Our History


Digitally retouched and remastered photo of Tonto Basin, circa 1903

Shortly after his retirement from a legendary career in vigilantism, Tonto Basin recognized the need for a high class institute of higher learning in the high plains.  With this vision in mind, Basin established the North Central South Dakota Polytechnic Institute (Norcentral) on a savanna near Linton, ND.

It wasn’t long before Basin realized that he had made an epic mistake and placed his campus too far north to call it the North Central South Dakota Polytechnic Institute.  Since he did not like the sound of South Central North Dakota Polytechnic Institute, he decided to relocate the institute, lock, stock and barrell to a new site near Mobridge, SD.

original campus

Original site of Norcentral campus near Linton, ND

Originaly, Norcentral was funded by an endowment established by Basin’s profiteering from a silver mining operation near the West Texas town of Odessa.

Norcentral’s future was bright until the mid 1980s.  Shaky investment by the Trustees in Savings and Loans, oil, steel and automobile production on behalf of the institute went south with the economy driving Norcentral to the brink of bankruptcy.

After a government bailout, Norcentral righted the ship and continued on the road to prosperity until 2008.  At that point, the institute was rocked again by bad financial decisions of the Trustees.  As the housing bubble burst, Norcentral was once again rendered to her knees.

current campus

Norcentral’s current home in Mobridge

Late in 2009 the Trustees made a decision that will forever change the face of Norcentral.  Norcentral terminated its hollow facade as a hallowed institute of higher learning and became simply another football factory.

After competing for 4 seasons in the NAIA North Star Athletic Association the Norcentral Freaking Plovers emerge in 2014 as a Division 1 powerhouse as it joins the Big Huge Conference.