Honoring outstanding Orediggers
Attend any Mines athletics event and you’ll likely feel a surge of Oredigger pride. Whether it’s the joy of an athlete making that game-winning goal to clinch the division championship or the excitement of spectators stomping their feet in the stands after a fourth-quarter touchdown, that sense of loyalty brings the Mines community together.
That pride was apparent at another athletics-related event this fall—the Mines Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner and Auction. More than 400 alumni, friends, current student-athletes and coaches filled Lockridge Arena in October to support
the six new Hall of Fame inductees who distinguished themselves either by virtue of their performance in competition or through their outstanding contributions on behalf of Mines Athletics.
Each inductee was selected by the Hall of Fame Committee and is a Mines alumnus or alumna who graduated five or more years ago, a former coach or administrator or an outstanding contributor to or supporter of Mines Athletics.
This year’s inductees included:
Cross Country/Track & Field
Heather Beresford ’07 earned more all-America honors than any other female student-athlete in Mines history, standing on the podium nine times during her decorated cross country and track & field career.
Beresford is the only two-time cross country all-American in Mines women’s history. She led the 2002 team to nationals for the first time and the 2005 squad that finished a program-best fifth at NCAA Championships. On the track, she earned seven more all-America medals, including two national runner-up finishes in the indoor mile and another in the distance medley relay. She also garnered a third-place finish in the outdoor 1500m.
Beresford’s versatility on the track was impressive, and more than a decade after graduating, she continues to hold the program records in the indoor mile and outdoor 1500m, along with numerous top-10 performances. Her indoor mile time is still more than a second faster than any other runner in a program that has had five mile all-Americans since she graduated.
Quarterback Clay Garcia ’11, MS ’12 had a decorated career for the Orediggers from 2008 to 2011 that included a pair of all-America nods and a spot as a finalist for the 2010 Harlon Hill Trophy. In two-plus years as the Orediggers’ full-time starter, he threw for 7,657 yards and 61 touchdowns, completing 62.8 percent of his career passes. His 39 touchdown passes in 2010 at the time was tied for the program season record, and his 61 career scoring throws ranks fourth in Mines history. Garcia was the 2011 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year in football and the first student-athlete in Mines football history to be a two-time Academic All-American.
Garcia remains the only Mines football player to be a two-time first-team selection—something only seven student-athletes in Mines history, in any sport, have done. In 2018, Garcia was one of only 11 football players from Colorado to be selected to the National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter’s 25th Anniversary Team, recognizing the state’s best scholar-athletes over the past quarter-century.
The first Hall of Fame inductee from women’s soccer, Kayla (Mitchell) Jacobsen ’10, MS ’11 still holds one of the best scoring rates in RMAC history. The Mines record holder with 76 career goals, Jacobsen helped the Orediggers emerge as a power in the early days of the program and contributed to the team’s first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009.
Jacobsen is still second in RMAC history in scoring and in single-season goals— her 30 career game-winning goals remains the RMAC record a decade later. Jacobsen stands alone in the Mines record book in career goals, hat tricks (8) and points (170), and she is the only player in program history to score four goals in a game. Her streak of 10 straight games with a goal in the 2008 season is an RMAC record and ranks seventh in NCAA Division II history.
Jacobsen was women’s soccer’s first All-American and Academic All-American following her record-setting senior season in 2009 that also earned her Daktronics Regional Player of the Year, RMAC Player of the Year and RMAC Academic Player of the Year honors.
Harold ’68 and Patricia Korell were inducted in the Outstanding Contributors category for their longtime support of Mines Athletics and the university as a whole. The Harold M. and Patricia M. Korell Athletic Center, part of the Clear Creek Athletic Complex project, has had a huge impact on all Mines student-athletes since it opened in 2015, providing strength and conditioning, sports medicine and meeting spaces utilized by all Oredigger varsity teams.
The Korells have also supported the Korell Men’s Basketball Scholarship, the Korell Scholarship Endowment and the construction of Marquez Hall, along with many other projects at Mines.
A star athlete from 2008 to 2012, Jim Knous ’12 stands as one of Mines’ most accomplished golfers. As an Oredigger, Knous was an all-American in 2012, finishing tied for the lead at the NCAA Division II national championship. He was the 2012 RMAC Player of the Year, a two-time PING All-Region pick, and a four-time First-Team All-RMAC selection. As a senior, he finished second in the GolfStat D-II rankings and led the only Mines team to qualify for nationals in 2012.
After Mines, his golf dream continued as a professional, with Knous working his way onto the Web.com Tour and, now, the PGA Tour. In fall 2018, Knous became the first RMAC alumnus to earn a full-time PGA Tour card, and he notched three top-15 finishes as a rookie in 2019.
Knous also mentors current Mines golfers as he continues to live and train locally.