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Royal McGregor / Forum Communications Co., Published June 14 2012

Rod, Tim Oksendahl to coach Team North Dakota in Badlands Bowl

DICKINSON, N.D. – Rod and Tim Oksendahl aren’t strangers taking the football field together.

However, this time the father and son are coaching side-by-side for Team North Dakota when the all-star high school football team takes on Team Montana at the Badlands Bowl, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT Saturday at the Badlands Activities Center.

Rod Oksendahl is North Dakota’s head coach and his son coaches the team’s offensive backs.

“It’s a fun thing for us to step out onto our field and feel each other out,” Tim said. “Both of us have the same set on how we coach. The relationship between us is very strong, and we like to be able to work together out on the field.”

Rod was the head coach for North Dakota during the 2005 Badlands Bowl and Tim was his starting quarterback. Tim threw 9-for-11 for 149 yards and three touchdowns and was named the game’s Most Valuable Offensive Player. It was a special moment as North Dakota won 53-29 and snapped a four-year Montana win streak.

“It was very rewarding,” Rod said. “That was something, as a father, you kind of dream about. Watching your kid go out there and be part of a winning team, not only that he had an outstanding game. It was a very proud moment for a father.”

The game in 2005 holds a special place in Tim’s heart, but it wasn’t the individual performance – it was another achievement – winning the final game of his high school career. In fact, he won the final 36 as Cavalier High School won three consecutive Class 2A state championships from 2002 to 2004.

“Him (Rod) and I had a

36-game winning streak, between coach and quarterback, just getting one more and beating Montana was very important to the both of us,” Tim said.

Rod was the longtime head coach at Cavalier. Last year was his first season at Fargo Shanley. He compiled a 261-73 record in 31 seasons at Cavalier and Wyndmere and finished his first season with the Deacons 8-4.

“They obviously know what they are doing,” Shanley defensive back Tyler Rivard said. “Rod was at Cavalier forever and he’s a good fundamentalist all-around.”

Once Rod took the job at Shanley, the father-son duo was reunited. Rod said watching Tim coach has been just as satisfying as watching him take the field as the signal caller.


McGregor writes for The Dickinson Press