Lute Olson, Basketball coach
The University of Arizona coach has led the Wildcats to 19 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and one national championship, in 1997. He grew up in Mayville and played center on the Grand Forks Central High team that won the 1952 state championship.
Cliff Cushman, Hurdler
The former Grand Forks resident won the 400-meter hurdles silver medal at the 1960 Olympics. He served in Vietnam as a pilot; he went missing after being shot down in '66 and was declared dead in '75. The Grand Forks Central football field is named after him.
Darin Erstad, Baseball player
The Anaheim Angels' two-time Gold Glove-winning outfielder had his best season at the plate in 2000, batting .355 with 25 home runs. At Jamestown High he was a state hurdles champion and a hockey star and kicked a 50-yard field goal.
"I once asked my father-in-law, who worked on the railroad outdoors on the border of North Dakota and Canada, how he could stand the cold. He told me, 'It surely keeps the riffraff out.' "
—MINOT NATIVE AND LONGTIME LSU BASKETBALL COACH DALE BROWN
Though the University of North Dakota has won seven NCAA Division I hockey championships and North Dakota State five Division II football titles, the state's single most electrifying event was Roger Maris's 61 home runs in 1961. The Yankees rightfielder, who grew up in Fargo, broke Babe Ruth's hallowed record of 60 on the final day of the season. His mark would stand for 37 years—three years longer than Ruth's had.
University of North Dakota coaches or players who have gone on to coach in the NBA ( Bill Fitch, Phil Jackson and Jimmy Rodgers).
Pro Bowl appearances by Ellendale native and Eagles receiver Pete Retzlaff between 1959 and '66.
Former University of North Dakota hockey players with their names on the Stanley Cup ( Ed Belfour, Brad Bombardir, Jay Caufield, Tony Hrkac, Craig Ludwig and Troy Murray).