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A number of Big Ten Medal of Honor winners have gone on to compete in various Olympic games, including 41 Olympic medal winners. Twenty-one Big Ten Medal of Honor winners have won gold medals in the Olympics, including Indiana swimmer Jim Montgomery who won three golds and a bronze at the 1976 Games in Quebec. Ohio State women's basketball player Katie Smith won three straight gold medals in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Games, while four men's basketball players have earned gold medals, including Indiana's Steve Alford (1984), Iowa's Charles Darling (1956) and Ohio State's Jerry Lucas (1960) and Bill Hosket (1968).
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.
Purdue's Mel Garland (1964, baseball/basketball)
A three-time letterwinner in both baseball and basketball, Garland won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1964 after claiming Academic All-Big Ten honors, first-team All-Conference status in baseball and second-team designation in basketball. In 1979, Garland was named basketball coach and director of athletics at IUPUI, where he succumbed to leukemia in 1983. In his memory, the Mel Garland Memorial Scholarship is annually awarded to one IUPUI student-athlete based on the characteristics that embody Garland's spirit: athletic ability, scholarship, mental attitude, leadership and perseverance.
As the Big Ten continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Ohio State announced that Allison Elber from the rowing team and Aaron Craft from the men's basketball team captured the prestigious awards at the 47th-annual Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Dinner Monday in the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union. At the event, 511 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes were recognized and a number of senior awards were given out.
Click here for the complete release.
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 Michigan State University.
Shawn Horcoff (2000, hockey)
Before embarking on a career in the National Hockey League that now includes more than 800 games played, Horcoff was a model student-athlete in East Lansing. He was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2000, the same year that he was named a first-team All-America selection. Horcoff, who was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, currently plays for the Dallas Stars and eclipsed the 450-point plateau for his career this season.
Greg Kelser (1979, basketball)
Kelser, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1979, was the leading scorer and rebounder on Michigan State's 1979 NCAA Championship team. He was the first Spartan to score more than 2,000 points and collect at least 1,000 rebounds in his career. Kelser's 2,014 points rank fourth at Michigan State and his 1,092 rebounds are second all-time. In 1979, he earned All-America honors, was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and was named to the Wooden Award All-America Team. He also collected Academic All-America honors in 1979. Kelser was a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons and played six seasons in the NBA. He is the lead analyst for the Pistons on Fox Sports Detroit and also serves as a college basketball analyst on BTN. Kelser earned the Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Val Sterk (1997, volleyball)
One of the most decorated student-athletes in Spartan volleyball history, Sterk earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1997. She was a four-year letterwinner for Michigan State from 1993-96, leading the Spartans to three NCAA Tournaments and a share of the Big Ten title in 1996. Sterk was the National Co-Player of the Year in 1995, a two-time first-team All-American (1995-96), a third-team Academic All-America honoree (1996) and a three-time first-team All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten selection (1994-96). She has left her mark in Michigan State's record book, ranking in the top 10 in nine different career categories, including first in attack percentage (.379) and block solos (128). She led the Spartans in hitting efficiency and solo blocks every year of her career. Following her time in East Lansing, Sterk went on to compete on the U.S. National Team from 1997-2000 and was inducted into the Michigan State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Allyssa DeHaan (2010, basketball)
DeHaan earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2010 and currently ranks third in NCAA history with 503 career blocks. She holds four of the top 10 spots on the conference's single-season block list, including the top two spots. She was a four-time All-Big Ten selection, four-time All-Defensive Team pick and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. DeHaan was tabbed Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2007 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, the same year she earned AP honorable mention All-America status. In addition to her defensive prowess, she ranks fourth in Michigan State history in points (1,649) and fifth in rebounds (919). In 2011, DeHaan enrolled in Grand Valley State's post-graduate physician's assistant program and joined the Lakers' volleyball team.
Kelly Miller (1984, hockey)
Miller, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1984, tallied 164 points (82 goals, 82 assists) during his 165-game collegiate career. As a senior captain in 1984-85, Miller led the Spartans to a school-record 38 wins and was named a First-Team All-American and Hobey Baker Award finalist. Miller went on to play in more than 1,000 games during a 15-year career in the NHL. He completed his MBA at Michigan State in 1995 and returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2011.
