Fred Dahnke was inducted into the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 11, at the Best Western Kelly Inn in St. Cloud, Minn., a feature attraction at the NSIC’s 13th annual Summer Kickoff event.
A loyal contributor to the remarkable cross-country and track success story at Minnesota State University Moorhead for over four decades, Fred Dahnke was inducted into the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 11, at the Best Western Kelly Inn in St. Cloud, Minn., a feature attraction at the NSIC’s 13th annual Summer Kickoff event.
A four-year track letterman at MSUM, Dahnke was a longtime assistant track coach under Ron Masanz and spent nearly 20 years with the Dragon cross-country family. He served as assistant cross-country coach from 1976-85 and head coach from 1981-85, and 1989-92.
During Dahnke’s reign the Dragons captured nine straight NSIC championships, eight NAIA District 13 titles and three top ten finishes at the NAIA National Cross-Country Championships. He was named NAIA Region IV Cross-Country Coach of the Year in 1991, and was also saluted as NAIA District 13 Cross-Country Coach of the Year six times and NSIC Cross-Country Coach of the Year five times.
Dahnke also served as assistant track coach at MSUM from 1976-85 and 1990-93. His Dragon track and cross-country athletes produced 142 All-NSIC certificates and 25 All-American awards, and captured three individual national championships.
A native of Barnesville, Dahnke graduated from MSUM in 1971 with a degree in Health/ Physical Education. He ran a leg on the school record-setting men’s 4 x 880 yard relay team. He was a member of the 1970 NIC Indoor Championship track team and earned the Red Baton Award, given annually by Masanz to a team member who made a significant contribution on and off the track.
Dahnke taught at West Fargo (N.D.) High School for 33 years before retiring in 2005. He was inducted into the Dragon Hall of Fame in 1999.
Dahnke is the 20th Dragon to be enshrined in the NSIC Hall of Fame.