DECC Athletic Hall of Fame to enshrine six in May
By News Tribune on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:59 p.m.
The 26th DECC Athletic Hall of Fame will induct a record number of entrants when the biennial ceremony is held May 24.
Former Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey coach Mike Sertich, ex-UMD football great Ted McKnight, Cloquet standout girls basketball player Debbie Hunter, one-time University of Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi and the pioneering Duluth brother-and-sister figure skating team of Bob and Ruby Maxson will join the ranks of inductees at the DECC’s Harbor Side Convention Ballroom.
Sertich gained legendary status in the Northland for guiding the Bulldogs to three WCHA regular-season titles, two league playoff titles, the school’s first four NCAA Division I tournaments and Frozen Fours in 1984 and 1985. He was named winner of the 1984 Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year.
The Virginia native eschewed a football scholarship at the University of North Dakota to play hockey at UMD, where the defenseman was voted Most Improved Player his senior year.
After coaching hockey and baseball at Grand Rapids High School, Sertich returned to UMD as an assistant coach in the mid-1970s. He became head coach in 1982 and stayed for 18 seasons before departing and coaching three more years at Michigan Tech.
The other inductees:
- McKnight, a Duluth Central alumnus, left UMD in 1976 with a then-school-record 2,957 yards rushing, earning Little All-American recognition. He led NCAA Division II in rushing as a senior (1,482 yards) and set the school’s single-game mark of 235 yards, as well as records for touchdowns in a single season (22) and a single game (6). He was drafted by the NFL’s Oakland Raiders in the second round in 1977 and played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills from 1978-82, leading all NFL rushers with a 6-yards-per-carry average in 1978.
- Hunter led Cloquet to its first girls basketball state tournament in 1978 and was a two-time honorable mention All-American guard at the University of Minnesota from 1980-83, where she held 11 team records, including career marks for assists and steals. The university retired her number and inducted her into its hall of fame. Hunter later coached at Bethel University for 10 years, Colorado College for two years and Austin (Texas) College for 11 years before retiring.
- Maturi, who played basketball on Bob McDonald’s first Chisholm team in 1961-62, graduated from Notre Dame and coached high school sports in Wisconsin, where he eventually was inducted into the state’s basketball hall of fame. He later served as associate athletic director at Wisconsin and athletic director at Denver University and Miami, Ohio, before holding the same position at Minnesota for 10 years until 2012.
- The Maxsons were featured performers in the Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies in 1937 and, starting in 1946, the Ice Capades. Bob Maxson later was a choreographer for the Ice Capades with his wife, Helen. He died in 1999 at age 79. After performing, Ruby taught skating in California and Colorado before dying at age 81 in 2003.
If you go
What: 26th DECC Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony
When: Wednesday, May 24
Where: DECC Harbor Side Convention Ballroom
Schedule: Social hour, 6 p.m.; dinner, 7 p.m.; awards presentations, 7:30 p.m.
Guest speaker: Pat Francisco
Tickets: Available at DECC ticket office, 350 Harbor Drive, Duluth, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; tickets are $35 (cash or credit card only)
Information: Scott Keenan at (218) 343-0792 for general info regarding Hall of Fame