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New Athletics Hall of Fame members to be inducted

Sept. 30

The Athletics Hall of Fame class for 2011 will be formally inducted Friday, Sept. 30.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Intercollegiate Athletics news release [9-25-11]

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Athletics Hall of Fame class for 2011 will be formally inducted Friday, Sept. 30.

Along with six individuals, a team inductee and this year’s service and philanthropic award recipients also will be recognized. This year’s induction is Friday, Sept. 30 with the formal induction ceremony taking place at the Hall of Fame induction dinner in the Country Inn and Suites (registration at 6 p.m., program starts at 7 p.m.). The Minnesota State Mankato football team hosts Winona State Saturday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m. in the annual Homecoming game. The inductees will be introduced at halftime.

The new Hall of Fame members in the student-athlete category include women’s diving standout Annie (Eggert) Whitson (‘84-87), men’s cross country and track star Joey Keillor (‘94-98), All-American football defensive lineman Chuck Gilbert (‘85-89) and former pro football tight end Tywan Mitchell (‘95-98).

Slated for induction in the builders category are nationally-renowned broadcast journalist Brad Nessler (‘77) and KEYC sports director Perry Dyke.

Selected for induction in the “team” category is the men’s hockey team from 1990-'91.

The Jim Schaffer Service Award will be presented to Dan Rotchadl (‘80) and this year’s Athletics Philanthropic Award recipient is Thomas Huffman (‘64).

Those interested in attending the dinner can reserve tickets by calling the Alumni Office at 507-3235 or 888-234-3796 or by registering online at

Biographies on this year’s inductees appear below.

Annie (Eggert) Whitson (Swimming & Diving, ‘84-87), Hall of Fame (student-athlete category) - Two-time North Central Conference Diver of the Year (1985 and 1986)...Claimed three NCC individual titles (3m in 1985 and 1986, 1m in 1985)...Two-time NCAA qualifier (1985 and 1986)...Team captain for one year held NCC record in 1m and 3m...Held four school records at conclusion of MSU career (6 & 11 dives, 1m; 6 & 11 dives, 3m).

Charles “Chuck” Gilbert II (Football, ‘85-89), Hall of Fame (student-athlete category) - Four-year starter for the Mavericks from 1986 through 1989...Named MSU’s top defensive newcomer in 1986...Second Team All-NCC in 1987...First Team All-NCC in 1988 and 1989...Football Gazette Second Team All-American as a senior in 1989....Totaled 256 career tackles and 14.5 sacks in four years with MSU...1989 team captain...Had 75 tackles as a sophomore in 1987 as Mavericks captured school’s first-ever North Central Conference football crown and made first-ever NCAA Division II football postseason appearance...Spent a year as a student assistant on the MSU coaching staff in 1990 before graduating with a degree in social work in 1990.

Joey Keillor (Cross Country, Track & Field, ‘94-98), Hall of Fame (student-athlete category) - 1997-98 MSU Male Senior Athlete of the Year...Three-time cross country All-American...Four-time all-conference and all-region honoree in cross country...NCAA Division II outdoor champion in the steeple chase..5,000-meter champion at the NCC outdoor meet in 1995...Two-time NCC steeplechase champion...Named to the MSU dean’s list 10 times...Honored on the CoSIDA/GTE All-Academic team as a senior...Spent a quarter working in the Catholic mission in Guatemala...1998 Maverick Achievement Award winner earned a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Tywan Mitchell (Football & Basketball, ‘95-98), Hall of Fame (student-athlete category) - 1998-99 MSU Male Senior Athlete of the Year...Receiver was a three-time All-American...Holds school record for career receptions (216) and single-season reception yards (1,223 in 1996)..Ranks second in career yards (3,342) and touchdown receptions (30)...Regional finalist for ‘98 Harlon Hill as Division II Player of the Year...Two-time All-North Central Conference First Team pick was also two-time NCC Receiver of the Year...At one time, held NCC record for career receptions (178)...1998 team MVP... Signed as free agent with Baltimore Ravens (NFL) in 1999; spent 1999 season with Arizona Cardinals (NFL) practice squad; played with Cardinals from 2000-02; signed as free agent and went to camp with Detroit Lions (NFL) in 2003; signed as a free agent with Calgary Stampeders (CFL) in 2005. Played one season of collegiate basketball for MSU (1996-97, avg 5.0 ppg in 23 GP).

Brad Nessler (Television and Radio Sports Broadcaster, MSU ‘77) Hall of Fame (builder’s category) - One of the leading play-by-play commentators in the business, calls games for both ESPN and ABC. He has worked for ESPN since 1992, and added ABC assignments in 1997 while continuing to handle college football and basketball games for ABC and ESPN. He’s also the play-by-play voice of EA Sports NCAA Football and college basketball March Madness video games. Nessler began his career as a sports anchor and talk show host for WGST-Radio in Atlanta in 1980. In 1985, he became sports director at WSB-Radio, also in Atlanta. While at the Atlanta stations, he handled radio play-by-play of Georgia Tech basketball (1980-85) and the Atlanta Falcons (1982-88) before assuming the same duty for the Minnesota Vikings on WCCO (1988-89). Nessler also has served as play-by-play announcer for Miami Dolphins preseason telecasts. Nessler joined CBS in 1990 and worked on college football and men’s and women’s basketball, including the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship game, and NFL games. He also was the network’s host for speed skating coverage at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France. Since 1992, Nessler has returned each year to his hometown of St. Charles, Minn., to host The Nessler Memorial, a charity golf tournament named after his late father, Bob. All proceeds from the annual event go toward cancer research.

Perry Dyke (Television Sports Director,) Hall of Fame (builder’s category) - As a television sports journalist has covered MSU Athletics for more than three decades after joining KEYC TV in Mankato in September of 1980. A native of Alexandria, Minn., Dyke attended the University of Minnesota-Morris and Brown Institute and worked at KLEE Radio in Ottumwa, Iowa before starting at KEYC. He has served as host for KEYC’s Prep Sports Extra for several years and covered Vikings Training Camp in Mankato for the past 30 seasons.

1990-91 Minnesota State Men’s Hockey - Hall of Fame (team category) - 2nd in NCAA Division II in 1990-91
Team went 23-7-6 and had three All-Americans in junior goaltender Glen Prodahl, senior center Bill Rooney and senior defenseman Derek Cooper...Shared Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title with Bemidji State...Glen Prodahl was named All-NCHA First Team goaltender...The Mavericks beat UW-Superior in NCHA semi-final series before falling to UW-Stevens Point in league finals...MSU defeated Gustavus in NCAA DIII quarterfinals to advance to NCAA DIII Finals...MSU downed Elmira, 7-3, in national semi-final action before falling to UW-Stevens Point, 6-2, in NCAA championship game.

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