The University of Minnesota “M” Club and the University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics Department will honor a group of seven outstanding individuals with induction into the University of Minnesota “M” Club Hall of Fame this September, Athletics Department officials announced today.
The 2008 class of the University of Minnesota “M” Club Hall of Fame includes Grant Johnson (basketball, 1937-38), Courtney Kennedy (women’s hockey, 1998-2001), Dave Morrison (men’s track & field/cross country, 1980-85), Aubrey Schmitt (women’s track & field, 1998-2001), Francis Twedell (football, 1936-38), Murray Williamson (men’s hockey, 1957-59) and Dan Wilson (baseball, 1988-1990), with Johnson and Twedell being inducted as Legends.
The class is the sixth since the men’s and women’s halls of fame were combined into the University of Minnesota “M” Club Hall of Fame in 2003.
The official induction of the 2008 class will take place during a ceremony to be held at the Ted Mann Theatre (2128 Fourth Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55455) on the Minneapolis campus on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008. A social hour beginning at 6 p.m. will kick off the event, with the main program starting at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the ceremony may be purchased through the Northrop Ticket Office (612-624-2345) and are priced at $50 for individuals, $40 for active “M” Club members and the family members of inductees, and $25 for students, children and athletics department staff.
The class of 2008 will also be honored at the women’s volleyball match on Friday, Sept. 19, during the Gopher Invitational and on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Gophers’ football game against Florida Atlantic.
The criteria for induction to the University of Minnesota “M” Club Hall of Fame include four different categories: significant accomplishments by a former student-athlete; significant achievements by a former coach or administrator; significant contributions of time, talent or resources to the athletics department by someone other than an athlete, coach or administrator, and significant professional achievement by a former Minnesota student-athlete.
Former student-athletes inducted for significant accomplishments become eligible for selection five years after the expiration of their eligibility, while former coaches and staff members must have served the department for five years to be eligible.
Women's Hockey, 1998-2001
One of the top blueliners to ever don the Maroon and Gold, Courtney Kennedy is regarded among the all-time greats of Golden Gopher women’s hockey. A first team All-American and Patty Kazmaier top-three finalist as a senior in 2001, Kennedy still ranks second in school history in career points by a defenseman (112), goals by a defenseman (35) and assists by a defenseman (77), despite playing in just 106 games over three seasons at Minnesota.
The Gophers’ team MVP in 2001, Kennedy earned first team All-WCHA honors and was named both the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year as well as the overall WCHA Player of the Year while leading Minnesota to its first WCHA title.
Kennedy began her college career at Colby College in 1998 before transferring to Minnesota, where she became perhaps the most dominant blueliner of her era. She earned second team American Women’s College Hockey Alliance All-America accolades as a sophomore in 1999 while helping lead the Gophers to a third place national finish in the AWCHA tournament.
Team and individual accomplishments continued during the 2000 season as Minnesota claimed its first women’s hockey national championship behind Kennedy’s phenomenal plus/minus rating of +50. Kennedy was rewarded for scintillating junior season with second team All-WCHA honors and a spot on the AWCHA All-Tournament team.
Following her Gopher career, Kennedy went on to become a force on the blue line for Team USA. A two-time Olympian, she helped lead the USA to a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Kennedy also won a gold medal as a member of Team USA’s 2005 world championship squad.
Since the 2006 Olympics, Kennedy has shifted her focus to collegiate coaching and recently completed her first season as an assistant coach at Boston College.