STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Karyn Bye Dietz, a trailblazer for girls’ hockey and a stellar three-sport athlete at River Falls High School in the late 1980s, will be one of 12 individuals inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame during the induction ceremony at the 2021 NFHS Summer Meeting in Orlando, Fla.
More than a decade before the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association would begin sponsoring ice hockey as a sport for girls, Bye Dietz was a three-year letterwinner on the River Falls boys’ team. She went on to the University of New Hampshire on a women’s hockey scholarship before helping Team USA win the gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan and a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
At River Falls High School, Bye Dietz was a three-time All-Middle Border Conference selection in hockey, served as team captain her senior season and was among the team’s scoring leaders her junior and senior years.
She was also a four-time letterwinner and three-time state tournament participant in tennis, winning the Middle Border Conference championship at No. 1 doubles and advancing to the third round in the doubles bracket of the state tournament in 1986 and 1987. She was the conference and sectional champion at No. 1 singles and advanced to the third round of the state tournament in 1988, serving as team captain her junior and senior seasons.
A four-year letterwinner in softball, Bye Dietz received all-state accolades as a catcher in 1989 after receiving honorable mention in 1988 and was an all-conference selection three times after receiving honorable mention as a freshman. She led the team in hitting from 1987-89, batting over .500 her junior and senior seasons. She served as team captain her final two seasons.
She earned 11 varsity letters during her prep career, graduating from River Falls in 1989.
At the University of New Hampshire, Bye Dietz paced the Wildcat women’s hockey team in scoring all four years of participation and still ranks fourth on the school’s career goals scored list and 10th on the career points list. She helped lead New Hampshire to Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference titles in 1990 and in 1991, and served as team captain in 1992 and 1993. She was selected as the program’s Rookie of the Year in 1990 and was the recipient of the Wildcats’ Scholar-Athlete Award in 1992. In addition, she was a two-time letterwinner in tennis.
Following graduation from the University of New Hampshire in 1993 with a degree in physical education, she played three seasons of hockey and received numerous awards at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, from 1993-95. She earned her master’s degree in sports administration in 1995.
Inspired in her childhood by the 1980 USA men’s Olympic hockey team’s gold medal dubbed the “Miracle on Ice,” Bye Dietz accomplished her goal of becoming an Olympic hockey player and helping the U.S. women win the gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano.
During her tenure with the USA National Ice Hockey program, she was named USA Hockey Women’s Player of the Year and was nominated for the Female Athlete of the Year Award in 1995 and 1998. She was a six-time silver medalist at the World Championships as a member of the USA National Team and was selected to the All-World Team in 1994. In addition, she was a two-time silver medalist at the International Ice Hockey Federation Tournament with a selection to the All-World team in 1995.
She has amassed numerous honors for her illustrious career on the ice, including inductions into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011, becoming just the fifth women to be enshrined; the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame as an individual in 2014 and as a 1998 team member in 2009; the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2019 as a member of the 1998 team; the University of New Hampshire Hall of Fame in 1998; and the Concordia University-Montreal Hall of Fame in 2002. She was also an inaugural inductee into the River Falls High School Wildcat Hall of Fame in 2011.
Bye Dietz currently resides in Hudson with her husband, Cal, and two children, Tatum and Brody. She teaches at Riverside Athletic Club and serves as an assistant hockey coach with the Hudson High School girls hockey team.
Bye Dietz will be the 13th individual from Wisconsin to be inducted into the NFHS Hall of Fame.