De Smet native Eldon Kellar, a 1950 graduate of South Dakota State University became the 20th member of the Jackrabbit Hall of Fame in 1984.
Kellar, a teacher and coach at Hillsboro, Ore., graduated from De Smet High School in 1944. During his career, the Bulldog six-man football team was undefeated and, in 1943, he played on the De Smet team which went to the state basketball tournament. He was also state champion in the 880 in 1943 before winning the state title in the 440 in 1944, when he was runner-up in the 880.
After leaving high school, Kellar spent two years in the Navy and ran track for the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in the spring of 1945. He enrolled at SDSU in 1946, and lettered four years each in football and track. Kellar won three straight North Central Conference championships in the 440 and ran on an unbeaten mile relay team in 1948. He was a two-time winner of the Most Valuable Trackman award at State.
After earning his bachelor’s degree at SDSU, Kellar added a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, then became head football and track coach at Madison. In 1953, he became head basketball coach and athletic director at Madison, and in 1954, coached the Bulldogs to the state basketball tournament. Following that season, he moved to Rainier, Ore., where Kellar started as head basketball and track coach, plus assistant football coach. Two years later, he became athletic director and head football coach.
Rainier finished third in the 1958 state track meet and second in 1959. After five years at Rainier, Kellar moved to Hillsboro, Ore. In 21 years at Hillsboro High School, Kellar’s track teams won 13 conference titles, 11 district championships and finished third or better in the state meet five times. The school once won 51 straight dual meets, lost one, then won 50 more in a row. Kellar then moved to Glencoe High School in Hillsboro in 1980, as head track and cross country coach. His teams there were among the best in the state. Kellar won numerous coaching awards, including Oregon Coach of the Year in cross country in 1978. That same year, he was elected District Cross Country Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association. During the summer of 1984, he coached an all-state track team which toured Hong Kong and Canton, China.