John Holcomb ’39 Inducted 1985

Football and Hockey

John   Holcomb

John Holcomb came to Gustavus after already making a name for himself as an outstanding hockey goalie while at Shattuck School. He had enrolled at the University of Minnesota but came to Gustavus in 1936 in order to compete in both football and hockey for Coach George Myrum. He lettered in football in 1937 and 1938, playing on two championship teams, but he is likely to be remembered as the person who legitimized hockey at Gustavus.
The first official team was organized with Myrum's encouragement in 1937 and John provided the pads for the players. He lettered for three years and was named all-conference in both his junior and senior seasons. During his senior year, the team played its home games in the new Myrum Memorial Fieldhouse, which John's family (particularly his father, O.W. Holcomb) had been instrumental in funding.
John went on to dental school at the University of Minnesota following graduation in 1939, earning his D.D.S. degree in 1941. After military service in World War II, he returned to St. Paul to establish a dental practice, later moving to Hopkins. John died in 1971; his wife, Lucille Holcomb Hope, will accept his award.