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Northwest Bearcats

Herbert Dieterich

In 1928, the enrollment at Northwest Missouri State Teachers College was just over 550. In a few short years, men like Henry Iba, Jumpin’ Jack McCracken, Ryland Milner and Herschel Neil would begin their legendary careers at Northwest. But before any of them would set foot on campus, there were many people that laid the foundation for success. One of particular importance was Herbert Dieterich.

Mr. Dieterich, as he was called by most, would serve as the University’s first Faculty Athletics Representative for an incredible 40 years. In addition, he served as chair of the Northwest Athletic Committee. It was these roles that established a crucial connection between athletics and the academic world – the essence of a student-athlete. His “day jobs” included principal of Horace Mann School, education professor and chairman of secondary education. Throughout these positions, his connection to athletics remained strong.

His tenure was a time of tremendous growth and success for the University and the MIAA. There were multiple all-conference and all-American individual performances in track & field and MIAA Championships in basketball, track & field, and football. It was during his time that the University would officially join the NCAA College Division (which would eventually evolve into Division II Athletics).

Dieterich was an ambassador for athletics in the northwest region of the state as well. Aside from his numerous duties on campus, he worked as a high school official and served for 36 years on the Missouri State High School Athletic Association (MSHSAA) Board of Directors. His final year as Faculty Athletics Representative was 1968. In 1971, a student residence on campus, Dieterich Hall, was named in his honor.

He passed away in April of 1997, but his legacy remains throughout campus.