Three former Pioneers make WIAC Hall of Fame

Three former Pioneers make WIAC Hall of Fame

MADISON, Wis.--The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) has announced the members of its 2018 Hall of Fame class. The WIAC established a Hall of Fame to coincide with the conference's celebration of its 100th anniversary, which took place during the 2012-13 academic year.

The 27-member class for 2018 will be inducted at the WIAC Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on July 28, 2018, at UW-Eau Claire.

In announcing the 2018 class, WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner noted once again how difficult the selection process is given the 105-year history and incomparable success of the conference. "Quite frankly, there are dozens, if not hundreds, more individuals deserving of this honor. Therefore, it remains our intention to continue to induct future Hall of Fame classes every three years with the ultimate goal of recognizing those student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and others whose contributions and achievements have established and solidified the WIAC's status as the most accomplished Division III conference in NCAA history," added Karner.

For more information on the Hall of Fame class, please visit www.wiacsports.com.

Name                                                      School                                 Years                     Category

Scott Arneson                                     UW-Platteville                 1985-88                Student-Athlete (wrestling)

-Was a member of UW-Platteville's wrestling team from 1985-88, posting a career record of 126-25 and qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championship all four years. He earned All-America honors in 1985 with a fourth-place finish at 118 pounds and in 1988 with a fifth-place finish at 126 pounds. He was a three-time conference champion, securing the 118-pound title in 1986 and the 126-pound crown in 1987 and 1988. Arneson was named the John Peterson Wrestler of the Meet at the 1988 conference championship.

 

Jim Jianette                                          UW-Platteville                 1982-84                Student-Athlete (men's soccer)

-Was a member of UW-Platteville's men's soccer team from 1982-84, securing NAIA All-America accolades twice. He owns the NCAA Division III single-season record with 96 points, 5.33 points per game and 2.28 goals per game - established in 1983. Jianette's career marks of 247 points and 105 goals rank second on the NCAA Division III all-time list. He also added 142 career assists and tallied eight goals against Knox College (Ill.) on Sept. 24, 1983 – the third-highest total in NCAA Division III history. In 2012, he was selected to the WIAC Men's Soccer All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Stephanie (Sullivan) Gilmore        UW-Platteville                 1989-92                Student-Athlete (women's basketball)

-Was a member of UW-Platteville's women's basketball team from 1989-92, securing WBCA All-America First Team honors in 1992 – the only individual in program history to receive All-America recognition. She played in a program-record 108 games and ranks second on the conference's all-time list with 1,805 career points and 741 career field goals made, and is fourth with 1,035 career rebounds. Gilmore was an all-conference first team selection in 1990, 1991 and 1992 and all-defensive team pick in 1989 and 1992. She poured in 42 points against UW-Oshkosh on Feb. 19, 1992 – a total that matches the conference's single-game record.

 

Arlene (Meinholz) Beardsle          UW-Eau Claire                 1992-96                Student-Athlete (women's basketball/women's track & field)

-Was a member of UW-Eau Claire's women's basketball team from 1992-95 and women's track & field team from 1992-96. On the basketball court, Beardsle was a WBCA All-America First Team selection in 1995. That same year, she was named the conference's Player of the Year and Judy Kruckman Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete. The Blugolds compiled a 92-20 record in her four seasons, won three conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 1994 and the Elite Eight in 1995. She owns the WIAC record with 1,834 career points, and upon graduation, held school career marks with 758 rebounds, 213 blocked shots, 492 free throws attempted and 358 free throws made. In track & field, Beardsle won the NCAA Division III outdoor high jump championship in 1995 and indoor high jump title in 1996. She was a five-time All-American and four-time conference high jump champion. In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women's Basketball and Women's Track & Field All-Time Teams in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Jim Bollinger                                         UW-Eau Claire                 1953-57                Student-Athlete (baseball/football/men's basketball)

-Ranks as one of the best all-around athletes in Blugold archives. He earned 12 letters and played on four conference championship teams in football, basketball and baseball. Bollinger captained the basketball team for three years, including the 1955 squad that won the conference championship and posted a 20-2 record. The following year, they shared the conference title, played in the NAIA Tournament and finished with a 20-5 mark. He scored 1,057 points in his career. As quarterback, Bollinger helped the football team to the 1956 conference crown and earned All-Conference First Team honors in 1955 and 1956. In 1957, he produced a batting average over .384 to help the Blugold baseball team to the conference championship.

