Sunday, May 17, 2009


Greetings from Sioux Falls, where I've been on family "business" since Thursday.

The UMD Athletic Hall of Fame's Class of 2009 has been announced. The following info comes from the school's press release.
A quartet of All-Americans -- Jeff Guidinger (basketball), Ron Johnson (golf), Derek Plante (hockey), and the late Corey Veech (football) -- three-time all-conference selection Ann (Patet) Henry (softball), and former heavyweight boxing contender Scott LeDoux (football) will all be paid a lasting tribute on Oct. 3, 2009 when the University of Minnesota Duluth Athletic Hall of Fame holds its 12th enshrinement ceremony. The addition of this distinguished group will bring the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame membership to 94.

Guidinger drew the curtain on a rewarding basketball career in 1986-87 by attaining NAIA All-American (third team) honors in addition to being named the Northern Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year. The Milwaukee, Wis. native and Whitefish Bay Dominican High School alumnus exited the Bulldog program ranking fifth in career scoring (1,422 points in 119 games for an 11.5 ppg), second in rebounding (731) and first in block shots (130). A two-time winner of the NAIA District 13 Player of the Year Award, Guidinger paced the NIC in field goal shooting (.624) as a senior while securing All-NIC recognition for the second year in a row (first team in 1986-86 and second team the previous year. He also finished atop the Bulldog scoring and rebounding charts in each of his final two seasons. Guidinger, who was selected UMD’s Outstanding Senior Male Athlete for 1986-87, helped lead UMD to three NIC championships (1983-84 and 1985-87), four NAIA National Tournament berths, four 20-win seasons and a 95-28 overall record during his four years of starting duty at the power forward position. Chosen to UMD’s All-75th Anniversary Team in 2006, Guidinger spent one season (1987-88) as a UMD student assistant coach after his playing days were over.

Johnson, who grew up in Duluth and attended East High School, was a four-year letterwinner in both golf and hockey (left wing). In the spring of 1962, he joined teammate Tom Maas as UMD’s first golf All-Americans after placing fourth individually at the NAIA Championships. Johnson, who captained the Bulldogs to a third place team finish at that national event, also played an integral part in UMD’s conquest of four straight Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles. On the ice, he skated a regular shift in 73 career games and was credited with 39 goals and 31 assists for 80 points -- good for the No. 4 spot on the Bulldogs’ all-time scoring list at time. Johnson served as an alternate team captain in his farewell season with the hockey Bulldogs and wound up missing half of the year with separated shoulder. In May of that year, he was bestowed with UMD’s 1962-63 Outstanding Senior Athlete Award.

LeDoux, a native of Deerwood, Minn., lettered three years with the football Bulldogs, including in 1968 when he started on both the offensive and defensive lines, before pursuing a career in professional boxing. As an amateur, he won the Upper Midwest Golden Glove title while he was a sophomore at UMD. LeDoux posted a record of 33-13 with four draws in 50 professional bouts and is the only fighter to have boxed 11 world champions: George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Frank Bruno, Mike Weaver, Gerrie Coetzee, Mike Tyson (training camp) and Lennox Lewis (training camp). He later served on and chaired the Minnesota Boxing Commission for 18 years and was employed as a ringside boxing analyst for ESPN2 Tuesday Night Fights in 2000.

