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.

Ronald Zaniewski

Swimming & Diving

Inducted: 2000

As the featured swimmer in the Gustavus swimming dynasty of the late 1950s and early '60s, Ron Zaniewski piloted his team to four consecutive MIAC championship titles, and an impeccable 35-1 conference record. The Gusties won titles in 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960 during which Zaniewski went undefeated in the 100-yard butterfly, winning four individual MIAC conference meets and earning all-conference honors each season. In his first conference meet, Zaniewski upset the favorite to win the 100-yard butterfly while setting a new conference record that he would later break in 1959. On January 7, 1958, Zaniewski broke Ed Haapaniemi's '37 22-year old Gustavus pool record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:01.2. Only two weeks later, he swam the same event in 0:59.8 at St. Mary's University, setting a personal and team record. While the Gusties were dominating conference competition during Zaniewski's tenure, they were also making quite a splash on the national scene as they were competing against the likes of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, the University of Kansas, the University of Minnesota, and Columbia University.
Zaniewski, who graduated from Gustavus with a double major in biology and teaching, went on to receive his master's degree in teaching from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. He spent 32 years as a junior high science teacher in Stillwater, Minnesota, where he retired in 1993. Ron lives in Stillwater with his wife, Eloise. They have two children, Lisa (Blevins) '89, and Kyle.