June 12, 2014
The University of Minnesota "M" Club, one of the nation's oldest varsity letterwinner organizations, today announced the latest class of inductees into the club's Hall of Fame. This year's class will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in the DQ Club Room at TCF Bank Stadium on October 9 starting at 6 p.m.
"Everyone who earns a coveted `M' as a varsity letterwinner at Minnesota has accomplished something exceptional," said George Adzick, director of the "M" Club. "Those who are being inducted into the `M' Club Hall of Fame this year are joining an extraordinary group, those whose achievements surpassed exceptional and became an integral part of the history of Gopher Athletics."
With the addition of 14 new inductees in this year's class, the "M" Club Hall of Fame now has 320 members representing student-athletes from 27 different varsity sports, as well as coaches and administrators.
This year's class includes:
- Laura Halldorson (Women's Hockey Head Coach) - three-time National Champion and three-time National Coach of the Year
- Quincy Lewis (Men's Basketball) - All-American, Big Ten scoring champion, top six all-time in program history for points and steals
- Pat Micheletti (Men's Hockey) - All-American, second all-time in program history for goals and points, third all-time in assists
- Nicole Branagh (Volleyball) - Two-time All-American, Big Ten Player of the Year (2000), Gophers all-time leader in kills, 2008 Olympian
- Tanya Schuh (Women's Swimming) - Nine-time All-American, six-time Big Ten champion, Big Ten Athlete of the Year (1996)
- Bernie Zeruhn (Men's Swimming) - Second-most decorated swimmer in Minnesota history, 17-time All-American, three-time Big Ten individual champion
- Bill Light (Football) - Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection, graduated as program's all-time leading tackler, still holds single-game and single-season tackle records
- Keita Cline (Men's Track and Field) - Five-time Big Ten champion, two-time All-American and two-time Olympian
- Kari Blank (Softball) - First softball player in school history to be named three-time All-Big Ten, co-Big Ten Player of the Year (1991)
- George Tuck (Men's Basketball) - First All-American basketball player at Minnesota, led team to 29 consecutive victories to begin his career
- Frank McCormick (Baseball Head Coach, Director of Athletics) - Led baseball team to a pair of Big Ten titles as head coach while also serving as director of athletics, left Minnesota to serve in World War II and returned following the war
- Bob Hanning (Men's Gymnastics) - Two-time All-American, Minnesota's first-ever NCAA Champion gymnast (parallel bars)
- Jim Hill (Men's Swimming) - Two-time NCAA Champion, including both an individual championship (150 backstroke) and a relay championship (300 medley relay)
- Ken Haycraft (Football) - All-American, two-time All-Big Ten, member of 1927 Big Ten Championship team
Each year, the "M" Club assembles a committee of experts to review the accomplishments of letterwinners through the history of Gopher Athletics. This committee, along with former and current coaches, student-athletes and athletics department staff, vote to determine the next class of "M" Club Hall of Fame inductees.
Below are biographical summaries for each inductee in the "M" Club Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Laura Halldorson (Women's Hockey Head Coach, 1997-2007) - Halldorson was the first coach in the history of Minnesota's varsity women's hockey program. Her team captured the first women's team national title for Minnesota in any sport in 2000, winning the AWCHA National Championship. It would be the first of three national titles for Halldorson's Gophers. During her 10 years as head coach, the team won nearly 80 percent of its games and reached the NCAA Frozen Four eight times. For her efforts, Halldorson was recognized as the National Coach of the Year three times.
Quincy Lewis (Men's Basketball, 1995-99) - Lewis was a standout performer for the Gopher men's basketball team in the late 1990s, punctuating an outstanding career in 1998-99 by leading the Big Ten in scoring (23.1 points per game) and earning both First Team All-Big Ten and Third Team All-America honors. Lewis finished his career in Maroon and Gold sixth on the program's all-time scoring list and fourth all-time in steals and was chosen in the first round of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. He played a 10-year professional career, including four seasons in the NBA.
Pat Micheletti (Men's Hockey, 1983-86) - Micheletti was one of the greatest scorers in the history of Gopher men's hockey. He ranks second all-time in goals (120) and points (269), trailing only the great John Mayasich in the record books. Micheletti is also third all-time in assists (149). His 96 points in 1984-85 were the second-highest single-season total in program history and earned him a collection of accolades, including First Team All-WCHA, First Team All-America and a spot as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
Nicole Branagh (Volleyball, 1997-2000) - Branagh was one of Gopher Volleyball's greatest players. By the end of her career, she was Minnesota's career kills leader (2,379), a record she hold to this day. Her total still ranks among the 15 best in NCAA history. After earning Big Ten Honorable Mention as a freshman, Branagh was First Team All-Big Ten each of her three remaining seasons in the Maroon and Gold, a run that included two All-America nods and Big Ten Player of the Year recognition as a senior.
