Oct. 24, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - Long-time women's cross country and track and field coach Gary Wilson was inducted into the University of Minnesota "M" Club Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony at TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday night.
Along with Wilson, the inductees included Jon Andresen (baseball), Jim Carter (football/hockey), Natalie Darwitz (hockey), Rick Naumoff (tennis), Charlie Sanders (football), Krissy Wendell-Pohl (hockey), Loyd LaMois (track and field), Louis Lick (golf) and Larry Ross (hockey). LaMois, Lick and Ross were inducted into the Pioneer Division, which honors those were at Minnesota prior to 1955.
"I played with such great guys and great players," Carter said. "I was never the best player on any one of my teams. It was never about me. We had great teams and I was lucky to be a part of them. I'm honored to be among the great guys and ladies to be in here."
The "M" Club also honored 20 of its 50-year letterwinners. Former Gopher football player Desi Williamson served as emcee for the night's ceremony, and the spirit squads and band performed.
"The appreciation from everyone here is overwhelming for me," Naumoff said. "To see the band again and the alums and the letterwinners here really means a lot and it's touching and overwhelming."
The University of Minnesota "M" Club is a nonprofit organization representing all letterwinners from University of Minnesota athletics teams. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor achievements and to preserve the tradition of those athletes, coaches and athletic staff members who have contributed in an outstanding and positive way to the University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics Department.
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.
"M" Club Hall of Fame Class of 2013
Jim Carter (Football 1967-69 and Hockey 1967-68)
Jim Carter was a dual-sport athlete at Minnesota, as he played for two legendary coaches. He was a member of the football team for three seasons under Murray Warmath and played one season of hockey under Glen Sonmor.
Carter was a standout fullback for Warmath from 1967-69 and was a member of the 1967 Big Ten championship team. He led Minnesota with 519 rushing yards during his season as a Gopher and also scored three touchdowns. Carter would captain the Gophers in 1969 before being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round in 1970. He would play nine seasons and 106 games with the Packers and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 1973.
Carter skated in 25 games as a defenseman for Sonmor during the 1967-68 season. He scored three goals, had two assists and racked up 54 penalty minutes.
Natalie Darwitz (Women's Hockey 2002-05)
Natalie Darwitz was a scoring machine during her career at Minnesota and continues to rank as the Golden Gophers' all-time leading scorer.
A three-time All-American and three-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Finalist, Darwitz's accomplishments on the ice continues to stand the test of time at Minnesota and in the NCAA. Her career marks in points (246) and assists (144) are top in Gopher history and rank top five in the NCAA. She has national records for single season totals in points (114) and assists (72), which she garnered in 2005.
Darwitz was a critical ingredient in winning Minnesota's back-to-back national titles in 2004 and 2005. She was an NCAA All-Tournament Team member both years and named the Most Outstanding Player in 2005.
Alongside wearing the Maroon & Gold for three seasons, the Eagan, Minn. native wore the Red, White & Blue for 13 years (1998-2010). Darwitz, who was the U.S. team captain in 2010, has accumulated a total of 21 medals with Team USA, including three Women's World Championship goal medals, two Olympic silver medals, and one Olympic bronze.
Rick Naumoff (Men's Tennis 1990-1993)
Rick Naumoff was part of the Minnesota men's tennis team from 1990 to 1993 and finished his career as one of the most decorated athletes in program history. With Naumoff leading the way, the Golden Gophers marked an 86-26 record over a span of four years.
During his junior and senior seasons, Naumoff helped his squad claim two consecutive Big Ten Championship titles with back-to-back unblemished 10-0 conference seasons. He also picked up a singles championship at the No. 1 position in 1993. For his efforts on the court, Naumoff earned All-Big Ten accolades in 1992 and 1993 and was named 1993 Big Ten Player of the Year. He also became Minnesota's fifth All-American during his senior campaign. Naumoff is the first men's tennis player to be inducted into the "M" Club Hall of Fame.
