Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 2016

News Date : 10/14/2016

Saint Thomas Academy Inducts Eight into Athletic Hall of Fame


The 2016 honorees are:

  • Tom Gibbons STMA ’09 (deceased) – One of the greatest professional boxers of all time, Gibbons fought Jack Dempsey for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. He lost only four times in 106 bouts, scoring 48 knockouts. He was knocked out only once – by Gene Tunney in the last fight of his career. He was taught to fight while at STMA by Fr. John Dunphy.

  • Daniel Flynn STMA ’57 (deceased) – Flynn was an All-Conference athlete in each of the sports he played while at SMTA: football, basketball and baseball. He was also captain of the basketball team his senior year and was named an All-Regional player.

  • Jim Kronschnabel ’72 of Winona – In spite of being an All-Conference football player his junior year, Kronschnabel didn’t play football his senior year. Instead he focused his time and energy on hockey and tennis, sports he played for four years. The tennis team was conference champions all four of Kronschnabel’s years on the team and regional champs his junior year. He was state individual champion in 1971 and 1972. He was captain of the hockey team his senior year, was named All-Conference his junior and senior years. In his junior year, the hockey team was conference champion.

  • Steve Abbott ’76 of Saint Paul – As football team manager for three years, Abbott supported the Cadets to conference championships in 1974 and 1975, and the state championship in 1975. He was also basketball team manager his junior and senior years.

  • Ako Stafford ’90 (deceased) – A leader in football, basketball, and track & field, Stafford was named All-Conference, All-Metro and All-State in football in 1989 – the year the team was section champion. He went on to play football for the University of Maine. He was captain of the basketball team and track & field team his senior year. The track & field team was section and state champions in 1989 and 1990.

  • Bill Culbertson of Saint Paul – Culbertson coached track & field for a total of 28 years, leading 8 teams to conference and regional championships, and 3 teams to state championships. Twelve individuals were state champions and 32 were individual regional champions under his leadership. During his 6 years as wrestling coach, Culbertson coached his teams to two conference championships, and 10 individuals to regional championships and two to individual state championships.

    • Jack Zahr (deceased) – Zahr began his career at Saint Thomas Academy in the fall of 1976, serving as a physical education/health teacher and track coach. He would be named athletic director in 1989. During his career, he was head or assistant coach for hockey, cross country, soccer and track. He was also a strong proponent of alpine and Nordic skiing, and pushed to establish the Academy’s alpine ski team more than 25 years ago. He often participated in operations for alpine skiing regular season, conference, sectional and state meets. Under his leadership as athletic director, the Academy won nearly 40 collective state titles in hockey, basketball, track and field, swimming and diving, and alpine skiing.

  • I.A. O’Shaughnessy (deceased) – Benefactor of the Academy’s O'Shaughnessy Hall, which includes a gymnasium, locker room and swimming pool, O'Shaughnessy enabled thousands of students to participate in athletics in more than 50 years.

The Hall of Fame seeks to recognize those outstanding athletes who helped establish Saint Thomas Academy as a strong competitor in Minnesota high school sports, as well as loyal supporters who contributed to the success of the Academy’s athletes and teams.

Saint Thomas Academy Athletic Hall of Fame Mission Statement

To instill and preserve pride in the rich tradition of Saint Thomas Academy by celebrating the outstanding athletic accomplishments or contributions to the athletic history and traditions of the Academy by alumni athletes, their coaches, directors, advisors and loyal supporters.

Contact: Amy Nugent, amy@renownmarketing.com or (651) 450-9222

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