On Friday, the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame will grow to 109 members as five new individuals are inducted. The 15th enshrinement ceremony will celebrate athletes and coaches from UMD participating in men’s hockey, basketball, golf, volleyball, softball and football. The ceremony for these inductees will be held at the Lake Superior Ballroom in downtown Duluth Friday evening. George Fisher is being inducted into the UMD Hall of Fame for accomplishments in coaching both basketball and golf. Starting at UMD in 1978, Fisher built the best winning percentage in UMD Bulldogs basketball history (.710 off a 121-49 record). Fisher brought UMD to three Northern Intercollegiate Conference championships and set a school record in 1984 for single-season victories (25-5). With UMD golf, Fisher also earned two NIC titles and four NAIA District 13 crowns. The Bulldogs also qualified for five NCAA Division II National Championships. The golf team also placed fifth at the 1980 NCAA II national golf event. At the time, this was the highest national placement of any UMD athletic team.
Inductee Dick Fisher is being honored as a starter for both hockey and football. Fisher played from 1961-65 as a linebacker and fullback as well as a defenseman on the ice. He lettered four times in track as a discus thrower and javelin. Fisher was named the football team’s Most Valuable Player in 1964. That same year, he was admitted to the All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Team. Through the hockey team, Fisher gathered 40 points, 14 goals and 26 assists in 99 games. Fisher received UMD’s Top Senior Scholar-Athlete Award for his senior year.
In his time at UMD, Jim Johnson skated in 174 of 175 hockey games – more than any Bulldog at the time or since then. As a defenseman from 1981-85, Johnson helped bring UMD to its second straight WCHA regular season and playoff title as well as its second NCAA Frozen Four appearance. At UMD, Johnson racked up 13 goals and 70 assists as well as 193 penalties resulting in 402 minutes, which still remain records for the Bulldogs. Johnson was a member of the All-DECC Team in 2010 and went on to begin a 13-year NHL campaign that included the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota/Dallas Stars, Washington Capitals and Phoenix Coyotes. Johnson retired from the NHL in 1998 and also represented the United States in IIHF World Championship play four times. Most recently, Johnson was hired as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks.
Renee (Fluegge) Voltin spent her collegiate years contributing to the Bulldogs for both softball and volleyball. Chosen as UMD’s Outstanding Female Senior Athlete in 1988, Voltin left UMD owning every single-season and career pitching record. Voltin also built an earned run average of 0.82, a record to which no one in UMD softball history has come close. During her senior season, Voltin earned All-Northern Sun Conference accreditation after setting Bulldog season-single marks for innings pitched (180) and saves (6). In volleyball, Voltin matched NSC with 27 solo blocks and 92 block assists.
Inductee David Thompson played in 122 basketball games at UMD, scoring 1,281 points, which ranked him 11th on the school’s all-time scoring chart. He accumulated 626 rebounds and finished second in blocked shots. Thompson earned the NIC Player of the Year during his final season in 1987-88 and helped lead UMD to its fourth NAIA National Tournament appearance and third conference title in a row. Thompson was chosen to the 75th Anniversary All-UMD team in 2006 and went on to play professionally in Gothenburg, Sweden. Most recently, Thompson was named the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Class A Boy’s Coach of the year in 2009, where he is currently serving as the head coach of the Hermantown Hawks.
BY KARA HILLE firstname.lastname@example.org