Robert Jasson (1958, hockey)
Jasson, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1958, tallied 34 points from the blue line between 1955-56 and 1957-58. Named the team's Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the 1956-57 campaign, Jasson helped lead the Spartans to their first winning record in program history in 1957-58. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jasson was a two-year captain for Michigan State, wearing the "C" in 1956-57 and 1957-58. He was just the second two-year captain in program history.
Jenilee Rathje (2012, volleyball)
A 2012 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Rathje was a four-year letterwinner for Michigan State, leading the Spartans to three NCAA Championship appearances. She ranks first in Michigan State history in matches (142) and sets (496) played. She is also eighth in kills (1,486) and block assists (332) and 10th in total blocks (366). The Mount Pleasant, Mich., native was named third-team All-America and an Academic All-American in 2011. Rathje was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. She was twice named MVP of the Spartans in 2010 and 2011. Rathje currently coaches volleyball at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy in Pontiac, Mich.
Michigan's Rob Pelinka (1993, basketball)
Pelinka was Michigan's Big Ten Medal of Honor winner in 1993. During his career with the Wolverines, Pelinka played in 117 games and was a member of the 1989 NCAA National Championship team. He was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and earned the Michigan Athletic Academic Achievement Award in 1991, 1992 and 1993. The Lake Bluff, Ill., native was an NCAA Post Graduate Scholar and was named the Walter Byers Student-Athlete of the Year in 1993.
The final men's college basketball USA Today Coaches top 25 poll
was released on Wednesday, and the Big Ten was represented with three teams among the top-10. Wisconsin finished the season ranked No. 4 in the poll, followed by No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Michigan State. Ohio State and Minnesota also received votes in the final ballot.
Wisconsin advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 2000 and ended its season with 30 wins, tied for the second-most in school history. Michigan won its first outright Big Ten Championship since 1986, and Michigan State claimed its second Big Ten Tournament title in the past three seasons. The Badgers, Wolverines and Spartans all made regional final appearances, marking the third time in the last 15 years that three conference teams advanced to the Elite Eight.
Ohio State made its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, dropping a heartbreaking decision versus eventual Elite Eight participant Dayton in the second round. Minnesota captured the NIT Championship, the second in school history, and won a school-record 25 games.
Ohio State's Jerry Lucas (1963, basketball)
Lucas, who received the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1963, was the leading scorer and rebounder on Ohio State's 1960 NCAA Championship team. He was a two-time National Player of the Year, three-time first-team consensus All-American and three-time Big Ten MVP. During his college career, the Buckeyes posted a 78-6 record and won three Big Ten titles. Lucas led the nation in field goal shooting for three consecutive years and still holds Ohio State's career records in field goal percentage (.624), free throws made (438) and rebounds (1,411). The Middletown, Ohio, native was also the youngest player on the USA Basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. During his 11 seasons in the NBA, Lucas was a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Lucas was the first men's basketball player to have his number retired at Ohio State.
NCAA TOURNAMENT FINAL FOUR
No. 8 Kentucky 74, No. 2 WISCONSIN 73
Four Badgers scored in double figures, and Wisconsin shot 52.2 percent from the field in the second half, but Kentucky's Aaron Harrison drilled a go-ahead three-pointer with 5.6 seconds remaining to lead the Wildcats past the Badgers, 74-73, on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. Kentucky will take on UConn in Monday's national championship game.
The Badgers' Ben Brust and Sam Dekker both scored a team-high 15 points, and were joined in double figures by Traevon Jackson and Bronson Koenig. Kentucky's James Young scored a game-high 17 points. The Wildcats shot 50 percent for the game, but made just two three-pointers.
Wisconsin's senior class includes Brust and Zach Bohannon. The Badgers are scheduled to return starters Dekker, Jackson, Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky next season.
Friday's Big Ten softball schedule includes Michigan hosting Ohio State, Michigan State entertaining Penn State and Purdue playing host to Indiana.
Friday, April 4
Penn State at Michigan State, 3 p.m.
Indiana at Purdue, 4 p.m.
Ohio State at #5/5 Michigan, 6 p.m.
Rankings are USA Softball/NFCA Coaches
All times Eastern