“M” Club inducts eight

Newest members were featured in ceremony at TCF Bank Stadium Thursday.

by Max Sanders

Celebrating the seventh joint induction ceremony for men and women, the âÄúMâÄù Club Hall of Fame held its 2009 ceremony at TCF Bank Stadium Thursday. Held in the DQ Club room, a crowd of over 350 watched eight Gophers greats honored. The inductees participated in a full variety of sports: softball, menâÄôs hockey, wrestling, womenâÄôs cross country, football, menâÄôs track and field and menâÄôs swimming and diving were all represented. In Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi âÄôs opening remarks he announced that the University is currently in the process of building a Hall of Fame room, which will be located in TCF Bank Stadium directly next to the âÄúMâÄù Club room. âÄúRight now, we donâÄôt know whoâÄôs in here [the Hall of Fame] and whoâÄôs not,âÄù Maturi said. âÄúWe will have a permanent place to honor and thank the greats of the University of Minnesota.âÄù Maturi announced construction of the Hall of Fame room will be finished in time for next yearâÄôs induction ceremony. Three of the eight inductees are deceased and were represented at the ceremony by family members. Jack DeField was a Gophers track and field athlete from 1941 to 1943. DeField became one of two Gopher track men to win two NCAA titles, winning them back-to-back in 1942 and 1943. DeField joined Bob Finch as the first Gopher track athletes to earn All-America honors when he was named an All-American in 1942. This is the second hall of fame for DeField. In 2002 he was inducted into the United States of America Track and Field Hall of Fame. DeField was represented at the âÄúMâÄù Club Hall of Fame by his daughter, Jill Kent. âÄúThank you so much,âÄù Kent said. âÄúI know my dad would have been so honored if he could have been here tonight.âÄù The second athlete inducted was Dale Hanson . The modern day dominance of Minnesota wrestling can be traced back to Hanson. Hanson was the first two-time Big Ten Champion in the history of the Minnesota, winning the titles back-to-back in 1939 and 1940. Hanson won the National Championship in 1939, becoming just the second national champion in the history of the Gophers. In three years with Minnesota, Hanson led the Gophers to three straight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a perfect 6-0 record in conference dual meets. Hanson died while fighting as an Army Air Corps pilot during World War II and was represented by his nephew, William Baker. âÄúI just want to thank the committee for selecting Dale,âÄù Baker said. âÄúHeâÄôs greatly missed, and weâÄôre very proud of him.âÄù The final deceased inductee was Andy Uram . An All-American fullback, Uram played on the 1935 and 1936 national championship teams. Uram went on to play professionally for the Green Bay Packers for six seasons, where he held the record for longest touchdown run, 97 yards, until it was broken by Tony Dorsett in 1982. Uram was represented by his daughter, Sally, who did not give a speech. The next inductee was one of two menâÄôs hockey players honored in the 2009 class. Mike Antonovich played two full seasons with the Gophers before suffering a knee injury nine games into his junior season. His collegiate and professional career warranted his place in the hall. Antonovich had a stellar freshman season that saw him lead the Gophers in every scoring category, with 23 goals, 20 assists and 43 points. For Antonovich, the entire induction experience was a shock. âÄúI donâÄôt know what to say; IâÄôm humbled by the whole deal,âÄù Antonovich said. âÄúThe people here have been great to me when I first came here, [as well as] now. ItâÄôs a great thing, itâÄôs a great feeling.âÄù During his professional career, Antonovich played 573 games, scoring 192 goals and 395 career points. Antonovich now works as a scout for the St. Louis Blues, and is the mayor of Coleraine, Minn. The second menâÄôs hockey player honored was Aaron Broten . While BrotenâÄôs Gophers career lasted just two seasons, his impact on the ice âÄî and in the record books âÄî is clearly evident. Broten tallied a freshman record 72 points on 25 goals and 47 assists, earning Western Collegiate Hockey AssociationâÄôs Rookie of the Year honors in 1980. His sophomore campaign, Broten scored 106 points âÄî still a Gophers record âÄî on 47 goals and 59 assists. He earned first-team All-WCHA as well as team MVP for his sophomore, and final Gophers season. Despite playing just two seasons, his career Minnesota point total of 178 is still good for 13th on the all-time list. This is BrotenâÄôs second Hall of Fame, as he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007 following a 12-year professional career in which he amassed 515 career points. Broten played in six World Championships for the U.S., and is now an assistant coach with the Roseau High School boys hockey team. The first of two women inducted in this yearâÄôs class, Lori Townsend Monaghan, was a four-time All-American in track. Townsend set Minnesota records in the 5,000-meter race both indoor and outdoor, as well as the 3,000. All three records still place third in the record books today. Townsend was coached by Minnesota womenâÄôs cross country head coach Gary Wilson , and Wilson recalls Townsend as the ideal student-athlete. âÄúSheâÄôs such a great example; she started to get better and better,âÄù Wilson said. âÄúIf you could keep a kid healthy, happy, humble, and hungry for four years, youâÄôve got something, and sheâÄôs that.âÄù The second woman inducted into the 2009 class was softball player Judy Knight . KnightâÄôs illustrious Gophers career was highlighted during her senior season, when she led the softball team to their first Big Ten title. Knight ended her career as the Gophers leader in career assists with 416. Knight becomes the sixth softball player to make the âÄúMâÄù Club Hall of Fame, and she now runs Knight Project Services, a management consulting firm. The final inductee in the âÄúMâÄù Club Hall of Fame in 2009 was Dennis Dale. Dale is unique to this yearâÄôs class in that he was both a Gophers student-athlete and coach. Dale was an All-American swimmer for Minnesota in 1967. Dale began as the menâÄôs swimming and diving coach in 1985 and will now enter his 25th season at the helm of the program. A six-time Big Ten coach of the year, Dale has led the Gophers to seven Big Ten titles, with the most recent coming in 2007. For Dale, the award came as both a surprise and an honor. âÄúItâÄôs something you donâÄôt dare dream about, but itâÄôs very, very exciting and thrilling,âÄù Dale said. âÄúYou have a chance to rub shoulders with the very best that Minnesota has; IâÄôm very excited to be in that illustrious group.âÄù In addition to ThursdayâÄôs ceremony, the eight newest members of the Hall will lead the Victory March Saturday and will be honored in a ceremony at halftime of the football game against California.