2010: EARL SANTEE
The architect of Target Field turned a desolate urban parking lot into the "best ballpark in America."
2009: BRETT FAVRE
The future Hall of Fame quarterback led the Vikings to a 12-4 regular season and into the NFC Championship Game. At 40 years old, Favre completed 68 percent of his passes and threw 33 touchdown passes.
2008: LINDSEY VONN
Vonn, who got her start on Burnsville's Buck Hill, became the most successful downhill skier in U.S. history and the first American woman in 25 years to win the World Cup overall championship.
2007: ADRIAN PETERSON
The Vikings' rookie sensation became an instant star, and in only his eighth game set an NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards against the Chargers.
2006: TWINS ORGANIZATION
A playoff team with a Cy Young Award winner (Johan Santana), an MVP (Justin Morneau) and a batting champ (Joe Mauer) also got approval for a new outdoor stadium.
2005: GREG ESLINGER
Virtually unnoticed by recruiters, the consensus All-America center became one of the greatest Gophers and won the Outland Trophy.
2004: LINDSAY WHALEN
The driving force behind the transformation of the Gophers women's basketball program.
2003: JOHN GAGLIARDI
The St. John's coach earned his 409th victory on Nov. 8, 2003, becoming college football's winningest coach, and his team won the NCAA Division III national title.
2002: HARRY CRUMP
The Hennepin County judge issued a restraining order that kept the Twins out of baseball's contraction plans.
2001: JOE MAUER
The baseball, basketball and football star at Cretin-Derham Hall was one of the state's all-time great prep athletes.
2000: JAC SPERLING
The Wild's chief executive officer led the NHL back to Minnesota and started the rally to build the "X."
1999: GLEN MASON
The Gophers' most successful football season in three decades earned him Coach of the Year honors from his Big Ten peers.
1998: RANDALL CUNNINGHAM
Out of football before joining the Vikings as a backup, he led the team to a 15-1 regular season.
NOTE: Candidates are nominated by members of the Star Tribune sports department, and a selection committee of staff members makes the final choice.