AHS to induct 7 new Hall of Fame members

Published 12:33 am Saturday, January 14, 2012

Austin High School will induct seven new people to its Athletic Hall of Fame Committee at halftime of the Packers’ girls basketball game against Rochester John Marshall Friday.

The inductees include Ruth Rehn, Nolan Dugan, Colin Keller, Tricia Bednar Worden, Brooke Divine Scherer, Theresa Lang Schmidt and Teri Watkins.

The inductees will meet the public on the KAUS radio show broadcast live from B & J Grill Saturday at 9 a.m. There will be a luncheon at St. Olaf Lutheran Church Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

Ruth Rehn, coach from 1969-1973

At a time when there were no sports for girls, Ruth spearheaded their development in Austin. She was the first person to coach the first three AHS girls teams: gymnastics, track and volleyball. Although the records for volleyball do not exist, Ruth started gymnastics in 1969 and track a year later. Both teams were immediately successful. Former athletes recall Ruth’s organizational skills, work ethic, and perseverance as well as her kindness and caring when encouraging them to do the best. Ruth’s gymnastics teams were 18-6 and won the Big Nine twice and her track teams went 10-3 and advanced to the first and second Minnesota girls state track meets. The Packers tied for second in 1973.

Ruth was advocate for equity in girls’ programs. In the early, 1970s obstacles denied girls full and equal participation. Girls practiced after boys’ teams at all levels were done — usually in the evening and they wore the same uniform from sport to sport.

Ruth left Austin in 1973 to become Assistant Executive Director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association, a position she held for 34 years until retiring in 2008. During her tenure, Ruth was a nationally recognized role model and mentor to athletes, school administrators, coaches and game officials and respected for her knowledge, leadership and passion. She was inducted into the Federation of State High School Association’s National High School Hall of Fame 2009.


Nolan Dugan, class of 1936

Nolan was a three-sport athlete who played basketball, football and baseball. Over his AHS career, Nolan earned 10 letters. His basketball team won two Big Eight Conference titles and won the state tournament in 1935. The 1935 team was the first AHS team to win the state basketball tourney.

Nolan played for the legendary coach Earl Y. Sangster. He received the Most Outstanding Player Award his junior and senior years. Nolan also played on the first ever AHS baseball team and won two letters.

Nolan lettered in all three sports at St. Olaf College, where he was recognized for his unselfish play. After college, he played shortstop, third base and pitched in the Southern Minny Baseball League. He also bowled, winning several national titles, refereed football, and basketball and umpired baseball. He was a captain in the marines and served during WWII and the Korean War.

Colin Keller, class of 1975

Colin played football and ran track. He won two letters in football, he was All-Big Nine and he played in the State North-South Shrine game.

Colin earned three letters in track and qualified for the state meet each year he lettered. He set a new AHS record for high hurdles, and in 1975, he received the Terry Larson Award for the most outstanding senior athlete.

After graduation, Colin played football at South Dakota State University, where he was a defensive back for three years.

Today he is a branch manager for Quality Resource Group, Inc. in Minneapolis. He and his wife Vanessa have two sons.

Tricia Bednar Worden, class of 1988

Tricia earned 11 letters during her AHS career — five in swimming, one in track, three in softball and two in basketball. She held the AHS record in low hurdles in track and in swimming she was named All Big Nine four times and participated in the state swim meet three times.

Tricia played shortstop on the 1987 state champion softball team. She was All-Conference honorable mention in 1986, and she was All Big Nine in 1987 and 1988. She was All-Region honorable mention in 1987 and All-Region in 1988.

Tricia continued to play basketball and softball after graduation at Austin Community College. She lettered in both sports and was selected to the All-State Community College softball team in 1990. She lives in Mantorville, Minn. today with her husband Thomas and two daughters. She is a sonographer at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester.

Brooke Divine Scherer, class of 1994

Brooke made the swim team in seventh grade, earned six letters and co-captained the team in 1992 and 1993. She won two Big Nine championships as a member of the 400 and 200 freestyle relay teams and 200 relay team qualified for state three times. Brooke and her teammates earned All-State honors for finishing seventh in 1992 and she was named All-American in 1994.

In track, Brooke was a five-time letter winner, three-time All Big Nine selection and three-time All-State selection. She first broke the AHS 300-meter hurdles record in 1991 with a time of 48.08 and she won the Big Nine Title in that event twice and the Section 1AA title in that event three times. Brooke was a member of the section winning 400-meter relay team and section winning 200-meter relay team in 1994. At state, Brooke finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles in 1992, second in 1993 and sixth in 1994. In 1993, she broke her own 300-meter hurdles record with a time of 45.1 seconds. Her 4 x 400 and 4 x 200 relay teams also finished high enough at state to garner All-State honors.

Brooke earned a scholarship to Drake University where she ran track for four years. After graduation, she went on to medical school and is a pediatrician at Children’s Health Partners in Naperville, Ill. She and her husband Adam have three children.
Theresa Lang-Schmidt, class of 1995

Theresa was a three-sport athlete and she won 10 letters over her AHS career. She won four letters in track and three in volleyball. Theresa earned All-Big Nine honors in volleyball as a junior and a senior.

She was a three-time letter winner and three-time All-Big Nine selection in basketball. Theresa scored 1,309 career points and had a career-high of 36 points in a 1995 game. She was named to the All-State basketball and All-State academic teams and she was also a Minnesota Miss Basketball Finalist in 1995.

Theresa became a standout player at North Dakota State University, where she set several NDSU scoring records, earned All-Conference records and was among the finalists for the 1999 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. She lives in Rockford, Minn. today.

Teri Watkins, class of 1995

Teri earned 10 letters in three sports — tennis, basketball and track. In addition to winning three letters in tennis, she was named to the 1995 All Big Nine team and advanced to the 1995 state tournament in doubles.

Teri lettered three times in basketball and she earned All-Big Nine honors three times. She made nine-three pointers in a game, shot 92 percent from the line and recorded 12 steals in a game.

Teri lettered in track four times and made the All-Big Nine team three times. She held three AHS track records: the 4 x 200-meter and the 4 x 400-meter relays in 1994 and the 400 set in 1995. As a senior, she qualified for the state track meet in four events — the 100, 200, 400 and long jump. After finishing third in the 400, Teri was named to the All-State track team and she also earned Academic All-State honors.

Teri played basketball at St. Cloud State, where she became a 1,000 point scorer. She currently lives in Edina, Minn. and works for Capella.