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.

Cliff Straka

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Swimming & Diving, and Track & Field

Inducted: 1981

Clifford A. Straka '55 was awarded 11 letters in 5 different sports - 4 each in baseball and basketball, and 1 each in football, swimming and track. He didn't compete in the latter three until his senior year - and then became known as "the athlete who can do anything." Noted as a great rebounder & defensive player and playing either forward or guard, he was named All-Conference in basketball in '53, was captain of the '54 championship team, and was an MIAC Honorable Mention as a member of the championship team of '55. He was an outstanding pitcher on the '53 '54 & '55 baseball team. In his one year in football he was named an MIAC Honorable Mention and was also selected for a try-out with the Green Bay Packers. Because of conflicts with basketball, the only time he swam with the swimming team was at the conference championship meet in '55 when he became the 60 yd. free-style champion and G.A. took the championship. He was recipient of the Sponberg basketball award and Myrum Key (highest grade-point average of graduating athletes) 'in '55.
He received his M.A. and specialist degrees in secondary education from Univ. of Minn. His asst. coaching career included: basketball at St. Peter H.S. '57); football, basketball & baseball at Keewatin H.S. (1957-60); football, basketball, swimming & track at Greenway of Coleraine (1960- 63); and football, basketball & track at Hopkins (1963-67). He taught swimming in the Hopkins swim program & gave private lessons 1963-67, and officiated in football, basketball, swimming, track and baseball 1957-67. Since '67 he has been asst. principal of Hopkins North Jr. H.S.
Cliff and his wife Mary have two daughters, Mary Pat and Siobhan, and live in Hopkins.