• DWU to host author of football biography

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    September 18, 2023
    Sept. 19, 2023

    DWU to host author of football biography
    MITCHELL – Author Peter Oltchick will make a stop in Mitchell at Dakota Wesleyan University as part of a tour to promote his book, Football for Fun: The Story of Coach Stewart “Fergie” Ferguson, a DWU alumnus and standout coach who brought the philosophy of fun to football. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 11:30 a.m. in the Tiger Café inside the McGovern Library. Oltchick will read from the book, as well as sign copies. 
    Oltchick is the co-author of the book along with beloved longtime New York Daily News journalist Bill Bell. Tom Flynn (Dan Rather Reports, CBS News) writes: “Fergie, the football coach, is an All-American character. The book is a rollicking fun read.”
    On the eve of World War II, Stewart Ferguson, a football coach from a tiny Arkansas agricultural college, decided the sport ought to be played for fun. Under a bizarre contract that made no bones about whether they ever won a game, “Fergie” and his team of misfits piled into a rickety bus for a three-year barnstorming odyssey that would see the Wandering Weevils of Arkansas A & M befuddle their opponents with slapstick antics, become media and fan favorites, and earn the moniker “the Marx Brothers of Football.”
    Born in Missouri and raised near Mitchell, South Dakota, this son of a stern Methodist minister was a larger-than-life personality with equally outsized opinions. Fergie left an indelible impression on generations of athletes, first in Louisiana, then at Dakota Wesleyan University and Arkansas A & M, and later as head coach at Deadwood High School, where he led the Bears to their first ever football conference championship.
    In Football for Fun, the authors draw on rich sources, including Ferguson’s unpublished memoirs and interviews with former players and family, to bring this remarkable South Dakotan—and the often cut-throat world of high school and collegiate sports—to life.
    Oltchick has written for the online magazine Suite101 and is the author of Clean Clara, a children’s picture book celebrating friendship. He loves to visit schools for customized classroom and library programs and still loves Wordle.
    Oltchick is an accomplished marketing and business development thought leader, an advocate of a positive, inclusive youth sports culture, and would welcome a shot to compete in a Connect 4 championship down the road. He is an alum of Colgate University and Columbia University Business School, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
    Books will be for sale at the event.
    About DWU
    DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, that is rooted in four values: lifelong learning, leadership development, faith exploration and genuine service to others. For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, go to www.dwu.edu.