Minnesota Hall of Famer, first B1G athlete to be drafted in three sports dies at 73
A Minnesota sports legend has passed away.
On Saturday, the University of Minnesota announced that “M” Club Hall of Fame member and a former B1G Medal of Honor winner Noel Jenke died on Thursday, July 23. He was 73.
Jenke was a native of Owatonna, Minnesota and played three sports while at the University of Minnesota in the 1960s — football, baseball and hockey. He was drafted in all three sports, becoming the first B1G athlete to achieve that incredible feat.
Jenke was drafted by the MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the WHA’s Minnesota Fighting Saints.
During his career at Minnesota, Jenke earned seven varsity letters. He was a First Team All-B1G selection in football in 1968, playing the linebacker position. He was also an All-American selection and First Team All-B1G pick as an outfielder in baseball during the 1969 season.
Jenke went on to have a three-year career in professional baseball and spent five seasons in the NFL.
When his time as a student-athlete concluded at Minnesota, Jenke was named the recipient of the B1G Medal of Honor, presented to the individual who “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.”