2022: Dan Couillard, Gene Parrish, Jackie VanDiver
2020: Don and Jean Regan, Alyssa Karel Ylinen
2019: Marilyn Berg, Kathy Hanousek, Dan Schneeman
2018: John Tauer, Jr. and Johnny Tauer
2017: Steve Fritz
2016: Mark Courtney
2015: Jerry Bennek, Jack Peick, Pete Zwach
2014: Tom Perrault, Ken Markwardt, Midge Hernandez
2013: Bob Doane, Ted Steichen, Bob Tschida
2012: Ruth Opatz Sinn and Jeff Whisler
2011: Tom Hansen, Jim Pacholl and Wally Wescott
2010: Dennis Denning
2009: Matt Birk
2007: Tim Tschida
2004: Ed Brandt and Bill Ivory
2003: George P. Sweeney
Jim Rantz: 25th Anniversary 1973 Most Outstanding Male Athlete
Paul Molitor: 50th Anniversary 1998 John W. Hajlo Most Outstanding Athlete of the Half Century
Chris Weinke: Robert G. Doran Most Outstanding Male Athlete from 1973-1998
Jean Tierney Holt: Father Otto Neudecker Most Outstanding Female Athlete from 1973-1998
Nominees shall have distinguished themselves by demonstrating exceptional leadership, character, and achievement and shall have made significant contribution to the history and traditions of the CAA’s athletic programs.
Nominees must be a former CAA student athlete, manager, coach, staff member, administrator or special contributor to the CAA or one of its member schools.
2022 Nomination Deadline: October 15, 2021
Dan and his wife Marie have been married for 36 years and have six children and five grandchildren who have participated in the CAA. He attended St. Peter Grade School in Richfield and Holy Angels High School. Dan was in the Marine Corps for 3 years and graduated from the College of St. Thomas. After graduation he taught 9th grade at St. Agnes High School from 1985- 1988. He has been teaching Physical Education at Immaculate Conception School since 1988 to the present and was Athletic Director there from 1988-2020.
Dan started his coaching career in the CAA in the spring of 1989 for St. Agnes grade school. He coached the B-squad baseball team. The next 2 years he coached basketball and baseball.
In the fall of 1988, he became the physical education teacher and athletic director at Immaculate Conception School (ICS) in Columbia Heights. Since he started at ICS, he has coached at least one team in the CAA for the last 35 years. The sports he has coached include soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, and track. Both girls and boys and all levels from 4th grade to 8th grade.
As Athletic Director, Dan’s goal was to get as many students as possible to participate in the CAA athletic program. On average, ICS had 90% of their 4th-8th graders participating. In recent years, they have added ICS soccer teams for students in grades 1-4 and started a community soccer league with Fridley and Columbia Heights for them to play in.
Dan is proud of starting the Teresa Daley Volleyball Tournament and the ICS B-Squad Basketball tournament. He also continued the Tip-off Basketball Tournament started by Mike Schwartz.
Dan started and ran an independent instructional basketball league for boys and girls 6th grade and under on weekends. This allowed younger students to get more playing time to go along with CAA opportunities.
Dan also volunteers in his greater community coaching youth soccer and baseball teams in Columbia Heights, Fridley, New Brighton, and St. Anthony.
The CAA would like to congratulate Dan, his wife Marie and his children on his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Gene was hired at IHM-St. Luke’s in 1997 by Mary Mitzuk to teach physical education part time K-2. The following year he was hired on full-time as 3-8 physical education teacher. In 2002, Gene added the role of Athletic Director to his full-time teaching responsibilities and retired in 2015.
During his tenure at IHM-St. Luke’s, which is now St. Thomas More, Gene was able to build on existing programs and initiate several new ones including cross country and golf. He is proud of the involvement of fellow teachers, parents, and alumni that helped to make the programs successful.
Gene also managed multiple fundraising projects to help defray costs. Those projects included Fund-a-Needs at the school auctions and selling sweatshirts, hats, and old uniforms. Big projects included a new wood gym floor, adjustable backboards, playground equipment, new bleachers and a new scoreboard.
Gene is also proud of the many relationships he developed over the years to facilitate where his teams could play including the Midway YMCA, Linwood Park and Central High School.
