GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Bill Chaves and UND Letterwinners Association President Todd Schaefer announced today the UND Letterwinners Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Dean Blais (head hockey coach, 1994-2004; assistant hockey coach 1980-89), Dawn [Dakken] Jacobson (golf, 1995-98), Becky [Leppard] Erickson (cross country/track & field, 1997-2001) and Phillip Moore (football, 1995-98) will be inducted as individuals, while the 1999-2000 national championship men’s hockey team will be inducted in the team category.
Additionally, highly-decorated prep coach Greg LaDouceur will receive the Tom Clifford Award, while longtime UND benefactors Dave and Diane Bender will be recognized with the Honorary Letterwinner Award.
The 44th annual Athletics Hall of Fame event will take place with a dinner and induction ceremony on Friday, Sept. 21. The Class of 2018 will be recognized the following day during halftime of UND’s Homecoming/Hall of Fame football game against Idaho State, which is also the 53rd annual Potato Bowl USA game.
“I am honored as President of the UND Letterwinners Association to announce the 2018 Hall of Fame inductees,” said Schaefer, a former UND golf letterwinner and a 2000 Hall of Fame inductee. “The Hall of Fame honorees have earned the highest athletic honor at the University of North Dakota. On behalf of the UND Letterwinners Association, we congratulate the inductees on their amazing athletic careers and accomplishments.”
This year's four inductees bring the total number of individuals in UND's Letterwinners Athletics Hall of Fame to 255, while the 2000 men’s hockey team is the 39th team to be recognized.
UND Hall of Fame Class of 2018:
Dean Blais | Hockey | 1980-89, 1994-2004: Served as head coach from 1994-95 to 2003-04 and led UND to national championships in 1996-97 and 1999-2000 … Amassed a record of 262-115-33 (.679), ranking second in program history in wins and winning percentage … Guided UND to MacNaughton Cups as Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season champion in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2004 … Also won WCHA playoff titles in 1997 and 2000 … Two-time recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as the national coach of the year (1997, 2001) … Three-time WCHA Coach of the Year … Coached eight Hobey Baker Award finalists and 17 All-Americans … Served as an assistant coach from 1980-81 to 1980-89 and helped lead UND to NCAA titles in 1982 and 1987 … Later served as associate head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets (2004-06), general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Fargo Force (2007-09) and head coach of the University of Nebraska Omaha (2009-2017) … Also guided the United States to a gold medal as head coach at the 2010 World Junior Championships.
Dawn [Dakken] Jacobson | Golf | 1995-98: Two-time North Central Conference individual champion, winning outright in 1997-98 and tying for the title in 1995-96 … Led North Dakota to the NCC team championship in 1997-98 after a runner-up finish one year earlier … Helped the program to a third-place conference showing in 1995-96 after it returned from an eight-year hiatus … Earned All-NCC honors in each of her three years … Qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1995-06 … Led UND to a team berth in the 1997-98 NCAA Tournament.
Becky [Leppard] Erickson | Cross Country, Track & Field | 1997-2001: Earned nine All-America honors, the most of any individual in the history of UND women’s track & field … Graduated with six school records to her name … A 12-time North Central Conference champion in the middle-distance and distance events … Set the NCC outdoor record in the 1,500-meters … Four-time national runner-up in the 1,500-meters and mile run and the 2000 national runner-up in cross country … Led UND to a runner-up team finish at the 2000 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship … The 1998 North Central Region Cross Country Athlete of the Year … A finalist for NCAA Division II Athlete of the Year in 1998 … Two-time recipient of UND’s Grace Rhonemus Female Athlete of the Year Award … Named NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of North Dakota as a senior … NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient in 2001.
Phillip Moore | Football | 1995-98: NCAA Division II All-America running back as a junior and senior and was an honorable mention as a sophomore … Two-time finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding player in NCAA DII football … Graduated as UND’s all-time leader in rushing yards (5,697), rushing attempts (1,101), rushing touchdowns (51), total touchdowns (53) and all-purpose yards (5,857, since broken) … Also set NCC records for career rushing yards (4,892, later broken), career rushing attempts (88), single-season rushing attempts (294) and single-season rushing yards (later broken) … Owns the top two single-season rushing performances in UND history: 1,771 yards in 1997 and 1,722 in 1998 … Broke UND’s single-game rushing record three times over his final two years, including a high of 282 yards against Augustana on Nov. 7, 1998 (since broken) … Helped UND win an NCC title as a freshman in 1998 and played on two NCAA Division II Playoffs qualifiers (1995, 1998).
1999-2000 Men’s Hockey Team: The Dean Blais-coached team won the program’s seventh national championship and its second in a span of four years … Finished 31-8-5 overall and added a WCHA playoff title … Junior F Jeff Panzer was a Hobey Baker finalist and first-team All-American after tying for second nationally with 65 points … Junior G Karl Goehring joined Panzer on the All-America First Team … Senior F Lee Goren led the nation with 34 goals and was a second-team All-American … Goren was the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the all-tourney team by Goehring, junior D Mike Commodore and junior F Bryan Lundbohm … Twenty-one players went on to play professionally, including five who reached the NHL: Commodore, Goren, Ryan Bayda, Brad DeFauw and Travis Roche.
Thomas J. Clifford Award
The Clifford Award, established to honor former UND President Thomas J. Clifford, recognizes the UND alumni who serve as athletics coaches at the high school or collegiate level and have been notably successful in their sport.
Greg LaDouceur: A 1989 graduate of UND and earned his master’s degree in 1999 … Has spent the last 28 years as a high school tennis coach, currently serving at Red River High School in Grand Forks … Has won 16 boys state championships and five girls state titles … A seven-time North Dakota Tennis Coach of the Year … The 2012 National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Tennis Coach of the Year … Inducted into the North Dakota High School Coaches Association (NDHSCA) Hall of Fame in 2016.
Honorary Letterwinner Award
The Letterwinners Association Honorary Award is given upon official action by the club's Executive Committee to persons who, in the opinion of the committee, have contributed significantly to the furtherance of UND Athletics.
Dave & Diane Bender: Longtime contributors of UND Athletics, both are retired from the General Motors Acceptance Corporation (now Ally Financial) … Dave is a 1974 graduate of UND … Established the Pay It Forward program, in which the first year of North Dakota Champions Club membership is sponsored for every graduating student-athlete … Co-established the Brown/Bender Basketball Fund in 1991 to assist the men’s basketball program … Also co-funded the Betty Englestad Sioux Center weight room when the facility opened in 2004 … Began annual contributions to UND Athletics in 1977 by joining the North Dakota Champions Club (formerly the Fighting Sioux Club and the Big Green Club).
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony, proudly sponsored by the UND Letterwinners Association, will be held on Sept. 21 in the Alerus Center ballroom. For ticket information, please contact Val Sussex at 701.777.2611 or at email@example.com.