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.

Jerry Connolly

Gymnastics Coach

Inducted: 2017

An integral part of the success of the powerhouse Gustavus gymnastics program from 1987 until 2000, Jerry Connolly served as an assistant to legendary coach Nancy Baker from 1987-1991 and then was named the Gusties head coach in 1992 when Baker retired. A part of three National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) national championship teams as Baker’s assistant (1990, 1991, 1992), Connolly continued the program’s domination of small college gymnastics directing the Gusties to back-to-back national championships in his first two seasons as head coach in 1993 and 1994. During his eight seasons as the head coach, Connolly valued every one of his student-athletes and put in countless hours at the gym to help his gymnasts succeed. His unique coaching style produced 16 gymnasts who earned 39 All-America distinctions, three gymnasts who earned five national event championships, and three gymnasts who were named NCGA Senior Athlete of the Year. In 1999, Connolly was honored as the NCGA National Coach of the Year after directing Gustavus to a second place finish at the national meet and serving as the meet director for the NCGA national championships that were hosted by Gustavus. Connolly, who left coaching in 2000 to enter private business, has remained an active supporter of the program by attending many meets and assisting the program when asked including serving as an assistant coach to his former gymnast Katie Kortuem Olson during the 2012-13 season.

After leaving his role as head coach at Gustavus in 2000, Connolly pursued a career in technology solutions and worked as the senior communications design engineer at Dow Chemical until 2005. Over the past 12 years, Connolly worked for Polycom as a senior healthcare account manager. Jerry and his wife Oh Sook reside in Schaumburg, Illinois.