From leading Minot Ryan to a pair of state football championships in North Dakota High School football as a player to leading St. Michael-Albertville to its first ever championship on the grid, Jared Essler has done a lot at the high school level.
But it was at North Dakota State University where Essler left a lasting mark, and he will be part of the university’s 51st annual Athletics Hall of Fame.
Essler was a standout defensive back at a transitional time for the historic NDSU program, which went on to win a slew of championships at the FCS Division Level. Part of a Great West Championship, Essler was a captain and picked off seven interception for the Bison. In track, he was also a captain and an All-American, running sprints.
Essler teaches at St. Michael-Albertville High with his wife Kinsey Essler, who was inducted into the NDSU Athletic Hall of Fame in last year’s class for her track and field accomplishments. The couple have three children, Carter 14, McKenna, 12, and Kira 9.
Essler will be joined by fellow inductees Tamara Brudy, a 16-time All-American track and field sprinter, national champion wrestler Paul Carlson, national champion softball center fielder Jess (Christensen) Hodgson, three-time All-NCC and All-Region volleyball middle hitter Jeni (Jost) Gunderson, two-time NCC Track and Field Championships MVP Lisa Kresky-Griffin, All-American football receiver Tim Stehlow and the 1983 national champion Bison football team.
This year’s honorees will be the 51st class to be inducted.
The event will be held on the NDSU campus in the Nodak Insurance Performance Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, and the incoming hall of fame class will also be recognized at halftime of the homecoming football game on Sept. 30 vs. South Dakota.