Augustana Announces 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees
Augustana University Athletics will induct six individuals into the 2017 Augustana Athletics Hall of Fame this fall during Viking Days. The 2017 inductees will be honored at the Hall of Fame banquet, set for Friday, Oct.13, at the Holiday Inn City Centre.
The newest Hall of Fame members include former football standout Kevin Kaesviharn '98, football player Jim Clemens '77, women's basketball player Tamera Oltmanns '02, baseball player Andy Salmela '02, men's basketball player Randy Leslie '89 and volleyball player Kari Peterson '01.
In addition to six outstanding student-athletes, Augustana will recognize Mark Thorson (Ole Odney Award), Richard Bland (Milt and Clara Harvey Award) and Jeff Fylling (Lefty Olson Award).
The Hall of Fame banquet begins with a 5:30 p.m. social hour on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Holiday Inn City Centre (Starlite Room). The Hall of Fame inductees will also be introduced at halftime of the Viking Days football game against Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday, Oct. 14.
2017 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
- Kevin Kaesviharn played five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. In 87 games he registered 363 tackles, 15 interceptions, and six sacks. He was drafted by the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League in 1988 and was named rookie of the year. Kaesviharn was with the San Francisco Demons and the Green Bay Packers before signing with the Bengals. He finished his professional career with the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. A three-year starting defensive back at Augustana, Kaesviharn was named to the 1997 All-North Central Conference team and to the Daktronics All-America second team. He was chosen to play in the 1997 Cactus Bowl.
- Tamera Oltmanns is the 10th leading career scorer (1,389) in the history of the women's basketball program. She is 13th in career scoring average (12.4), third in career free throws made (442), tied for third in career assists (444), and seventh in career steals (222). Oltmanns started 83 games and was named to the All-North Central Conference team in 2001 and 2002. Five times during her career she was featured as the NCC player of the week. She was a member of the 2000-01 All-NCC tournament team.
- Andy Salmela was an All-North Central Conference choice in 2001 and 2002. He was also named to the Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association All-North Central Region team in 2001. His Augustana achievements include eighth-highest career on-base percentage (.459) and ninth for most runs scored in a career (132). He is sixth in career hits (185) and sixth in career doubles (40). Salmela, who clubbed 22 career home runs with Augustana and drove in 145 runs, was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 31st round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft. He had stints with Sioux City of the Northern League and the Class A Tri-City Cats.
- Randy Leslie is one of the most colorful players in the history of the Augustana men's basketball program. He holds the school record for most minutes played in a career (3,843), is fourth in 3-point field goal percentage for a career (.435). Leslie was a starter on the 1988-89 team that earned a share of the North Central Conference regular season title and advanced to the North Central Region playoffs. The team set a record for most wins in a season with 23. He scored 1,003 career points. Leslie was inducted into the Sioux Falls Washington High School Hall of Fame in 2000.
- Kari Peterson was named player of the year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in 2000. She was an All-North Central Conference choice in 2000 and 2001 and was named to the AVCA All-America first team in 2000 and the second team in 2001. She holds the school record for most assists per set (12.91) and is second in career assists (5,797). Peterson was selected to the Daktronics All-America first team in 2000 and 2001. She was named NCC freshman of the year in 1998, won the FCA Honor Athlete Award in 2002, and was a candidate for the Honda Award. Peterson was a key contributor to the 2000 team's NCAA Division II championships runner-up finish.
- Jim Clemens transferred to Augustana from the Air Force Academy. He was a defensive end at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds but was switched to center because of his versatility and adaptability. Clemens was starter for two seasons and served as a co-captain with the 1976 team. He twice earned Academic All-America honors and achieved a 3.95 grade point average in chemistry. Clemens was selected to the North Central Conference All-Academic team three times. He was Augustana's most valuable lineman for three straight years.
- Mark Thorson will be honored with the Ole Odney Award which is given to an Augustana alumnus who is involved in coaching and teaching. Thorson served as the head football coach at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, FL. He was one of the most successful coaches in the area, especially over his last seven seasons on the sidelines. He led the Crusaders to the state playoffs in each of those years and posted unbeaten regular seasons in 2011 and 2013. His teams reached the regional finals in 2012 and 2014 and annually had one of the area's top offenses. He compiled a 97-55 mark at Kenny before assuming the role of athletic director in January, 2016.
- Richard Bland will be presented with the Milt and Clara Harvey Award, which is given to those who have provided outstanding and generous financial support for Augustana Athletics. Bland is a 1968 graduate of Augustana. He received his law degree from Drake University in 1971. Prior to his retirement, Bland practiced law at Meagher & Geer in Minneapolis for over 35 years. He and his late wife, Carol, have been long time generous donors to Augustana and Augustana athletics.
- Jeff Fylling will be honored with the Lefty Olson award, which is given to an Augustana alumnus who has achieved lifetime service in athletics or athletic administration. Fylling, a 1978 graduate, received the Alumni Achievement Award in 2013. He has been the voice describing the game winning plays and last minute shots of Augustana football and basketball for nearly four decades. Fylling started announcing athletic events while in college through KSOO Radio. A history major at Augustana, he currently serves as Sanford Sports Medicine Director of Public Affairs. In 2005, he received the Kolpack Media Award for his oral narrative of Augustana athletics. That same year, Fylling continued his support of Augustana athletics by developing a scholarship, along with his brother Robert Fylling (1980), to help support student athletes. He is a member of the Augustana College Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame Committee.
- 1988-89 Men's Basketball Team: The Vikings set what at the time was a school record for wins. The overall mark of 23-7 included a 14-4 North Central Conference mark. The Vikings earned a share of the NCC regular-season championship and advanced to the North Central Region Tournament for the second straight year.