The CAA would like to congratulate Gene, his wife Barb and his family on his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Jackie VanDiver began her career at St. Joseph’s School in West St. Paul in 1993. She taught physical education and coached volleyball. In 1998 she took over as Athletic Director until 2020. The Catholic Athletic Association has been an integral part of her life for many years. Through the CAA, she has met a wonderful group of dedicated individuals committed to providing an inclusive athletic experience for athletes of all abilities.
One of the many highlights of Jackie’s time as AD occurred during Catholic Schools Week. With the support of many amazing parent volunteers, “Spirit Week” was born. For one spirit-filled winter week, all basketball games were scheduled for home games. Some years, as many as 13 teams were playing their games in front of the home crowd. Popcorn was popped (1000 bags each day), concessions were sold, 36+ boxes of pizzas were devoured, the pep band fired up the crowds, and student announcers proudly introduced teams and players; all while 400+ students cheered on their teams to victory. It was such an energetic environment opposing teams asked to be invited back again the following year. Those are the days Jackie most fondly remembers.
Jackie is grateful for all the support she received from her family, teachers, administrators, parents, and the CAA staff when she worked in the program. She is proud of the program she helped build at St. Joseph’s to be one of the best, and most admired, in the CAA. She has been blessed tenfold by the opportunities and people she has met over the years and is honored to be receiving this award.
The CAA would like to congratulate Jackie, her husband Jon and her daughter Josie on her induction into the Hall of Fame.
Johnny is a 1987 graduate of Highland Catholic Grade School and played soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball. He played on the 8th grade teams for basketball and baseball as a 6th, 7th, and 8th grader. Dick Courtney was his basketball coach and Ray Bonnebeau, Bob Tschida and Courtney were his baseball coaches. He was a starter on the 8th grade basketball team as a 6th grader. During his 8th grade year, Highland Catholic won the CAA championship in volleyball, basketball and baseball.
From 1987 to 1991 Johnny attended Cretin-Derham Hall where he was instrumental in winning championships in baseball (1990) and basketball (1991) and played for legendary coaches Dennis Denning and Len Horyza. He was a captain in both of those sports and was named an All-State and Academic All-State athlete as well.
After a successful high school career wrapped up, Johnny made his way to the University of St. Thomas where he played under Steve Fritz. He was an All-MIAC player, first team All-West Region, and Academic All-America, and as a senior led the 1994-95 Toms to a school-record 27-0 start, including a MIAC championship with an unprecedented 20-0 record. Tauer ranks 14th in career scoring (1,219 points) and 15th in career rebounding (482) at St. Thomas, and was the school 3-point leader until 1999-2000. He ranks sixth on the MIAC all-time list for 3-point baskets. He also helped the 1993-94 Toms to a berth in the Division III Final Four.
Tauer was inducted into the St. Thomas Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. Tauer has spent 21 seasons with Tommie basketball, including the last 17 as a coach. His six-year head coaching record of 147-30 (.830) puts him on an elite list of only six active NCAA basketball coaches (out of 1,000+) to win more than 80% of their games. Tauer has twice been named National Coach of the Year (2013, Basketball Times; 2016, National Association of Basketball Coaches, D3 News), was an Academic All-American at UST, and teaches in the Psychology Department. We would like to congratulate Johnny, along with his sons Jack and Adam, on his Hall of Fame induction.
John Tauer attended St. Bernard's Grade School through 5th grade and attended Nativity of Our Lord from 6th - 8th grade, graduating in 1955. He competed in the CAA golf tournament and finished in second place as an 8th grader.
John went on to high school at St. Thomas Academy. He played basketball in the CAA Cadet League. This was a program established for high school students where you played to represent your parish.
After graduating from St. Thomas Academy in 1959, John went on to the University of Minnesota to study engineering, but changed his mind about his major and transferred to the College of St. Thomas where he earned his accounting degree. During college, John coached in the CAA Cadet League and upon graduation, took a teaching job at Nativity.
He taught there for a year, and then went on to a successful career with Piper Jaffray. But while he was at Nativity, it didn't take then Athletic Director Bob Doane long to figure out he wanted John as a coach. And so in 1967, Doane hired John to coach the 8th grade boys basketball team and he held that position for 19 years from 1967-1986. John also assisted on the College of St. Thomas JV basketball team from 1993-1998.
It is worth noting that John not only was a very successful coach, he is also a very accomplished golfer carrying a low handicap. He has recorded an amazing 10 holes in one and in some years, has played over 200 rounds of golf. Congratulations to John and his wife Michele, along with his children John and Julie, on his induction into the CAA Hall of Fame.