During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature the University of Minnesota.
Jim Brewer (1973, basketball)
Brewer earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1973. He ranks among Minnesota's career leaders in several categories, ranking first in rebounding average (12.09) and third in rebounds (907). He was named the Big Ten-Chicago Tribune MVP in 1972 after helping guide the Gophers to the Big Ten Championship. Brewer was also tabbed first-team All-Big Ten in 1973, All-Big Ten honorable mention in 1972 and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 1971. During his final season at Minnesota, he was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-America first team. The three-time Minnesota MVP was also a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team. A first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1973, Brewer played nine seasons in the NBA and was a member of the 1982 Los Angeles Lakers NBA Championship team. He is the uncle of former NBA player and current Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
Uta (Herrmann) Wolfe (1992, swimming)
Wolfe, a recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1992, was a four-time Big Ten Champion for Minnesota. She was named an All-American and Academic All-American in 1992. Currently, she is an assistant professor at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minn. Her academic interests include interaction between the senses and vision-motor control, or the way movements are guided by vision. She recently discovered a new multi-sensory illusion.
George MacKinnon (1929, football)
MacKinnon was an All-America center for Minnesota and earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1929. Following his playing career, he served as an assistant coach for the Gophers from 1929-31. Afterwards, he served as a U.S. Navy officer during World War II. He became an attorney involved in high-profile labor racketeering cases and later a politician. MacKinnon served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from 1969 until his death in 1995.
Carol Ann Shudlick (1994, basketball)
A 1994 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Shudlick led Minnesota to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in her senior season and was named the Wade Trophy winner and Big Ten Player of the Year that same year. Shudlick ranks in the top 10 in numerous Gopher categories, including second in scoring (2,097), seventh in blocks (84) and steals (173), and eighth in rebounds (727). She was a two-time All-American, three-time All-Big Ten selection and Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Following her collegiate career, Shudlick played professionally overseas and in the ABL. She was inducted into the "M" Club Hall of Fame and was honored on the NCAA's list of 209 student-athletes named "NCAA Women's Basketball's Finest."
Michael J. Polich (1975, hockey)
Polich, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1975, helped lead Minnesota to its first NCAA championship in 1974. The Hibbing, Minn., native paced the Gophers in scoring for three straight seasons, tallying 159 career points (70 goals, 89 assists) in 149 career games. As a senior in 1974-75, Polich was named a first-team All-American after notching 25 goals and 62 points. He went on to play in 226 games in the NHL, including three seasons with the Minnesota North Stars.
Cassie Busse (2004, volleyball)
Busse earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2004. She led Minnesota to four-straight NCAA Tournaments, including the national semifinals in 2003, where she was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team. Busse was a two-time All-American, Academic All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honoree, and earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition three times. The opposite side hitter was the 2003 Big Ten Player of the Year and guided the Gophers to their only Big Ten Championship in 2002. The Shakopee, Minn., native ranks seventh in kills (1,502) and eighth in attack percentage (.294) and aces (168) in the Minnesota record book. Following her collegiate career, Busse joined the U.S. national team in 2005.