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.

Kevin Ylinen


Inducted: 1996

Transferring to Gustavus from the U. S. Naval Academy following his sophomore year, Kevin Ylinen immediately became an integral part of the Gustie tennis dynasty as he played #2 singles and #2 doubles his junior year and #2 singles and #1 doubles his senior year.
Ylinen moved into the #1 singles spot for the MIAC Tournament each year and claimed two #1 singles titles as well as two #1 doubles titles. At the NAIA District Tournament, Ylinen finished runnerup to teammate Dave Peterson in singles twice and claimed the doubles title with Rick Deming in 1974 and Tim Butorac in 1975. Ylinen and Butorac advanced to the quarterfinals at the NAIA National Tournament in 1975 earning All-America honors.
After graduating with a business major, tennis remained a big part of Ylinen's life as he became a teaching pro in Chicago from 1976 until 1980 and then in the Twin Cities from 1980 until 1990. He also continued to play competitively, earning a top ten ranking in men's open singles in the Chicago District Tennis Association from 1976 to 1980.
After moving to the Twin Cities, Ylinen paired up with college teammate Butorac and became the #1 ranked doubles team in the Northwest Tennis Association from 1983 until 1985. In 1991, Ylinen left the tennis business and became a certified financial planner. He died very unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 39. Kevin is survived by his wife, Julie.