(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE - The Dawson Community College Rodeo program was recently honored in Billings as the 2020 Great Montana Rodeo Program by the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame. Not only because of the legends the program has brought into the rodeo world, but also because of the program's rich rodeo history.
The Dawson Community College Rodeo program began in 1969 under the direction of Rose Marie Aus. Tom Ree and Carol Hilliard joined the coaching staff in the early 70s and were instrumental in the program's success for over 30 years. This trio of leadership produced multiple men's and women's teams that finished in the top 10 both regionally and nationally. The highest achievement came in 1981 when the men's team won the National Championship.
The highest finish for the women's team was 5th in 1980. Over time, Bill and Joyce Ayre, Phil Lohman, Jeanie Nelson, Seth Weishaar, Jim Baisch, Bill Blankenship, Rod Paschke, and Kortney Diegel all have coached the DCC rodeo team to numerous trips to the College National Finals Rodeo.
The rodeo program at DCC today strives to uphold the same core principles that were originally set in place. Top rodeo athletes across the region are recruited and the focus is on excellence not only in the arena, but also in the classroom and the community as well.
Quality practice is a high priority, and access to an indoor facility allows the team to practice year-round. The practice stock is second to none, as J Bar J and Eiker Cattle Company provide the stock and are two of the best stock contractors around. As a direct result, DCC rodeo athletes go on to excel at all levels of competition.
Several Dawson Community College alumni were also honored at the banquet. Larry Peabody and Josh Reynolds were both awarded Legend Awards while the Dennis Tryan family was awarded Great Montana Rodeo Family.