 

Tom Prior                                              UW-Eau Claire                 1969-99                Coach (men's and women's swimming & diving)

-Served as UW-Eau Claire's swimming & diving coach for three decades. As the men's coach from 1969-99, his teams won 25 conference championships and finished in the top 10 at the national meet 24 times. The Blugolds won 19 consecutive conference crowns from 1978-69 and finished as the NAIA national runner-up in 1978, 1979 and 1988. In 21 seasons as women's coach, UW-Eau Claire claimed 19 conference championships, including 18 straight from 1980-97. The Blugolds also claimed NAIA national championships in 1983, 1987 and 1988. During his tenure, 140 men and 102 women earned All-America distinction. In 1993, Prior was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was named the WIAC Men's Swimming & Diving and Women's Swimming & Diving All-Time Coach in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Jennifer (Tischaefer) Ignacio         UW-La Crosse                  1996-99                Student-Athlete (women's soccer)

-Was a member of UW-La Crosse's women's soccer team from 1996-99 and received All-WIAC First Team recognition all four seasons. In 1999, she was named the WIAC Judy Kruckman Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete. Ignacio tied a conference single-game record with six assists against Viterbo University (Wis.) on Oct. 2, 1996, and is tied for second with five goals against UW-Superior on Oct. 23, 1999. She owns school records with 68 career goals, 19 single-season goals, 172 career points and 50 season points. In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women's Soccer All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Jim Drews                                             UW-La Crosse                  1970-73                Student-Athlete (men's cross country/men's track & field)

-Was a member of UW-La Crosse's men's cross and track & field teams from 1970-73 and won four conference individual cross country titles (1970-73). He was a three-time cross country NAIA All-American, placing sixth at the national meet in 1971, ninth in 1972 and 13th in 1973. Drews was a 12-time conference champion in track & field and named the NAIA District 14 Most Valuable Player in track & field and cross country. UW-La Crosse's annual cross country meet is named in his honor (Jim Drews Invitational). He qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2012, he was selected to the WIAC Men's Cross Country and Track & Field All-Time Teams in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Barbara Gibson                                   UW-La Crosse                  1986-2016            Coach (women's gymnastics)

-Served as UW-La Crosse's women's gymnastics coach from 1986-2016 and led the squad to 17 NCGA championships and 20 conference titles. She was chosen the NCGA Coach of the Year six times and the WIAC Coach of the Year on six occasions. Gibson coached 32 NCGA individual champions, 78 conference individual champions, 209 All-Americans and posted a career record of 806-205, including 774-201 at UW-La Crosse. In 2012, she was selected the WIAC Women's Gymnastics All-Time Coach in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Terry Jorgensen                                 UW-Oshkosh                   1985-87                Student-Athlete (baseball)

-Was a member of UW-Oshkosh's baseball team from 1985-87, helping the Titans to a 109-15 record during that time. He was selected to the ABCA All-America First Team in 1986 and 1987 after earning ABCA All-America Second Team honors in 1985. Jorgensen was named the Most Valuable Player at the 1985 NCAA Division III World Series when UW-Oshkosh won the national title. He was a three-time All-WIAC Southern Division First Team selection and ranks third in NCAA Division III history with a career .900 slugging percentage. His .445 career batting average ranks second on the conference's all-time list. He was the 29th overall selection in the 1987 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Minnesota Twins and played in 91 games. In 2012, he was selected to the WIAC Baseball All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Tim Jorgensen                                     UW-Oshkosh                   1992-95                Student-Athlete (baseball)

-Was a member of UW-Oshkosh's baseball team from 1992-95, helping the Titans to a four-year record of 144-32. He was named the 1994 and 1995 NCAA Division III Player of the Year and selected the Most Valuable Player at the 1994 NCAA Division III World Series when UW-Oshkosh won the national title. He was a three-time All-WIAC First Team honoree and shares the NCAA Division III record with 70 career home runs. Jorgensen hit for the "home run cycle" against UW-Eau Claire on May 14, 1995. He owns the conference record with 237 career runs batted in, while ranking third with 200 runs scored. Jorgensen was drafted in the eighth round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Cleveland Indians. In 2012, he was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame and selected to the WIAC Baseball All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Mary (Leivian) Taylor                        UW-Oshkosh                   1986-89                Student-Athlete (women's gymnastics)

