Kurt Ploeger ’85 Inducted 2002
Kurt Ploeger wrapped up an outstanding football career at Gustavus by being named a first-team defensive lineman on three different All-America teams in 1984. A graduate of LeSueur High School, where he was a standout in three sports-football, basketball, and track-Ploeger lettered four years in football at the College, earning all-conference honors in his junior and senior years. He was named All-District 13 (NAIA) and NAIA All-America after the 1983 season, and followed up with a stellar senior season that ended with him being named to the first team of the NCAA Division III All-America team, the Pizza Hut Division III All-America team, and the Kodak College Division II All-America team.
Ploeger was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL spring 1985 draft by the Dallas Cowboys and played with the Cowboys for two years. During the next two years, he was with Green Bay, Buffalo, and finally the Minnesota Vikings, where he ended his pro career after injuring his back in 1987. But the close of one career opened the door to another: Kurt entered Bethel Theological Seminary in 1988, earning a master of divinity degree in 1992 while serving part-time at the Wayzata Free Church. After leading congregations at Valley Free Church in Chaska and Pioneer Free Church in Chanhassen, he moved to Pipestone, Minnesota, in 1999, where he is now senior pastor of Cornerstone Free Church (Evangelical Free Church of America) and president of the ministerial in Pipestone. Kurt and his wife, Stacy (Hennings '86), are the parents of Kelsey (14) and B.J. (12).