Hamline News

November 11, 2010

Event postponed to a later date due to weather

Ten Hamline basketball greats, along with members of the university's three national championship basketball teams from 1942, 1949, and 1951, will be back on campus for a ceremony honoring them.

Those recognized will include NBA hall-of-famer Vern Mikkelsen and legendary coaches Don Meyer and Joe Hutton, Sr. In all, ten past players and coaches will be inducted into the newly-created Row of Honor in Hamline's historic Hutton Arena.

Also planned, a bust of Joe Hutton, Sr., the namesake of Hutton Arena will be unveiled in the lobby of the facility.

“I feel it is important for Hamline athletes, parents, and fans of today to understand the depth of the university’s historical success,” said Beeman. “The legacy of our championship team participants and our ‘Row of Honor’ inductees provides us with an inspiring foundation for the next generation of excellence.”

The four living inductees of the Row of Honor—Fritsche, Meyer, Mikkelsen, and Seltz—are scheduled to attend and take part in the ceremony. Close family members of Don Eliason ’41, Hal Haskins ’50, Joe Hutton, Jr. ’50, John Norlander ’43, and Howie Schultz ’43 will be in attendance to represent the deceased inductees.

“This will be a great day to honor individuals who define a tradition of excellence both as Pipers and as professionals, including a pair of coaches who are arguably two of the all-time greatest in college history,” said men’s basketball head coach Nelson Whitmore.

Hamline alumnus Vern Mikkelsen was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame after winning four NBA championships as part of the Minneapolis Lakers dynasty. He spent ten years with the Lakers and was a seven-time all-pro player. A star at Hamline, Mikkelsen was a member of the 1949 national championship team.

Legendary basketball coach Don Meyer began his collegiate head coaching career at Hamline, where he coached from 1972-1975. During that time, he turned the Hamline program around and took the team to the NCAA Elite Eight in his third season. He went on to become the all-time leader in coaching wins in NCAA men's basketball history, posting 923 career collegiate wins. Meyer was awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2009 ESPY Awards.

Joe Hutton, Sr. posted a 591-207 record that placed him sixth among all college basketball coaches in the country at the time of his retirement. In 35 years, the basketball teams coached by Hutton won 19 conference titles, all three of Hamline’s national championships, and were three-time NAIA runners-up. Hutton, Sr. is also the namesake of Hamline’s basketball facility, Hutton Arena.

For more information regarding the ceremonies or the inductees, contact Stephanie Harris, Hamline University sports information director, at 651-523-2786 or via email.