Plante was a driving offensive force for the Bulldogs for four winters, culminating with a senior year in which he racked up an NCAA-leading 92 points --- still the second highest single-season total in team history -- for a school-record 2.49 points per game average. The Cloquet, Minn. product captained the Bulldogs to the 1992-93 WCHA regular season title and a berth in the NCAA Regionals and, in the process, was chosen as a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist, a first team All-American, the USA Hockey Male Athlete of the Year, and the WCHA Player of the Year. In addition, he was a All-WCHA first team honoree as a senior after receiving second team honors the previous winter. Planted closed out his collegiate career with 219 points on 96 goals and 123 assists in 138 outings which currently puts him in a tie for second place on the UMD’s all-time scoring charts while his career points per game average (1.587) trails only UMD Hall of Fame Inductees Bill Watson (1.94 ppg), Keith “Huffer” Christiansen (1.92 ppg) and Brett Hull (1.588). During his final season, he paced the Bulldogs in points for the third winter in a row en route to landing UMD’s Most Valuable Player Award an unprecedented third consecutive time. A member of the WCHA All-Academic Team as a senior and the owner of team records for most career game-winning goals (15) as well as most playoff assists (13) and playoff points (19) in one season (1992-93), Plante was chosen UMD’s Outstanding Senior Male Athlete for 1992-93. Plante, who played two years of baseball with the Bulldogs as a reserve second baseman (1991 and 1992), went on to enjoy an eight-year stint in the National Hockey League with Buffalo (1993-99), Dallas (1999-2000 when he won a Stanley Cup), Chicago (1999-2000) and Philadelphia (2000-01), producing 96 goals and 152 assists for 248 points in 450 regular season games. Selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1989 NHL draft (8th round, 161st pick overall), Plante also did time with the International Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves (1999-2000) and Michigan K-Wings (1999-2000) and the American Hockey League’s Philadelphia Phantoms (2000-01). He spent another six seasons playing professionally in Europe and Japan before retiring following the 2007-08 season. He skated with Team U.S.A. at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships on seven occasions: 1992, 1993, 1996, and 2000-2004.

Henry arrived on the UMD campus from South St. Paul in 1985, and over the next four years distinguished herself as one of the most prolific hitters in Bulldog softball history. The three-time All-NIC third baseman (1986, 1987 and 1989) was a member of three NIC championship teams and helped UMD advance all the way to the finals of the 1988 NAIA National Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla., where she landed All-Tournament Team honors. When she hung up her collegiate spikes for good in the spring of 1989, Henry held down the No. 1 spot among Bulldogs for career games played (172), at bats (535), hits (188), doubles (29) runs batted in (129, a mark which still stands), total bases (257) and slugging percentage (.477) while sporting a .351 lifetime batting average. She also set school single-season marks for RBI (45) and fielding assists (114) during the 1988 season. Henry who was a co-recipient of UMD’s Outstanding Female Athlete award in 1988-89, served as an Bulldog assistant coach for two years (1990 and 1991), as the head softball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for one season (1992) and as the assistant softball coach and head volleyball coach at Henry Sibley High School for six years (1996-2001).

Veech, who was killed in a automobile accident in September 1990, capped off a remarkable senior season with selections to the Associated Press Little All-American and Football News All-American second teams. The Hermantown, Minn. native started three years in the Bulldog offensive backfield and concluded his career owning no less than 15 school records, including five marks which still remain -- rushing attempts in a career (606) and single-season (269 in 1986), most 100-yard rushing games in a season (nine in 1986) and consecutive 100-yard rushing games (seven in 1986) and punt returns in one game (eight in 1985). Chosen to the All-NIC team on two occasions (1985 and 1986), Veech was bestowed with the NIC's Most Valuable Player award as a senior after leading that circuit in both scoring and punt return average. He handled an alternate team captain role on a UMD club which went 8-1-2 overall and shared the No. 18 spot in the final 1986 NCAA II poll. That same year, he ran for 1,377 yards, a figure which then ranked second to only Ted McKnight's 1,482 yard effort in 1976 on UMD’s single-season charts. Veech’s rushing average during his farewell year (125. 2 yards per outing) was the sixth best in in the nation while his 11.1 points per game mark was bettered by only one other NCAA II player. He topped the Bulldogs in rushing and scoring both as a junior and senior and finished as UMD’s second all-time leading ground gainer with 2,768 yards.
Congratulations to all six. It's a heckuva group.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Hats off to all of you all. Great group of athletes ! I still remember Corey , play with him when I was just a freshman, man, how he could play !