SJU will induct 11 people into the J-Club Hall of Honor on October 1

Hall of honor of the J-Club | Event Registration

COLLEGEVILLE, Minnesota – Ten individuals and one team will be inducted into the Saint John University J-Club Hall of Honor on Saturday, October 1 as part of the Homecoming festivities.

The dinner and induction ceremony begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Guild Hall (Old Gym) after the Johnnies’ Homecoming football match against Concordia-Moorhead at Clemens Stadium.

Registration is $75 per person until September 25 ($100 per person after) and includes dinner and drinks. All proceeds go to the J-Club to support SJU athletics. – Register to participate

Each member of the Hall of Honor class will be highlighted in the weeks leading up to their induction with stories and videos on This year’s class was selected by a vote of the J-Club Board of Directors, which reviewed nominations that can be made by any member of the club.

Founded in 1959, the J-Club is a booster organization based on dues from former student-athletes, parents, and Johnnie fans, and plays a key role in supporting SJU college programs, intramurals, and sports. of clubs. Alumni and friends can once again donate directly to the J-Club during the SJU Athletic Department’s fourth annual 24-hour online giving campaign – the Go Johnnies Challenge – on Thursday, September 8. – 2022 Go Johnnies Challenge

Those honored (in alphabetical order) include:

-Minga Batsukh ’11: SJU’s only three-time national champion, Batsukh (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia / St. Benedict’s Prep, NJ) won the NCAA Division III wrestling title at 141 pounds in 2009 and 2010, then won the national championship at 149 pounds as a senior in 2011. He compiled a record of 27-1, set the program record for eliminations in a match (17) and was named the country’s outstanding wrestler at the Division III level. by as a senior.

-Troy Bigalke ’01: MIAC’s most valuable player as a junior and senior, Bigalke (Monticello, Minn.) finished his career with 1,568 points, a total that still ranks third in Johnnie’s basketball history. In total, he led the Johnnies to one conference regular-season championship, two MIAC playoff titles, and two NCAA Division III tournament appearances. This included a trip to the Sweet 16 during his senior season in 2001.

-Fred Cremer ’67: Cremer (Freeport, Ill./Aquin) was an All-MIAC and All-America football selection for three consecutive seasons from 1964-6, and he was selected in the 12th round of the 1967 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Cremer was a key contributor to the Johnnies’ NAIA national championship team in 1963 and a two-way starter when the program won its second national title two years later – beating Linfield (Oregon) in the national championship game 1965 NAIA. Cremer’s play in this game earned him Outstanding Lineman of the Game honors.

-Matt Erredge ’99: The hockey star remains the school’s career leader in points with 171 and goals scored with 91. The 33 goals he scored as a junior during the 1997-98 season put him first of the program, while his 80 career assists rank him second. Erredge (Austin, Minn.) helped the Johnnies win the regular season and MIAC playoff titles in 1995-96 and 1996-97. In the 1996–97 season, Saint John’s advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four, finishing third overall.

-Jon Habben ’79: Habben was Johnnie’s first swimmer to hit the wall as an MIAC champion when he won the 50-yard freestyle at the conference meet as a rookie in 1976. Two years later, he became the first swimmer SJU to hit the wall as an All-American when he finished 10th in the same event at the 1978 NCAA Division III Championships. Overall, Habben (Willmar, Minn.) won a total of eight titles MIAC and has qualified for national championships four times.

-Dave Lamm ’68: The standout sprinter won the 100-yard sprint in the conference meet in his freshman varsity season in 1966, but finished second in the 220 after a stumble slowed him down. He did not finish second again, however, with MIAC titles in each event in 1967 and 1968. Lamm (Mankato, Minnesota/Loyola) was also a two-time NAIA National Meet qualifier. The school records he set in the 100 and 200 meters lasted until 2018 and 2022 respectively.

