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.

Deanne Sand Johnson


Inducted: 2006

A three-time all-conference performer in women's tennis, Deanne Sand Johnson '89 was also a member of MIAC championship teams in 1988 and 1989. In 1987 she won the MIAC title at #6 singles, and then in 1989 she claimed the MIAC title at #3 singles. In her senior season, she teamed with Mary Sutherland Ryerse to form one of the most formidable doubles teams in Division III. The duo was ranked #3 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Association all season (ITCA) all season and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA doubles draw before falling to the eventual national champions. Sand Johnson and Sutherland Ryerse earned All-America honors as a result of advancing to the final four of the national doubles tournament. During her standout four-year career, Sand Johnson helped the Gusties post a record of 55—15 overall and 18—3 in the MIAC. The 1989 squad posted a dual-meet mark of 18—3 and finished fourth at the NCAA championships, which was the highest finish in the program's history at the time.

Sand Johnson graduated with a major in biology, with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy. After a short stint as a physical therapy aid, Sand Johnson accepted a position as a tennis professional at Northwest Athletic Clubs. Several years later, she moved to Paynesville, spending most of her time at home with her children but also finding time to teach tennis lessons through the Paynesville Community Education program. She also served as the head tennis coach at Rocori High School and the College of St. Benedict for a couple of years. She currently is abstracting at her husband's law office in Paynesville. Deanne, and her husband, David Johnson '88, live in Paynesville with their daughter, Ella (8), and six-year old twins Eric and Luke.