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 2017, 313 individuals (289 athletes, 15 coaches and 9 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.

Heather Thorson Kittlesen

Softball

Inducted: 2008

A gifted athlete with cat-like reflexes and a cannon for an arm, Heather Thorson Kittlesen was a four-year starter and a three-time All-Conference honoree as a shortstop and third baseman from 1989 to 1992. An explosive hitter, Kittlesen hit over .400 at the plate in each of her four seasons including the 1990 season where she led the league in hitting with a .540 average and the 1991 season where she finished second in the nation with an average of .543. Kittlesen completed her career as the leading hitter in the history of Division III softball with a career average of .488. As a sophomore, Kittlesen led the league in hits (34), runs scored (28), slugging percentage (.698) and stolen bases (17/17) as she sparked the team to a 20-0 league mark and the first conference title in the program's history. Starting 108 of the 114 games the Gusties played in her four-year career, Kittlesen helped the team compile a record 72-41 overall (.635) and 58-22 (.725) in league play. She still holds four school records including career batting average (.488), career on-base percentage (.598), career runs scored (120), and career stolen bases (63).

After graduating in 1992 with a major in English, Kittlesen went to work in the Twin Cities for Rollerblade Corporation running its retail services division. She then moved on to a position with Athletica, a company that made hockey dasherboards, which was started by the founders of Rollerblade. In 1998, Kittlesen became the Director of Marketing for the Minnesota Wild and she later moved on to the position of Executive Director of the 10,000 Rinks Foundation, a group formed by the Wild to raise money to build community hockey rinks throughout the state of Minnesota. During this time she also served as an assistant girls' hockey coach at Hopkins High School. In 2004, Kittlesen left her position with the Wild and started her own business as a consultant helping professional athletes conduct charity work. She also returned to school attending United Theological Seminary. Kittlesen currently works for Bitetech, a company run by her husband, Jon. She lives with Jon and their 22-month old daughter, Kacy Sue on a farm just outside of Stillwater.