University of Calgary

The Greatest Dino

April 5, 2007

Karl Tilleman named Greatest Dino of All Time

The results are in, the votes have been tabulated, and basketball great Karl Tilleman (1979-1984) has been named the Greatest Dino of All Time.

The announcement was made Thursday night at the final event of the University of Calgary Dinos’ 40th Anniversary Season, the 40th Annual Night of the Dino.

Tilleman received 26 per cent of the votes cast over the six-month voting period, more than five times that of the second place finisher, Paul Geddes (men’s hockey 1984-1987). Thousands of votes were cast online at throughout the 2006-07 season.

A five-year starter for the Dinos men’s basketball team from 1979-84, Tilleman is at or near the top of the UC record book in every statistical category. He averaged 26.4 points per game over his career, finishing with 2090 points in 79 games – before the introduction of the three-point basket. Tilleman sits second in the school’s all-time scoring list, a mere 81 points behind Richard Bohne (1993-96).

A four-time first team All-Canadian, Tilleman was the CIS Player of the Year in both 1982 and 1983. He led the nation in scoring both years and won the Scott-Mamini Award as the City of Calgary Athlete of the Year in 1982. He was the University of Calgary’s male athlete of the year in both 1981 and 1983 and was the first Dino to have his jersey retired by the department – an honour he received after his final home game on Feb. 25, 1984.

Tilleman was inducted into the Dinos Athletics Hall of Fame with the inaugural class in 1995.

He was drafted in the fourth round, 79th overall, in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets – the only Dinos basketball player in history to have been drafted by an NBA franchise. He played for the Canadian national team from 1984-88, playing in both the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics, and was a member of Canada’s gold medal-winning FISU Games team in 1983 in Edmonton.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Calgary, Tilleman earned his law degree from Brigham Young University and was admitted to the bar in Arizona. He currently practices as a trial lawyer in Phoenix.

Voters chose from the list of the Top 40 Dinos of all time as selected by a committee including coaches, staff, athletes, and members of the media representing all four decades of Dinos competition. The Top 40 were recognized in a pre-game ceremony at KICKOFF, the Dinos’ football home opener against the Alberta Golden Bears on Sept. 9, 2006. Every varsity program was represented by at least one student-athlete in the Top 40 list.

The ten highest finishers in the online vote were recognized Thursday night throughout the awards ceremony. Four male and six female athletes representing eight different programs finished among the top ten. Between them, these athletes captured 62.6 per cent of the total vote.

Top 40 Dinos – The Top Ten

1. Karl Tilleman, Men’s Basketball, 1979-84
2. Paul Geddes, Men’s Hockey, 1984-87
3. Kathy (Truscott) Ranheim, Women’s Soccer, 1986-93
4. Janis (Paskevich) McDonald, Women’s Basketball, 1977-82
5. Joanna Niemczewska, Women’s Volleyball, 2001-07
6. Lutz Keller, Wrestling/Football, 1970-74
7. Leighann (Doan) Reimer, Women’s Basketball, 1996-2001
8. Andy Cameron, Men’s Volleyball, 1988-93
9. Stephanie O’Neill, Women’s Soccer, 1994-98
10. Michelle Conn, Women’s Field Hockey, 1981-85