2019 Coyote Legends Ceremony Information
Friday, September 27th, during Homecoming, we will honor H.L. Pedersen, former Coyote coach, as our first-ever WHS Coyote Legend. Harold L. Pedersen was from Valley City, North Dakota. He was an outstanding athlete and student. He came to Williston in 1950, where he spent 13 very productive years. In his time at WHS, he was the athletic director, head football coach, track coach, basketball coach, and head wrestling coach. In fact, he started the wrestling program in Williston and was often referred to as the Father of Wrestling in North Dakota.
As a head football coach, his teams were always fiercely competitive, well-coached, and always near the top in the win/loss column. H. L. was responsible for moving Cutting Field from Harmon Park, which was a dirt field to behind the now middle school, where it remained for decades.
H.L. Pedersen, a former marine in WWII, is among the top football coaches of all time in North Dakota history.
The festivities will begin with a "float" in the Homecoming parade, and we will have a special presentation on the field prior to the start of the Homecoming football game. We will also host a social beginning at 5:30 in the WHS commons area with light appetizers for those wanting to celebrate the induction of H.L. Pedersen as our very first LEGEND. We want to remember our storied past and pay tribute to those who paved the way for future Coyotes to have success. This opportunity also helps connect current Coyotes with the proud heritage of our school, and it brings the community together to celebrate! All are welcome to attend.
For planning purposes, please RSVP here.
2020 Coyote Legends Information
2020 Coyote Legends Ceremony Information
Even though the coronavirus put a damper on the Homecoming Festivities for WHS, we are still proud to announce the 2020 WHS Legends inductees: Dean Hermes, Ted Hopgood, and Garvin Stevens.
These three candidates were chosen to join H.L. Pedersen in the newly-formed Coyote Legends group based on the many recommendations our committee received on their behalf and the outstanding accomplishments they achieved both during their time at WHS and beyond.
Because we were unable to do a formal presentation and celebration of these fine gentlemen, we have made the decision to induct them, along with the 2021 Coyote Legends, at the 2021 Homecoming football game (dates pending at the time of print).
Dean Hermes was raised in Williston and was a 1962 graduate of Williston High School where he was a outstanding student-athlete. He was coached under the tutelage of such Williston legends as H.L. Pedersen and George Amsden. He was a wrestling state champion and an All-State football player. He was a proud Army Vietnam Veteran. His love of sports brought him to his lifelong passion for teaching and coaching. During his more than 30 years at WHS, he was the head coach in golf, wrestling and football. He prided himself on not only training winning athletes, but teaching them the value of teamwork, responsibility, and pride in their school. He was named North Dakota Coach of the Year in wrestling, and football. He established the North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame and was later inducted as a member, and another huge accomplishment came when he and his son became the first father-son state wrestling champions in the state.
Ted Hopgood graduated from WHS in 1961. He lettered in three high school sports (football, basketball, track) and played five summers of American Legion Baseball including an 11-2 pitching record for the 1960 Western Division Champs.
His many memorable Williston teachers and coaches who taught life skills and many valuable lessons include: Chuck Stone, Miss Moe, Mabel Gilbertson, Ruth Erickson, Lily Wilkinson, Helga Sorenson, Ruth Clark, Chuck Privatsky, Leamon Hanson, Ray Kaiser, Roy Weatherly, Adrian Nelson, Jerry Miller, Pete Reed, Ron Erhardt, Dennis Healy, Leon Olsen, Norm Furuseth, George Amsden, Bob Peterson, and Harold Pedersen. Dedicated coaches and numerous skilled teammates while playing on Williston teams made for a magical and fulfilling, never to be forgotten experience!
In 1965, Ted graduated from Texas A&M University, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, and served on active duty as an Infantry Officer until retiring in 1996 as a Major General. A decorated combat veteran, Ted saw ground action in Vietnam. He served in command and staff assignments from platoon level to service with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. Command of three separate rifle companies in Vietnam and deployment to Somalia in 1993 were particularly noteworthy. Additional assignments included Battalion and Marine Expeditionary Unit commands, Deputy Director for Operations in the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center, Assistant Division Commander for the First Marine Division, Director of Operations for the U. S. Pacific Command in Honolulu, and President of the Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA.
Upon retirement from the Marine Corps, Ted served as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University from 1996-2002. Ted and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1967 and live in College Station, TX. They have two daughters, Jennifer (UC Berkeley 1990 and University of Houston Law Center 2011), and Katherine (Texas A&M 1994 and MBA 1995) married to Barry Teague (Texas A&M 1992 and MBA 1995).
Garvin Stevens was a member of the 1952 Coyote football state champion team and a high school All American. In 1953, he graduated from Williston High School and went on to become a Co-Captain of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux football team. Following his service in the United States Army and completion of an advanced degree from the University of North Dakota, he and his family moved back to Williston where he became the Dean and then President of Williston State College.
During his time at WSC, he was instrumental in expanding programs such as nursing, diesel technology, and Physical Therapy Assistant; improving the infrastructure of the campus to ensure future growth; and lobbying the ND Legislature to fund the Workforce Training Center which allowed local businesses the opportunity to train their employees. Upon retirement from WSC, he moved across the street to the Williston State College foundation to work with community members and alumni to fund scholarships, faculty development, and facility improvements. One such capital campaign resulted in a grant from The Thomas and Francis Leach Foundation and enabled WSC to build the Health and Wellness Center, better known as "The Well." Garvin is retired and living in Grand Forks.
We want to congratulate all three of the Coyote Legends inductees, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in 2021.