DWU announces five Hall of Fame inductees for 2023

Mitchell, S.D. (DWUAthletics.com) – The Dakota Wesleyan University athletic department will induct four individuals and their first ever team into the DWU Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 16, 2023, during Blue & White Days. The individuals to be inducted this year include athletes Thomas Gulledge ’05, Dillon Turner ’18, and Lauren Tadlock ’16.  The fourth individual, Curt Hart, is being inducted as a contributor for his impact as Director of Athletics. The first ever team to be inducted into the DWU Hall of Fame will be the 2018 DWU Women’s Basketball National Championship team.

Gulledge was a two-year starter for the Tiger baseball program after transferring from Linn-Benton Community College. During his time with DWU, he tallied numerous accolades including being named the 2005 GPAC Player of the Year. Additionally, he was named to the All-Region team as the 2005 Region IV Player of the Year, was an NAIA All-American and a two-time All-GPAC selection. Gulledge was a big part of the 2005 regular season and tournament championships, where he broke the records for most RBI’s, hits, and doubles in 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.

Football player Turner was a four-year starter, an All-American and a two-time GPAC Player of the Year. Turner became DWU’s all-time career passing and touchdown leader his senior season with 10,704 yards through the air, and 151 touchdowns. He also holds the records for passing yards and touchdowns in a single season with 3,400 yards, and 48 touchdowns. Turner was a dual threat quarterback finishing third all-time in DWU history after graduation with 3,215 rushing yards. He was a frequent GPAC and NAIA Player of the Week during his career and was named First Team All-GPAC for the Tigers for two consecutive years. Following his career at DWU, Turner played professionally in the Indoor Football League (IFL) where he was a staple for multiple organizations including the Sioux Falls Storm. Dillon currently resides in Pierre, SD, with his wife, Brett, and works as a biological technician.

Tadlock was a three-time All-GPAC honoree during her career with Tiger volleyball, securing Second- and First-Team All-GPAC honors in 2015 and 2016. Tadlock was a 2016 AVCA/NAIA All-Region Honorable Mention, who currently sits fourth all-time in DWU volleyball history for kills with 1,328 (playing only three seasons), and 20th all-time in digs with 849 (playing only three seasons). A multiple GPAC Player of the Week winner, Tadlock played a major role in restoring the DWU volleyball program which ended the 2022-23 season ranked sixth the nation. Tadlock currently resides in Rapid City, SD, where she is employed as a project and public relations manager and an online nutrition coach.

The first team to ever be inducted into the DWU Athletic Hall of Fame is the first ever team to win a national championship at Dakota Wesleyan University. The 2018 women’s basketball team compiled season records of 32-6 overall, 12-1 at home, 12-4 on the road, and 8-1 at neutral sites. The team averaged 80.4 points per game, shooting at a clip of 48.2% from the floor, 37.7% beyond the arc, and 80.4% at the charity stripe that season, helping them to string together a nine-game win streak running from their Jan. 17 matchup against Dordt until Feb. 17 against Concordia. DWU women’s basketball put together one more winning streak that season in the national tournament, going 5-0 in Sioux City, IA. That win streak led them to a GPAC rematch against conference foe Concordia in the championship game where the Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 82-59. The Tigers, during their historic run, 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).

The final inductee for the 2023 class is contributor Curt Hart. Hart served as Athletic Director for Dakota Wesleyan from 2008-2016 where he oversaw 10 Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season team titles, 39 NAIA All-Americans, 202 NAIA Scholar-Athletes, and hundreds of All-GPAC honorees during his tenure. He helped Tiger athletics become a staple in the Great Plains Athletics Conference landscape. Hart was a driving force in helping to revamp the DWU TeamMakers booster club, the athletic department’s primary source of fundraising for athletic scholarships, with the generosity of the Mitchell community and the TeamMakers committee. Hart also played a large role in seeing one of his biggest dreams for DWU come true: the opening of the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex on the south side of campus which helpsTiger athletes train and compete year-round. For years prior to the groundbreaking of the facility, Hart worked with potential donors, administration, and community members to make the complex a reality. 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, SD, with his wife, Kelly.  They have two adult children, Jon and Amanda, and three grandchildren.

The Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sherman Center on the campus of DWU.

— DWUAthletics.com —