ELK RIVER HIGH SCHOOL HALL OF FAME 2010
Bruce Anderson, Stacy Brown Biegler, Lindsey Dietz, Mike Hanlon, Danny Hinote, Craig Jordan, Larry Krieg, Mike Milless, Aaron Osterman, Ron Sass
Bruce Anderson Bruce is best known as a lawman -- he was a highly-regarded Sherburne County Sheriff for 17 years, retiring just this year, and served the department for 34 years -- but he also made quite a name for himself as an athlete in his youth. At ERHS he was senior class president, homecoming king, and all-conference and team captain in basketball and football. His third sport was track. A prep highlight was beating Cambridge in football (first Elk win over the Bluejackets in 24 years). At 6 foot-5, swift and hard-hitting, he was a rampaging tight end and the team’s top tackler. For his efforts he got 30 football scholarship offers and chose the Gophers, although he only stayed one season at the U. In adult rec sports, he played on state championship teams in softball, basketball and touch football. Since retiring from the force, he’s serving as a consultant.
Stacy Brown Biegler 1996 Stacy was a versatile, a three–time all-stater (individual medley, backstroke, 500 freestyle) in swimming, holding three team records when she graduated, and was one of the leaders of the 1994 state champion Nordic Ski team as well. Currently the Big Lake girls swimming head coach (since 2005), she had a stellar career at North Dakota, earning D-II All-America recognition 10 times (top eight at nationals) and serving as captain her senior year. With the Elk swimmers she had 11 section golds (six individual, five relays), was team MVP four times and swam in six state meets. She helped her ski teams win five section titles, qualified individually five times and made all-state twice. An academic All-American at UND majoring in criminal justice, she was a Crystal police officer for five years. She’s married with two kids in Big Lake.
Lindsey Dietz 2002 Lindsey is the premier girls basketball player to come out of ERHS and probably the top all-around female athlete as well. The versatile 6-foot-forward led the Elks to the state finals (they lost to Lakeville) as a junior and was a Miss Basketball finalist as a senior. She had 1, 198 points (20.5 per senior year) and made AP All-State twice. She grew in strength and skills each year and had a spectacular career at UM-Duluth, logging 2,115 points and 853 rebounds, making D-II All-America twice. She led the Bulldogs to an 81-28 record before she suffered a knee injury with 10 games left as a senior when she averaged 23.5 points. Dietz was also an all-state softball player and all-conference soccer player at ERHS. Dietz, who joins her father, John, as a hall of famer, logged straight A’s through high school and college and has a masters in math. She lives in Inver Grove Heights and works for U.S. Bank as a Risk Modeler.
Mike Hanlon, Coach and A.D. Mike, who arrived at ERHS as a Vietnam vet in 1969, started the Elk wrestling program and coached a state runner-up team, then had an 18-year tenure as activities director, helping guide the school through some changing times. He was a standout wrestler at Aitkin High School and Bemidji State (1964 NSIC champ at 147 pounds), and wrestled some in the Army, too. When he joined the District 728 faculty, one of his first tasks was starting the wrestling program. He coached the grapplers for the first decade and took the 1981 team to the state finals where they lost to Albert Lea for second place, still the program’s top finish. Originally a business teacher, he moved into the front office in 1981. With ERHS enrollment growing he steered the school in and out of three conferences, while overseeing the rapid growth of girls sports and relocating the football and baseball fields, among other projects. Now 67, married with three sons in their 30s, he’s been retired since 1998.
