The Northland has a strong heritage of outstanding athletes who not only competed in their sport locally, but went on to achieve national (and sometimes international) recognition.  To honor those individuals, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) started a Hall of Fame 27 years ago; the 2019 class has been announced and induction ceremonies scheduled.

On Thursday, May 16 - six individuals will join the Hall of Fame - at a ceremony and dinner which will be held in the DECC's Horizon Room.

  • Bob Davidson:  Served as an umpire in Major League baseball for 28 years, working one World Series and three National League Championship Series.  Locally, Bob played baseball for UMD after graduating from Duluth East.
  • Willard Ikola:  Worked as a high school coach for Edina, leading them to eight Minnesota state high school titles.  Willard was also a goaltender on the 1956 U.S. Olympic team.  He was inducted into the U. S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth in 1990.
  • Tom Kurvers:  Played eleven seasons in the National Hockey League for seven teams.  Currently serves as the assistant General Manager for the Minnesota Wild.  His earlier career included the 1984 Hobey Baker Memorial Award and the All-American for UMD.
  • Lori Ogren:  Competed in the 1989 Pan Am Games and the 1992 Summer Olympics.  In highs school, Lori was a multi-sport standout at South Shore (Port Wing) and also earned three letters each in volleyball, basketball, and softball while at UMD.
  • Mark Sertich:  Recognized as the world's oldest hockey player at 97 years of age.  Mark has been featured on national media outlets.
  • William Wirtanen:  The late educator made a career teaching and coaching at Gilbert High School and Mesabi Range College.  He was also a three-sport standout (football, basketball, track and field) at Virginia High School.  Wirtanen also served as the president and vice president for NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association).

The DECC Athletic Hall of Fame will now have 74 members - the first of which were installed in 1968.