Bloomington Jefferson inducts six into athletic hall of fame
Jefferson High School has added an impressive list of six inductees into its athletic hall of fame.
Teri (Witcraft) Roder, Robert (Doc) Smith, John (Jake) Lynch, Robert Ohno, Marrisa Kimbrough and Richard Bird were inducted into the Jefferson Athletic Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony of the Jefferson-Burnsville football game Sept. 14 at Bloomington Stadium.
This former Jaguar athlete (class of 1993) was a three-sport high school standout in soccer, basketball and golf. Roder earned 10 varsity letters.
Roder received all-conference, all-state and most valuable player honors in soccer and basketball.
Roder went on to play basketball at the University of St. Thomas and helped the Tommies win three MIAC championships and reach the national Final Four tourney twice. The St. Thomas guard was a two-time all-conference selection and captain.
Roder later became Jefferson girls basketball and golf coach as well as athletic coordinator. She currently teaches physical education at Jefferson.
This Jefferson Hall of Fame inductee was the school’s first principal when the school opened in 1969.
In college, Smith received a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College where he played on championship football and wrestling teams. He was a MIAC heavyweight champion in wrestling.
As Jefferson’s principal, Smith supported over a dozen state, regional and conference championship teams from 1970-1985. He also served on various Minnesota State High School League, Lake Conference, region and district committees before retiring in 1985.
This longtime Bloomington resident was a teacher and coach from 1968-1997.
Lynch was a standout athlete in football, basketball and track at St. Cloud Cathedral High School. He went on to play basketball at St. John’s University and for the U.S. Army.
Lynch coached at St. Cloud Cathedral, Owatonna, Central High School in Montana and Waconia before becoming a teacher and assistant football coach at Bloomington Lincoln (1968-70).
Then he taught and coached at Jefferson until retiring in 1997.
This 1982 Jefferson graduate earned nine letters in soccer, hockey and baseball. He was a captain in soccer, hockey and baseball.
Ohno attained all-state honors in soccer and hockey. He was an all-conference baseball pick as a senior.
Ohno appeared with the Jaguars in three state hockey tournaments and celebrated a state championship with his teammates during his junior season.
In college, Ohno participated on the Harvard University hockey team and the Crimson finished second in the NCAA national tournament during his senior season.
Ohno currently works for the PGA Tour and is a youth sports volunteer.
This Jefferson grad (class of 1995) lettered in volleyball and track. In volleyball, Kimbrough achieved all-metro and all-state honors.
Kimbrough was a high school All-American volleyball player. She holds the school record for career kills with 2,380 and was team co-captain during her junior and senior seasons.
Kimbrough enrolled at Southern Illinois University and played four years of college volleyball.
This 1965 graduate of Bloomington High School lettered twice in both football and track. Bird was named all-conference in football.
Bird played college football at Wayne State and Mankato. After college, Bird coached numerous Bloomington Athletic Association (BAA) teams and served as a volunteer football coach at Kennedy High in 1965.
Bird became Lincoln High’s football and track coach before coaching football, track and baseball at Jefferson from 1970 to 2001. He also served as Jefferson’s athletic coordinator from 1998 to 2006.
Bird was awarded the Butch Nash Assistant Football Coach of the Year in 1989 from the State High School Football Coaches Association.
Bird co-founded and organized the Jefferson Football Golf Tournament for 12 years. This tournament has raised over $38,000 for student scholarships.
Bird continues to work part-time as a sports coordinator and supervisor for the City of Bloomington.