Danny Hinote 1994 Dan's hockey distinctions include scoring the first-ever Elk River goal at a state tournament, in 1993; winning a Stanley Cup, with the Colorado Avalanche, in 2001; and lasting nine seasons in the NHL after being drafted in the seventh round in 1995. Originally planning to be an Army officer and FBI agent, Hinote got an appointment to West Point, but did so well in hockey there (two seasons, 41 goals) that he left to play juniors hockey in Canada. After three seasons of juniors, the 6-foot, 195-pound center broke into the NHL. He played six years with Colorado and three with the St. Louis Blues, totaling 38 goals and 52 assists for 90 points in 503 regular-season games, along with 6-9-15 in 72 playoff games. He also played two pro seasons each in the AHL and Sweden including his pro finale this past year. Hinote, 33, who got married and became a father in the past year, was hired July 1 as assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Craig Jordan 1975 Craig was Elk River’s first state champion in wrestling and went on to capture a national championship in college with Mankato State. He was also a professional wrestler–not the pretend kind, but a member of a short-lived attempt at legitimate pro wrestling with a team called the Minnesota Grizzlies, in the 1980’s. Jordan was the 98-pound state champion in a one-class system in 1975. At Mankato, he captured the 134-pound Division II crown in 1980. Jordan coached for a few years at the high school and youth levels and three years with Mankato State. The Big Lake resident started his own construction company 18 years ago, then a drywall company six years ago, called Ideal Wall Systems Inc. He has two grown sons and was recently married.
Larry Krieg, Coach Almost 50 years old before he became a head coach, Larry had a brief but remarkable run in girls basketball with five state tournament teams in eight years, and one state runner-up, before retiring in 2006. The elementary PE teacher was already a vital if behind-the-scenes figure in Elk sports. He nurtured the youth football program for seven years (after John Dietz started it but got called into military service) and started the boys basketball youth program from scratch in 1978, running it for 20 years innovatively. A native of Alberta and graduate of UM-Morris, he was boys hoops sophomore coach for 19 years before accepting the girls basketball varsity position. Krieg had state tourney teams in 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006, with the 2001 team (led by fellow 2010 inductee Lindsey Dietz) ranked No. 1 before losing in the finals to Lakeville. His final game in 2006 was, fittingly, at the Target Center, a loss to St. Paul Central.
Mike Milless 1977 A three-sport standout, Mike was one of Elk River’s first hockey luminaries, leading the team in scoring three times in the 1970s when they played outdoors, before going on to win two national titles with Bemidji State. Milless was team MVP three years and made all-Skyline Conference. A three-sport captain, he was the football team’s top back in 1976 and sparkled at shortstop in baseball. He helped Bemidji State win Division II national crowns in 1979 and 1980, leading the team in power play goals as a junior. Milless returned to his hometown to live and has had considerable success coaching youth hockey. His 2009 Peewee ‘B’ boys were the first Elk River Youth Hockey Association team to capture a state title. He’s had 10 district champs and one region champ. He also coaches youth baseball. Married with two kids, Milless is a superintendent for Welsh Construction.
Aaron Osterman 1990 After a stellar football and basketball career at ERHS, Aaron was a featured receiver on Minnesota Gopher football teams that didn’t win much but racked up lots of points in coach Jim Wacker’s frenzied offense. The 6-foot, 194-pound split end was twice named Big Ten offensive player of the week and his 111 catches over three seasons ranks 10th all-time at the U. His most memorable game was snagging 13 passes for 187 yards in a 1994 loss to Michigan, playing against future New England Patriots star Ty Law. The 13 catches is a Gopher record (since tied by Eric Decker). Another highlight was a 59-yard touchdown catch in a 28-13 upset of Iowa in 1992. Osterman was all-conference twice each in football and basketball with the Elks and was basketball MVP. He played a year of Gopher basketball as a reserve guard, on the 1994-95 team that went to NCAA’s. Married with four kids, Osterman is a Biology teacher and football and basketball assistant coach at his alma mater, ERHS.
Ron Sass 1944 Ron won three gold medals in the 1944 state meet, capping a 13-letter career in football, basketball, baseball and track, and went on to build a track-and-field powerhouse at White Bear Lake. After helping organize the first track team at ERHS, Sass won state golds in low hurdles, broad jump (now long jump) and high jump. With WWII winding down he attended Iowa State and took officer training while lettering in track. He transferred to Minnesota and was a member of the Gophers’ 1948 national championship team. Arriving at White Bear Lake in 1957 as an algebra and geometry teacher and coach, he headed the boys track team for 35 years, collecting MSHSL state championships in 1971, 1974 and 1988, and a coach’s association true-team title in 1987. He was state coach of the year (picked by peers) twice. Also an assistant in basketball (15 years) and football (35 years), Sass was previously inducted in the state high school coaches and White Bear Lake halls of fame. Married 59 years and a father of four, he’s living in a care center in White Bear Lake.