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Courtesy: WMU

John Offerdahl to be Inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 04/18/2013
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CLEVELAND, Ohio -  The Mid-American Conference announced today the 2013 MAC Hall of Fame Induction Class as seven new members will be inducted in the MAC Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 30 at the MAC Honor’s Dinner at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel.

The seven inductees are Dave Keilitz (Central Michigan, baseball), Kim Knuth (Toledo, women’s basketball), Bill Mallory (Miami, football), Brad Maynard (Ball State, football), John Offerdahl (Western Michigan, football), Christi Smith (Akron, track and field) and Gary Trent (Ohio, men’s basketball).

Offerdahl, who was a two-time Associated Press All-American and five-time NFL Pro Bowl selection with the Miami Dolphins, becomes the seventh WMU Bronco to be inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame.

Inductee Sport Year Inducted
Manny Newsome MBB 1988*
Charlie Maher BSB 1989
Ira Murchison T&F 1990
Fran Ebert SB/WBB 1991
Bill Lajoie BSB 1991
John Gill ATH/ADMIN/COACH 1994
John Offerdahl FB 2013
* Charter member    

Offerdahl (1982-85) was a third-team Associated Press All-American linebacker in 1984 and second-team in 1985, along with being the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Offerdahl set conference career record for tackles (694) and Western Michigan career leader for recovered fumbles (8) and second for forced fumbles (17).

Offerdahl topped the MAC in tackles (1983-84-85) and was second as a freshman in 1982. His 192 stops in 1983 is a Bronco season standard. His college No. 49 was retired by Western Michigan in 1995. Offerdahl was picked to play in the East-West Shrine and Senior Bowl All-Star games and was Defensive MVP of the Senior Bowl.

Offerdahl was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second-round, 53rd overall, of the 1986 NFL Draft. Offerdahl was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 1986 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first five seasons in the league. Offerdahl retired prior to the start of the 1994 season, following three consecutive years of injuries.

Offerdahl started a successful chain of bagel shops in 1989, which became part of the coast-in-coast Noah Bagel Company. In 1990, the Offerdahl’s co-founded Offerdahl’s Bagel Gourmet and grew the concept to 10 stores before joining three other bagel entrepreneurs in March of 1995 to form Einstein Bros. Bagels, a national bagel retailer.

From March 1995 to June of 1996, Offerdahl served as VP of Operations for Florida. He was involved in growing 27 stores in the Florida market during that time. The public company currently operates over 400 stores system-wide. Offerdahl served on Einsteins’ Board of Directors until the spring of 1997. Offerdahl currently operates seven quick-casual restaurants named Offerdahl’s Café Grille.

Offerdahl was inducted into the Western Michigan Hall of Fame in 1996. He graduated from Western Michigan in 1986 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science. Offerdahl and his wife, Lynn, have three children, Alexandra, Drew and Jameson. The couple reside in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“It is only appropriate for our conference to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our former student-athletes and coaches, specifically these seven individuals, and their achievements during their time competing in the Mid-American Conference,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, MAC Commissioner. “We are honored to welcome them to the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame.”

The MAC Hall of Fame was approved by the MAC Council of Presidents in 1987. The charter class was inducted in 1988 and subsequent classes were added in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994. After six induction classes, the MAC Hall of Fame maintained 52 members until it was reinstated in May of 2012. This year’s class brings the number of MAC Hall of Fame inductees to 65 individuals from eight classes.

“I am extremely proud that we have reinstated the MAC Hall of Fame, which was originally started by former MAC Commissioner Jim Lessig. Our Hall of Fame is a testament to the achievement of those that have competed in this great conference,” added Steinbrecher.