-Mike Lilly ’78: In her four seasons, Lilly led the Saint John’s soccer team to a 38-9-1 record, including an MIAC title and two NAIA District 13 championships. A four-time All-MIAC and All-District selection, Lilly was also named to the NAIA Area III All-America team as a senior in 1977, the first player from a Minnesota school to earn that honor. The Robbinsdale, Minn., Armstrong High School graduate is still the Johnnies’ leading scorer with 62, including a season-high 20 in 1976.

-Cyril Paul ’59: Originally from Trinidad, Paul arrived in Saint John’s in the mid-1950s after working as a police officer in the Bahamas and won a total of five MIAC track and field titles – including three consecutive as part of the Johnnies mile relay team. As a sophomore in 1957, he won the 100 and 220 yard sprints in MIAC competition, leading Saint John’s to its first conference team title in 18 years.

-Tim Schmitz ’78: A three-time All-MIAC football draft pick, Schmitz (Sauk Center, Minn.) rushed for 1,475 yards as a junior in 1976 while helping lead the Johnnies to the NCAA Division III National Championship. As a senior the following year, he rushed for 1,244 yards and earned All-America honors. He finished his career with 3,933 rushing yards, which was the program record for 38 years until he was beaten by Sam Sura ’15 in 2015. He rushed for 100 yards or more in 21 games, the most in SJU history.

-The 1976 football team: The Saint John football program has won four national championships. But the 1976 Johnnies did it in the most dramatic way. After SJU took a 28-0 lead in the fourth quarter of the NCAA Division III National Title Game against Towson State (Md.), the Tigers scored four unanswered touchdowns to even the score. The Johnnies got the ball back one last time and engineered a game-winning drive capped off by a 19-yard field goal from quarterback Jeff Norman ’78 — a 2021 Hall of Honor inductee — as time expired. Eight players earned All-MIAC honors on a team that finished undefeated in conference and 10-0-1 overall.

Br. Mark Kelly, BSF will receive the J-Club Distinguished Service Award. He led the Saint John’s field team for decades, which meant he played a key role in maintaining the school’s athletic facilities, including Clemens Stadium. He was instrumental in the decision to install a new, state-of-the-art artificial turf playing surface there in 2002, long before many other schools made similar decisions. He formed a lasting friendship with Jean Gagliardi, and his strong connection to the football program continues to this day. For many years he was responsible for transporting the team – making sure the buses were ready and on time. He also volunteered to pick up game day lunch bags, secure heaters and perform many other tasks. But Johnnie’s love for athletics extends beyond football. He has long been a regular at nearly every baseball, basketball and hockey home game.

The previous three Hall of Honor classes are listed below:

2021: 1965 SJU football team; John Deters ’92 (swimming and diving); George Durenberger ’28 (outstanding athlete, longtime athletic director of SJU); Chuck Froehle ’57 (soccer); Jim Gathje ’86 (cross country, track and field); Vedie Himsel ’38 (baseball); Jim Lehman, Sr. ’56 (soccer); Terry Leiendecker ’84 (soccer); Joe Mucha ’66 (basketball and soccer); Jeff Norman ’78 (football and baseball); Joe Schoolmeesters ’09 (golf); Gary Svendsen ’72 (wrestling); Vic Moore ’72 (J-Club Distinguished Service Award).

2019: 1963 SJU football team; John Cragg ’71 (cross country and track and field); Blake Elliott ’03 (soccer); Adam Hanna ’07 (hockey); Pat Haws ’72 (longtime SJU soccer, swimming and diving head coach); John McDowell ’64 (soccer); John “Blood McNally ’24 (football, basketball, baseball, track and field); Sammy Schmitz ’03 (golf); Bill Sexton ’55 (basketball); Frank Wachlarowicz ’79 (basketball); Matt Zelen ’99 (swimming and diving); Tom Arth ’66 and Fr. Wilfred Theisen ’52 (J-Club Distinguished Service Award).

2018: Jean Gagliardi (longtime SJU football coach); Jim Smith (longtime SJU basketball coach).

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