Athletic Hall of Fame

The Gustavus Adolphus College Hall of Fame was established in 1978 at which time 19 "Charter Members" were inducted either as coaches or as athletes. As of the fall of 2022, 348 individuals (321 athletes, 16 coaches and 11 benefactors) have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

The former Hall of Fame room on the second floor of the Lund Center was originally partially endowed by the families of both Dwight Holcombe's (the only father/son combination holding membership in the Hall). The hardwood plaque upon which the individual plates are permanently displayed, now in the Hall of Champions, was donated by the family of former football coach and Hall of Fame member Jocko Nelson, who passed away in 1978.

James Clark

Basketball, Football, and Track & Field

Inducted: 1982

James R. Clark '27 lettered 4 years in football, 3 years in basketball, and 2 years in track at Gustavus. He played tackle on the '23 team when Gustavus won its first conference game, and the '24 team which garnered its first home conference victory. He was captain of the '25 team and was a 2nd team All-Conference selection. He was star tackle on the first undefeated and conference championship team in '26, which held seven opponents to 3 points, and was an All-State selection that year. He played guard on the first successful basketball teams at Gustavus. The '24 team rolled to 17 wins and 2 losses to take 2nd place in the conference' while both the '25 and '26 teams were conference champions.
Following graduation he taught and coached in Kasson for two years. His football team only had 3 loses in the two years and his '29 basketball team won the district title. He was athletic director and coach of all sports at Rochester Jr. College from 1929-39 where he had championship football teams and successive basketball conference championships from 1937-39. For the next 10 years he was athletic director at Mankato State where he served as head football coach (1939-49) and head basketball and track coach (1939-45). His football teams were conference champions in '42, '46 and '48. In 1949 he joined the Univ. of Northern Iowa faculty where he was head golf coach from 1953-64 and also was an assistant coach in football, basketball and track. While there, he was Professor of Phy. Ed. for Men and was the administrative assistant in charge of undergraduate and graduate phy. ed. in the Men's Dept.
He received his M.A. from Columbia Univ. and another M.A. and his Ph.D. from George Peabody College, which is now affiliated with Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Clark died on June 26, 1969. He is survived by his wife Gertrude and daughters Judy and Jane.