Charlie Sanders (Football 1965-67)
Charlie Sanders was an All-Big Ten tight end for Minnesota when the Gophers won the 1967 Big Ten championship. During the season, which saw the Gophers go 8-2, Sanders caught 21 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns.
Sanders was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1968 and enjoyed a 10-year career which culminated with seven Pro Bowls and a 2007 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sanders, who was also named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, played in 128 games with Detroit and caught 336 balls for 4,817 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Krissy Wendell-Pohl (Women's Hockey 2002-05)
Arguably the most decorated NCAA women's hockey player ever, Krissy Wendell-Pohl was an offensive threat from 2002-05 and served as a Minnesota team captain during the 2004-05 season.
During her collegiate career, the three-time All-American, two-time WCHA Player of the Year and 2005 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winner put herself near the top of most of Minnesota's scoring lists, including being second in career points (237) and career goals (106). She also ranks third all-time nationally in points in a season (104) and tied for first in shorthanded goals for a season (seven).
Wendell-Pohl was a critical ingredient in winning Minnesota's back-to-back national titles in 2004 and 2005. She was an NCAA All-Tournament Team member both years and tagged the Most Outstanding Player in 2004.
The Brooklyn Park, Minn. native also began playing with the U.S. Women's National Team in 1998 and continued to suit up with the Red, White & Blue for a decade. Wendell, who was named U.S. team captain in 2006, accumulated a total of 17 medals, including an Olympic silver (2002) and bronze (2006).
Gary Wilson (Women's Cross Country and Women's Track & Field 1985-2013)
Gary Wilson retired from coaching in spring 2013, following 28 years as head women's cross country coach. The 2007 and 2008 Midwest Region and Big Ten Coach of the Year led Minnesota cross country to its first two conference titles (2007 and 2008) and three consecutive Midwest Region crowns (2007-09).
Wilson guided the Gophers to 15 consecutive NCAA Championships appearances. Minnesota is one of only five schools to earn NCAA berths in all of the past eight seasons. Wilson coached six different runners to nine All-America certificates.
He also served as head track and field coach for 21 seasons before taking on an assistant role starting in 2007. Wilson was part of four Big Ten titles on the track (2006-09). He was named Coach of the Year for the Big Ten, Midwest Region and Midwest District in 2006 when Minnesota won the outdoor conference title and Heather Dorniden became the Gophers' first-ever national champion.
Wilson is an inductee of the Drake Relays and UW-La Crosse Halls of Fame, as well as a recipient of the U of M President's Award for Service. In retirement, he will remain involved in the Roy Griak Invitational, a meet he helped establish.
Loyd LaMois (Men's Track & Field)
Lloyd LaMois was a member of Minnesota's 1948 national championship outdoor track & field team, which is the only one in school history. It was also Minnesota's first national championship outside of football or men's basketball. LaMois was the 1948 NCAA Triple Jump champion (outdoor) with a jump of 45 feet, 10 inches and to this day, he remains Minnesota's only outdoor All-American in the triple jump.
Louis Lick (Men's Golf)
Louis Lick was Minnesota's first NCAA champion in men's golf when he won medalist honors at the 1944 NCAA championship. Lick was also an All-American in 1944.
Larry Ross (Men's Hockey)
Larry Ross was named First Team All-American in 1951 to become the first Gopher to earn that distinction. Ross, who is in the US Hockey Hall of Fame, would go on to win six state titles as head coach at International Falls High School.
Gophers in the Polls: Oct. 18
The University of Minnesota continues to represent at a high level as multiple Golden Gopher teams achieved national rankings this week.
Groundbreaking for T&F Stadium Set for Friday
The University of Minnesota and Gopher Athletics will break ground on the new outdoor track & field facility on Friday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m. CT.
Gophers to Host Jack's Run
Join members of the Gopher women's cross country team at Jack's Twilight Run, an open six kilometer race, on Friday.