Tanya Schuh (Women's Swimming, 1994-97) - Schuh was a six-time Big Ten champion, capturing titles in multiple events, including the 100 and 200 butterfly. In 1996, Schuh was not only named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year, she was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year. The nine-time All-American set school records in both the 100 and 200 butterfly, as well as a Big Ten record in the 100. In addition to her accomplishments at the U, Schuh also competed on the Brazilian National Team for five years.
Bernie Zeruhn (Men's Swimming, 1993-96) - Zeruhn earned 17 All-America honors in his career, the second-most for any swimmer in Minnesota history. He set school records in the 200, 500 and 1,000 freestyle, as well as the 200 fly. He captured three Big Ten individual titles in 1996, winning the 200 and 500 freestyle and the 200 butterfly. While conquering competition in the pool that year, Zeruhn also earned Academic All-American status.
Bill Light (Football, 1969-71) - Light was the Gophers' all-time leading tackler when he graduated. Presently third on the all-time list, Light will forever hold the record for most tackles in the three-year eligibility era. His 32 tackles in a game and 172 in a season both remain the most all-time in Gopher history. Light was a First Team All-Big Ten selection at linebacker in both 1970 and 1971 and served as team captain his senior season.
Keita Cline (Men's Track and Field, 1992-95) - Cline was an exceptional long-jumper and triple-jumper, winning five Big Ten championships in those events. As a senior in 1995, Cline won both the Big Ten indoor and outdoor long jump title as well as the indoor triple jump, his third championship in the event in four years. Cline was a two-time All-American at Minnesota before competing for the British Virgin Islands at both the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics.
Kari Blank (Softball, 1988-92) - Blank became the first player in Minnesota softball history to be named All-Big Ten three times, which included First Team All-Big Ten honors in both 1991 and 1992. Her banner season came in 1991, when she was named team MVP and an All-American for her contributions to the 1991 Big Ten Championship team. That season, Blank became one of just two players in the program's history to be named conference player of the year when she earned co-Big Ten Player of the Year recognition.
George Tuck (Men's Basketball, 1902-05) - After a standout career at Minneapolis Central High School, Tuck became the first star of Gopher Men's Basketball. In 1905, Tuck was named an All-American, the first in the history of the Minnesota program and, along with Chris Steinmetz of Wisconsin, the first in the history of the Big Ten. The Gophers won the first 29 games of Tuck's collegiate career, ultimately compiling a 45-9-1 mark during his time with the team.
Frank McCormick (Baseball Head Coach, Director of Athletics) - McCormick may be best known for his leadership of the athletics department from 1932-41 and from 1945-50, but he was also an assistant football coach and the head baseball coach for the Gophers from 1930-41, leading the baseball team to the 1933 and 1935 Big Ten titles. His accomplishments as a coach earned him a spot in the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In addition to his service to the University in multiple key roles, McCormick also served his nation in World War II, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Following the war, McCormick returned to the U of M and his position as director of athletics.
Bob Hanning (Men's Gymnastics, 1938-40) - Hanning won both the Big Ten and NCAA Parallel Bars championships in 1940, making him the first Gopher gymnast to ever capture a national title. His performance at the NCAA Championships capped his second consecutive All-American season.
Jim Hill (Men's Swimming, 1925-27) - After finishing the 1925 season as the NCAA runner-up in the 150 backstroke, Hill rebounded and captured the NCAA Championship in the event in 1926. In addition to his individual accomplishments, Hill also played a key role on the 300 medley relay team that won the NCAA Championship for Minnesota in 1927, meaning that Hill placed in the top-two in at least one event at every NCAA meet in which he competed during his college career.
Ken Haycraft (Football, 1926-28) - Haycraft established himself as a dominate end in 1927, when he earned First Team All-Big Ten status as part of the Gophers' Big Ten Championship team. He followed that campaign by earning First Team All-Big Ten honors again and also being named a First Team All-American. After his collegiate career, Haycraft played professionally for the Green Bay Packers and won an NFL Championship in 1930.