Americans, among many other accolades.
Corey still owns two track and field records at our school here in Williston and even won an individual National High School Cross Country Championship his senior year of high school. He is the most decorated athlete in the history of WHS, with 9 state championships! Corey earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Iowa State in 1997, and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State in 2001. He and his wife Michelle have two children, son Wil and daughter Ruby.
CLINT CHAMBERLIN coached cross country in Williston for an astounding 38 years. He started his 40-year coaching career while teaching at Minot High School in 1974 as Assistant Coach and finished it out at Williston High School as Head Coach in 2014. Throughout his 40 years of coaching, Clint’s Track and Field teams accomplished two Regional Runner Up titles. While he was head coach for the girls Cross Country team for 10yrs, his teams finished with one Regional Runner-Up title and one State Runner-Up title. As head coach for the boys Cross Country team, Coach Chamberlin’s teams finished with ten Regional Runner-Up titles, seven Regional titles, nine State Runner-Up titles, and four State Championships. His teams won 16 dual and tri-angular meets while winning a total of 174 multi-team meets. Over his 38 years at Williston High, his boys’ teams averaged winning a place of 4.34 in the State Cross Country Meet.
Coach Chamberlin was inducted into the Moorhead State University Hall of Fame in 1992. He received Williston’s Follow the Leader Award twice and received the NDAPSSA Special Achievement Award for Cross Country/Track Coach in 2014-2015. Coach Chamberlin was named State Coach of the Year five times, West Region Coach of the Year six times and a National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Finalist five times. And finally, Clint was inducted into the North Dakota High School Coaches Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2018. Coach Chamberlin’s commitment to the sport didn’t stop with coaching. He also served on the Cross-Country Advisory Committee for eight years. He was a clinician at the North Dakota High School Coaches Association State Convention ten times and a National High School Athletic Coaches Association Clinician five times.
Clint grew up in rural Twin Valley, MN and graduated in 1964 from Twin Valley High School. After graduation, he competed on the North Dakota State College of Science track team and in 1966 he graduated with a pre-education degree. He then attended Moorhead State College where he ran cross country and earned NAIA All American in 1967 & NCAA College Division All American in 1968. In Track & Field, he earned All-Conference & qualified for nationals in the 3 mile and 6-mile events. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in the fall of 1968 prior to joining the Officer Candidate School for the U.S. Marine Corps. After a tour overseas, Clint competed on the track and cross-country teams for the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1971. From 1972-1974 Clint attended Moorhead State University and completed a second Major in Industrial Education.
He and his former wife Wendy have five children: David, Tiffany, Renae, Callie, and Chris, and seven grandchildren.
The 2022 Coyote Legends banquet will take place at the “Teen Canteen” (Old Armory) on Thursday, October 6th, with a social hour at 5:30, followed by dinner and the recognition ceremony. Please join us in honoring these Coyote Legends by purchasing a ticket to the banquet using this link or by visiting the Williston Coyote Foundation Facebook page.
You can also purchase a ticket at the Old Armory, Monday through Friday, between 9:00am and 1:00pm.
The Heritage Committee is made up of representatives from the Coyote Booster Club, the Williston Coyote Foundation, and WHS administration, as well as community members at large. The goal of the committee is to recognize the Coyote Legends, whether teams, coaches, or individuals, who have had a lasting impact on the school and community. At this time, the committee is focusing on nominations received for the worthy candidates from farther back in history, but they will accept ALL nominations and will reevaluate them each year for those who may not have been chosen in the year they were nominated. If you would like to nominate a Coyote Legend, you can do so by going to the Williston Coyote Foundation website: www.willistoncoyotefoundation.com and selecting the Coyote Legends tab. Please consider submitting a nomination for a Coyote team, coach, or athlete who should be considered LEGENDS.