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NMU to induct four into Hall of Fame Saturday

Class of 2012

April 13, 2012
By Journal Sports Staff , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University will induct four into its Sports Hall of Fame Saturday during its Student-Athletes Awards banquet in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center.

The Class of 2012 includes Jim Driscoll, Lindsay Williams, Kris (Manske) Johnson, and Maurice Mitchell.

Driscoll was an assistant football coach at NMU for four head coaches on the defensive side of the ball. From 1978-85, the Wildcats went 57-25 and reached the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1980, 1981 and 1982. In 1980, the Wildcats had the nation's fifth-ranked scoring and rushing defense and was sixth overall in total defense.

Article Photos

Northern Michigan University Nordic skier Lindsay Williams represented the Wildcats and the United States in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Williams finished 62nd in the women’s 15km pursuit, which was held on Feb. 12 in Pragelato Plan, Italy. (AP file photo)

"Coach Driscoll taught me the importance of perfecting technique, paying attention to detail, being prepared for everything and finally going out on the field to lay it all on the line," former NMU strong safety Jerry Woods said. "He used to say, 'If you're not drained emotionally and physically after a game, you're not playing hard enough.'"

Woods went on to play in the NFL for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Driscoll's coaching tree includes Jerry Rosberg, who currently is the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens.

Also in Driscoll's coaching tree are current Hall of Fame members Steve Mariucci, Herb Grenke, Dick Koski, Al Sandona, Randy Awrey, Buck Nystrom and Bill Rademacher.

Mitchell was a four-year starter on the football team from 1973-76. He was a member of the 1975 NCAA National Championship team and was a Kodak All-American Wide Receiver in 1976. He played in the 1976 North-South Shrine Game and was selected 288th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 11th round of 1977 NFL Draft.

"Maurice was a great receiver with phenomenal speed," former NMU head coach Gil Krueger said. "We had such great players back in those days and they made our coaching staff look good."

Mitchell was named the team's most valuable offensive back in 1976. He led the 'Cats in receiving in 1974 and 1976. Mitchell had 365 yards on 24 catches with a touchdown in 1974 and 1,183 yards on 57 catches with eight touchdowns in 1976. In the 1975 National Championship game, he had 113 yards receiving on four grabs.

"Maurice found some big openings in the National Championship game," Krueger said. "They (Western Kentucky) switched from a zone to a man-to-man and we picked them apart. They had to switch back to the zone to stay in the game."

Johnson was a four-year starter on the basketball team from 1995-98. She is the all-time NMU leader in steals with 391, recording 192 more than second place, ranking her 11th in NCAA Division II history. She is second all-time in career assists (680), ranking her 15th in the NCAA. Johnson also finished fifth at NMU in scoring (1,503) and sixth in rebounding (676).

"Kris Manske was the Larry Bird of NMU basketball," current NMU women's basketball coach Troy Mattson said. "She was someone that wasn't blessed with a lot of foot speed or pure athleticism, but she may have been the smartest player that has ever played here. She would let everyone get in the flow of the game with her passing and when it was time to take over she would step up with a big shot, rebound our steal. She was a complete basketball player and was really a go to person when it came to crunch time in big games."

In 1998, Johnson was a Kodak First Team All-American, a Daktronics Third Team All-American, All-Great Lakes Region First Team, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, First Team All-GLIAC and on the GLIAC All-Defensive Team. She led the team to NMU's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Final Four.

Johnson was a Kodak Honorable Mention All-American in 1997, Second Team All-Region and First Team All-GLIAC. Johnson was a GLIAC Second Team selection in 1996 and the 1995 GLIAC Freshman of the Year.

Williams was a four-year letter winner (2003-07) on the Nordic ski team. Williams was an NCAA Nordic skiing National Champion in the 5-kilometer freestyle and a two-time runner-up. She finished second in the 15k classic in 2007 and in the 5k classic in 2005. Williams was a four-time All-American in the 5k classic and 15k freestyle in 2005 and in the 5k freestyle and 15k classic in 2007.

"As a freshman, we noticed right off the bat that Lindsay had a real instinct for racing and a strong passion to compete," NMU Nordic ski coach Sten Fjeldheim said. "She matured into a real seasoned competitor and was one of the most focused skiers I've ever coached."

In 2007, Williams, along with teammates Lindsey Weier and Morgan Smyth, swept the podium in the both the classic and freestyle at the NCAA Championship to make history.

Williams beat out Weier and Smyth in the 5k freestyle while Weier took the 15k classic title by one second over Williams, followed by Smyth.

Williams was the senior women's sprint gold medalist at the 2005 U.S. Cross Country Championships. She also skied for the United States Ski Team in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, finishing 38th in the freestyle and 62nd in the pursuit.



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