July 2, 2013
Denfeld Alumni News
Maas to be inducted into UMD Athletic Hall of Fame
By Rick Weegman
Six University of Minnesota Duluth luminaries -- including 1959 Denfeld grad Tom Maas -- will be paid a lasting tribute on Sept. 20 when they become the newest additions to the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame.
A lifelong Duluth resident, Maas helped lead the Bulldogs to four consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team titles (1960 to '63) and a third-place finish at the 1962 NAIA National Championships -- their best national showing in program history. Individually, he took runnerup honors at that event en route to becoming the Bulldogs' first All-American first-team honoree in any sport, sharing that distinction with teammate and 2010 UMD Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Ron Johnson, who finished fourth.
Upon graduation, Maas, who captured runnerup honors at the 1960 MIAC meet and qualified individually for the NAIA Championships that same year, continued to make his mark on the amateur golfing circuit. At one time or another, he held or equaled six course records: Enger Park Golf Course (Duluth, Minn.); Mesaba Country Club (Hibbing, Minn.); Port Byron Golf Course (Port Byron, Ill.); OakwoodCountry Club (Coal Valley, Ill.); Valley Oaks Golf Club, (Clinton, Iowa); and Peoria Country Club (Peoria, Ill.)
In addition, Maas captured titles at more than two dozen events as an amateur including the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Tournament (seven times), the Oakwood Country Club Invitational President's Cup (1971 and 1973) and the 1972 Midwest Pro-Am tournament.
Maas was also the individual champion of the 1969 Velie Cup Greater Illinois and Iowa Country Club Tournament Series and was low amateur in the 1975 PGA Tour Quad Cities Open Pro-Am event (now named the John Deere Classic), firing a 66. He retired from competitive golf in 1975.
Maas had an outstanding athletic career while at Denfeld as well, where he played several sports, most notably hockey and golf. He was among the top goal scorers on three highly ranked Denfeld hockey teams from 1957 to '59 and was the top point scorer on the 1959 “Big Nine” Champion team, which ranked number one in the state that season.
In 1958, Mass was named Minnesota Junior Golfer of the Year by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and represented Minnesota at the National Jaycee Junior Golf Tournament at Tucson, Ariz. The following year he won both the District and Region 7 golf tournaments and finished second individually at the Minnesota State High School Tournament, leading Denfeld to a runner-up finish. He lettered a total of eight times in hockey, golf, football and baseball.
Maas earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and history from UMD in 1963. During his career as an entrepreneur, he successfully created or turned around numerous companies and generated jobs in the medical, construction, apparel and food and beverage industries throughout the Midwest and Southwest. Locally, his business ownership interests have included THM Biomedical (acquired by Kensey Nash Corporation in 2000) and Garon Knitting Mills (acquired by Aquila Knitting in 1990).
Maas is currently chairman of Maas Group, an Arizona residential and commercial development company.
In addition to Maas, who was inducted for his performance on the golf team, the hall of fame honorees are Amory Bodin (football), Guy "Goose" Gosselin (men's hockey), Maria Rooth (women's hockey), Jenny (Warrick) Reierson (soccer) and Chris Swiatkiewicz (baseball).
The 16th UMD Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, which is open to the public, will be held at the Holiday Center's Lake Superior Ballroom in downtown Duluth. The event kicks off with a 5:30 p.m. social, followed by a 6:15 p.m. dinner, and a 7 p.m. program.
Steve LePage, the former long-time sports anchor at WDIO-TV in Duluth and television voice of Bulldog hockey and football, is scheduled to serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
The six inductees will also be recognized at halftime of UMD's football clash with defending Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champion Minnesota State University-Mankato the following evening.