Tracy to be inducted into NDSU Hall of Champions
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
Former Superior Senior High School standout athlete Matt Tracy will be among the 39th annual class to be inducted into the North Dakota State University Bison Athletic Hall of Champions today in Fargo, N.D.
The induction of the seven new members and a fourth team into the Hall of Champions will bring the number of individuals enshrined to 238.
The newest members of the Hall include: Tracy, an all-American offensive guard (1985-88); the 1970 North Central Conference championship football team; former NDSU president Jim Ozbun and first lady Sonja Ozbun; all-America sprinter Dawn (Koehn) Beil (1989-93); honorable mention all-America fullback and football captain Dennis Preboski (1968-70); all-America setter Teresa (Hegg) Wenland (1989-92); all-America middle hitter Julie (Sherman) Pasche (1988-91); and all-America linebacker Charlie Stock (1985-88).
The induction will take place today at the Holiday Inn in Fargo. Lunch begins at 11 a.m. with the induction ceremonies to start at 11:30 a.m.
The group will also be recognized at the NDSU-Western Illinois homecoming football game on Saturday.
Tracy was an offensive guard for the Bison football team from 1985-88. The three-year starter was named first-team All-North Central Conference and first team All-America by the Associated Press and the Football Gazette in 1988.
He was an integral part of the offensive line that helped NDSU go 33-4 from 1986-88. The Bison led the country in rushing in 1988 and finish second in 1986 and 1987.
Tracy started in two NCAA title wins and was part of three national championship teams. While at NDSU, he played under Bison Hall of Fame coaches Don Morton, Earle Solomonson and Rocky Hager.
“I was fortunate to play for some very good football teams,” Tracy said. “After I was done playing I thought that all three of those teams will one day get into the hall of fame. I’d be shocked if they don’t. But I never thought that I’d be inducted as an individual, especially only being an offensive lineman.
“When I got the call I was overwhelmed and could hardly put a sentence together. I was really humbled.”
Tracy and the offensive line were key blockers for Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jeff Bentrim and Chris Simdorn, who each won the Harlon Hill Trophy as Division II football’s top player.
“Those were probably the offensive line’s most important accomplishments,” Tracy said. “We all remembered how proud we were to block for two quarterbacks that won the Harlon Hill Trophy.”
Tracy is also proud of the fact that he helped Bentrim break Walter Payton’s all-time NCAA touchdown record in 1986.
Tracy graduated from SSHS in 1984. While a Spartan, he lettered in basketball and football. During his senior year he played tight end and defensive end on the gridiron, leading his team to a 10-2 record and a state semifinal appearance.
Tracy is also quick to thank Larry Hoff, his coach at SSHS.
“The bottom line is that Larry impacted a lot of kids in Superior, not only teaching the game of football but getting players to apply the game of football to life,” Tracy said. “He had a lot of patience for me. Thank God he did, because we would have never had that good of a senior year, and that helped getting more exposure for not only myself but a number of other players who also went on to play college football.”
Tracy graduated from NDSU in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is employed by Boston Scientific, a medical device manufacturer and has been with the company for 17 years in various positions. He is currently a vice president focusing on the pacemaker franchise.
Tracy has been married for 20 years to former NDSU track and field athlete Karen Gebeke. They reside in St. Michael, Minn., with their three children, Joshua, Sydney and Jackson. Tracy is the son of Superior’s Jim and Marge Tracy.
“I also have to thank my parents,” Tracy said. “They were real road warriors for four years and really became part of the team.”