Dakota Wesleyan announces athletics hall of fame class for 2023

May 18—MITCHELL — Dakota Wesleyan University has named four individuals and, for the first time, a full team, to be inducted into the DWU Athletic Hall of Fame this fall.

Included among the Class of 2023 inductees are Thomas Gulledge, Dillon Turner, Lauren Tadlock and Curt Hart, alongside the 2018 national champion women's basketball team. The hall of fame banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at DWU's Sherman Center as part of the festivities of Blue and White Days.

Gulledge was a two-year starter for the Tiger baseball program after transferring from Linn-Benton Community College. During his time with DWU, he was named the 2005 Great Plains Athletic Conference player of the year and Region IV player of the year, was an NAIA All-American and a two-time all-GPAC selection. DWU won the 2005 GPAC regular season and tournament championships, as Gulledge broke the records for most RBIs, hits and doubles in a single season. Gulledge currently resides in Mitchell with his wife Gina, daughter Ayda, and works as the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator for the City of Mitchell. He also is an adjunct professor for the DWU sports medicine program.

Turner was a four-year starter for the DWU baseball program, an NAIA All-American and a two-time GPAC player of the year. Turner finished his career as DWU's all-time passing and touchdown leader with 10,704 yards through the air and 151 touchdowns. He also holds the single-season records for passing yards (3,400) and touchdowns (48). The dual-threat quarterback also ranks third all-time in DWU history with 3,215 rushing yards. Following his career at DWU, Turner played professionally in the Indoor Football League where he was a staple for multiple organizations, including the Sioux Falls Storm. Turner currently resides in Pierre with his wife, Brett, and works as a biological technician.

Tadlock was a three-time all-GPAC honoree and a 2016 NAIA all-region honorable mention during her career with Tiger volleyball. Despite playing only three seasons, she ranks fourth all-time in DWU volleyball history for kills (1,328) and 20th in digs (849). Tadlock played a major role in restoring the program, which ended the 2022-23 season ranked sixth in the nation. Tadlock currently resides in Rapid City, where she is employed as a project and public relations manager and an online nutrition coach.

Hart served as DWU athletic director from 2008-2016, overseeing 10 GPAC regular-season team titles, 39 NAIA All-Americans, 202 NAIA scholar-athletes and hundreds of all-GPAC honorees during his tenure. He was a driving force in helping to revamp the DWU TeamMakers booster club, the athletic department's primary source of fundraising for athletic scholarships. Hart also played a large role in the opening of the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex on the south side of campus, which helps Tiger athletes train and compete year-round. During Hart's final year as the athletic director at Dakota Wesleyan, he was named the 2015-16 GPAC athletic director of the year. Hart currently resides in Alexandria, with his wife, Kelly. They have two adult children, Jon and Amanda, and three grandchildren.

As the first team in DWU history to win a national championship, the 2018 women's basketball team is a fitting inaugural team for the DWU hall of fame. En route to the NAIA Division II national title, the Tigers compiled a 32-6 overall record and averaged 80.4 points per game. In the national tournament, DWU went 5-0 in Sioux City, Iowa, winning a GPAC rematch with Concordia, 82-59, in the national championship game. During their historic run, the Tigers ranked first in the country in total assists (743), defensive rebound average (26.9), and free throw percentage (80.4); second in field goal percentage (48.2); third in total points scored (3,045) and rebound margin (11.94); and fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.37) and total offensive rebounds (1,479).