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 2019, 327 individuals (305 athletes, 15 coaches and 10 benefactors) have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

The beautiful 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 was donated by the family of former football coach and Hall of Fame member Jocko Nelson, who passed away in 1978.

J. Gustafson

Football and Track & Field

Inducted: 1999

Coined "Mr.Mercury" by the school newspaper, J. Gary Gustafson was a fleet footed two-sport standout in football and track and field in the mid-'50s. Gustafson burst onto the Gustavus athletic scene in the fall of 1952 earning all-conference honors as a defensive back on the Golden Gustie football team that compiled a record of 6-0 and won the MIAC title. Military service took Gustafson away from St. Peter in 1953 and 1954, but he returned to Gustavus in the fall of 1955. In his final three years of football, Gustafson rotated between running back and wide receiver on offense and cornerback on defense. In track and field, Gustafson was a talented sprinter who set school records in the 100 and 220 yard dash that stood for over 20 years. During the 1956 season he went undefeated in the both the 100 and 220, finishing the year by winning the conference title in both events. Gustafson set the school record in the 100 yard dash in 1956 when he took top honors at the Viking Relays in Rock Island, Illinois, with a time of 9.7 seconds.
After graduating with a major in physical education and health, Gustafson went on to teach physical education and health at North St. Paul High School for 34 years. While at North St. Paul, Gustafson coached football and track and field. He was named the MSHSFCA Football Coach of the Year in 1970 and the MSHSTCA Region Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1979. In 1990, Gustafson was inducted into the Minnesota State High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. Gary, who is now retired, lives in White Bear Lake with his wife, Ruby. They have eight children, Jennifer, Dawn, James, Paul, Nancy, Ann, Peter and Beth.