Bison Athletics

What Does Bison Pride Mean To You?

We asked some former Bison football players what their definition of Bison pride was. See what alumni from different decades said about North Dakota State.

Bison Illustrated Subscription

Photos special to Bison Illustrated

We asked some former Bison football players what their definition of Bison pride was.


Ryan Smith

“Bison Pride to me goes so much further than just the team that you’re on. It goes way back to the foundation that guys in the 20s and 30s built. They instilled the culture that is still there today. And every year as an older guy on the team you make sure that culture gets ingrained into the younger guys’ heads. It is giving everything you have blood, sweat, and tears to that guy next to you knowing that you will not let him down and he will not let you down either. And Bison Pride and the Bison culture is still carrying on very strong and I don’t see that ever changing.” – Ryan Smith 2010-2013

“It is cliche already but you can’t define it with a word, sentence or even a paragraph. It is knowing the guy next to you has your back and you have his, not only in football but as long as we walk this earth. This is not negotiable. You really can’t explain it to someone who hasn’t strapped it up and ran out on to Dacotah or the Fargodome. It is a brotherhood that is unparalleled anywhere in the country. Once a Bison always a Bison.” – Monte Kubas 1990-1994

“Bison Pride has always meant to me not only are you playing for your teammates on the field but for the farmer that was listening on the radio in the field or the small towns in ND & Northwest Minnesota. It was playing for the students cheering you on, the city of Fargo, the state of ND that you represented NDSU at the highest level.” – Ken Muckenhirn 1983-1987

“Bison Pride means so many things to me. Of all the things, the most important would be the brotherhood. We are all part of something bigger than ourselves and I see that pride more clearly now as an alumnus than I did as a player. It doesn’t matter if you played in the 50s or the 2010s, if you never saw the field or if you were an All-American. We are all an important piece in the tradition of excellence that makes Bison football so special to so many people.” – Scott Walter 2002-2005

“A group of people coming together with the willingness to fight through adversity to attain a common goal. All while having each other’s back no matter the circumstances and holding one another accountable. Bison Pride is not something you can buy, borrow or steal. It is earned and attained through sacrifice and commitment at a high level.” – Jay Hatleli 2006-2010

“The team, the team, the team.” – Matt Veldman 2007-2011

Landon Lechler

“Brotherhood, camaraderie.” – Landon Lechler 2012-2017

“Pride in NDSU and the men and women representing this great university.” – Gene Gebhards 1962-1965

“Shared experiences on and off the field. Then and through the last 40 years, because we became friends for life.” – Russell Shroyer 1976-1979

“Bison Pride to me is the brotherhood you have with your teammates. The relationships you build last a lifetime. We would do anything for each other. Everyone is pulling in the same direction for one common goal.” – Dale Hurt 1996-2000

Jerry Rosburg

“A daily pursuit of excellence with a humble and grateful heart.” – Jerry Rosburg 1974-1977

Brad Ambrosius

“Tradition. Playing and working for all those that did the came before you.” – Brad Ambrosius 2013-2016

“Winning.” – Len Kretchman 1985-1988

“Values of cohesiveness, fortitude, dedication and not letting adversity distract you from achieving your goals.” – Steve “Jolly” Stevens 1965-1968

Cole Jirik

“Playing for the players next to you and giving everything you have because you don’t want to let your brothers down.” – Cole Jirik 2009-2013

Be sure to look for the print edition of our special Alumni issue on magazine stands or in your mailbox later this month.

What Does Bison Pride Mean To You?
Subscribe Bison Illustrated Now
Published eight times a year, Bison Illustrated provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Bison community in order to help promote the university’s players, coaches, alumni, supporters, staff and fans.


Copyright © 2021 Spotlight Media, LLC

To Top