Merrigan honored as volunteer of the year

Merrigan honored as volunteer of the year Greg Merrigan of Vermillion was among several honorees presented with Noel Olson Volunteer of the Year Awards during the North Central Conference Honor Awards Dinner on Sunday, May 19 at the Arrowhead Radisson Resort in Alexandria, MN.

Aside from Merrigan, Gordon Caldis of Grand Forks, ND; Jay and Kathy Larsen of Brookings; and Collette Folstad, Dr. Betty Patterson and Dr. Donna Terbizan of Fargo, ND were also honored.

The award, established four years ago, recognizes the commitment of former NCC Commissioner Noel Olson to the advancement of NCC visibility, credibility and excellence throughout the nation during his tenure in office from 1984-97. The award is presented to honor individuals who have made significant volunteer contributions to the NCC. The institutional representatives of the league's 10-member schools select the award recipients.

An active volunteer with the South Dakota Athletic Department for 17 years, Merrigan has served as the public address announcer for football and basketball games and track and field meets. His preparation and knowledge of the sports keeps the audience interested in the events.

Merrigan grew up on a farm north of Vermillion and competed on the Vermillion High School track team. He attended USD, majoring in mass communication and serving as assistant sports editor. Then in the mid-1970s, he started helping as a spotter at USD junior varsity football games with a long-time Coyote announcer "Monk" Johnson.

After Johnson retired, Merrigan stepped in as the Coyotes' public address announcer for track and field, football and basketball. He started announcing track and field when USD moved into the DakotaDome in 1979 and has announced at all NCC indoor meets, two NCC outdoor meets and two NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Since 1995, Merrigan has also served as public address announcer at the Sioux City Relays, Howard Wood Dakota Relay and the South Dakota State High School Championships.

For the support of track and field, Merrigan was named the 2001 Dan Lennon Award recipient.

Merrigan has served as the manager of the Clay Rural Water System in Wakonda for 20 years. He and his wife Janet reside in Vermillion. He has two children, Jordan, 12, and Sarah, 16, and two stepchildren, Carly, 17, and Jaime, 15.

Caldis is a longtime participant, supporter and advocate for all activities in the NCC through his half-century commitment to UND and NCC. Caldis will retire this year from the University of North Dakota's institutional Intercollegiate Athletic Committee after 50 consecutive years of service to the institution.

The Larsens have combined to volunteer more than 40 years to the SDSU athletics department.

Folstad, Patterson and Terbizan make up the women's basketball table crew at NDSU. They have collectively volunteered 63 years of service to NDSU.

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