MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Sports Hall of Fame will induct four new members on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in the Great Lakes Room of the University Center. A social hour beginning at 6 p.m. will kick off the evening which will be followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. The Sports Hall of Fame ceremony is being held in conjunction with the Student-Athlete Awards Banquet.
The first 2012 inductee into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame is Jim Driscoll. He was an assistant football coach at NMU for 4 head coaches leading the defensive side of the ball. In his first tour from 1978-85, the Wildcats were 57-25, a 70 percent winning percentage.
During this era, the Wildcats reached the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1980, 1981 and 1982. In 1980, the Wildcats had the nation’s fifth-ranked scoring and rushing defense and was sixth overall in total defense.
“Coach Driscoll taught me the importance of perfecting technique, paying attention to detail, being prepared for everything and finally going out on the field to lay it all on the line,” former NMU strong safety Jerry Woods said. “He used to say: ‘If you’re not drained emotionally and physically after a game, you’re not playing hard enough.’”
Woods went on to play in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers after his years at NMU. Five other Wildcats played professional football after their years of playing on NMU’s defense under Driscoll. Peter Raeford, Chuck Klingbeil, Bobby Jurasin, Mark Maddox, Reggie Oliver and Jim Sczpaniak played professionally on the gridiron.
Driscoll also helped mold many coaches, most notable Jerry Rosberg, who currently is the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. Rosberg played under Driscoll at North Dakota State and joined him at NMU in 1981-85.
“Jim Driscoll has a brilliant football mind,” Rosberg said in 2006. “His knowledge of the game is far above many who coach football at the highest levels. He also has a unique ability to motivate and communicate and to engender loyalty amongst his players and fellow staff members. The list of lives that he has touched while at NMU is long and illustrious.”
Also in Driscoll’s coaching tree are current Hall of Fame members: Steve Mariucci, Herb Grenke, Dick Koski, Al Sandona, Randy Awrey, Buck Nystrom, and Bill Rademacher. NMU players who have found coaching success through Driscoll include: Chris Hofer, Brad Grayvold, Jovan Dewitt, Jeff Olson, Peter Raeford, Mark Marana, Tony Michels, Shane Richardson, Ben Larman, Bill Foster, Ryan Wender, Dan Miller, Mike Boomer, Kurt Huffmaster, Karl Boree, and others.
In 1988, Driscoll started the University of Mary’s (N.D.) football program. In 1991 he returned to NMU as defensive coordinator for Mark Marana. After retiring in 1994 from NMU he assisted at Negaunee and Ishpeming High Schools before becoming the head coach at Marquette Senior High School.
Driscoll returned to NMU as the defensive coordinator for the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
He and his wife, Mary Jo, have two daughters, Kathy and Debbie, and two sons, Steve and Tim, and 9 grandchildren. Tim is the current defensive coordinator for Michigan Tech University.
Tickets for the evening are $20 for adults and $15 for students. They can be purchased at the NMU Superior Dome Ticket Office or by calling 906-227-1032.
The banquet is sponsored in part by Superior Oasis and Downtown EyeCare.
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