-Was a member of UW-Oshkosh's women's gymnastics team from 1986-89, claiming 15 national titles and 12 conference championships. She captured individual titles in the all-around and uneven bars at the 1986, 1987 and 1988 NAIA championships. Taylor was a four-time conference champion in the all-around from 1986-89 – the only gymnast in WIAC history to accomplish the feat. She helped the Titans secure the 1986 NAIA championship and 1989 NCGA championship. Taylor was inducted into the NCGA Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women's Gymnastics All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

**Roger Kuss                                      UW-River Falls                 1951-53                Student-Athlete (men's basketball)

-Was a member of UW-River Falls' men's basketball team from 1951-53, earning NAIA All-America recognition all three seasons. He scored 1,924 career points for a conference-record average of 27.5 points per game, including an astonishing 38.9 points per contest during the 1952-53 campaign. In 1953, Kuss was selected the national Player of the Year, conference Player of the Year and poured in 57 points against UW-Stout – the second-highest single-game total in conference history. He was a three-time all-conference selection and inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1959. In 2012, he was selected to the WIAC Men's Basketball All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Merilee (Healy) Cardinal                 UW-River Falls                 1992-95                Student-Athlete (women's gymnastics)

-Was a member of UW-River Falls' women's gymnastics team from 1992-95 and a nine-time NCGA All-American. In 1994, she secured the national title in the uneven bars and followed with a national championship in the balance beam in 1995. She is the only individual in program history to win a conference title in the all-around, accomplishing the feat in 1994 and 1995. In 1994, she was also a conference champion in the uneven bars and earned all-conference recognition in all five events. Cardinal was inducted into the NCGA Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women's Gymnastics All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

**Dr. R.A. Karges                               UW-River Falls                 1908-52                Coach (men's basketball) & Administrator (faculty athletics representative)

-Served as faculty athletic representative to the conference from 1912-52 and was the men's basketball coach from 1910-12. In those early days, the school could afford travel for only two conference games and filled out the season by playing area high schools. He loved spectator sports, but was also an energetic participant. Karges played handball and tennis and was an ardent cross-country skier. In 1959, he took part in laying the cornerstone for the physical education building on campus that was named in his honor from 1960-2017. The Falcon Center auxiliary gymnasium currently bestows his name.

 

Lynn "Red" Blair                                  UW-Stevens Point         1965-97                Coach (men's and women's swimming & diving)

-Served as UW-Stevens Point's swimming & diving coach from 1965-97 when he coached 477 first team and honorable mention All-Americans. He was selected the NAIA Coach of the Year in 1990 and the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1997. Blair was chosen the conference Coach of the Year three times. He led the men's team to 14 top-10 national finishes and the women's team to three top-10 finishes. Blair coached 13 individual national champions and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1985. He was the recipient of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Master Coach Award and Distinguished Coach Award.

 

Sheila Miech                                        UW-Stevens Point         1987-2011            Coach (women's soccer)

-Served as UW-Stevens Point's women's soccer coach from 1987-2011 and compiled a 365-117-31 record (.742 winning percentage). The 365 wins are the most in conference history and ranked 12th on the NCAA all-time list for any division upon her retirement. Her teams captured 14 WIAC regular-season championships and 15 tournament titles. From 1997-2003, UW-Stevens Point established a NCAA Division III record by winning 70 straight conference matches – a mark that currently ranks third all-time. The Pointers made 15 NCAA appearances during her tenure. In 2012, she was selected the WIAC Women's Soccer All-Time Team Coach in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Frank O'Brien                                      UW-Stevens Point         1991-2011            Administrator (director of athletics)

-The longest serving Director of Athletics in the history of Pointer athletics - assuming the role for 22 years. During his tenure, the Pointers won 82 conference championships, seven NCAA Division III team titles, the WIAC Men's All-Sports Award nine times, the WIAC Combined All-Sports Award four times, and in 2005, they secured their first WIAC Women's All-Sports Award. UW-Stevens Point finished in the Top 10 of the Directors' Cup Standings eight of the first 16 years, including a pair of fifth-place finishes. He also served as the President/Commissioner of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association for six years and the WIAC Women's Ice Hockey Championship trophy is named in his honor – "O'Brien Cup".

 

**Dwight Chinnock                           UW-Stout                          1940-69                Administrator (faculty athletics representative)

-It has been said, he was the glue that held the conference together during its middle years, serving as UW-Stout's faculty athletic representative to the conference from 1942-69. Chinnock was secretary of the conference for many years and was responsible for budget, officials, scheduling and records until a full-time commissioner was named in 1966. He was a member of the UW-River Falls football and men's basketball teams from 1918-20 and 1922, earning all-conference honors in football in 1920 and men's basketball in 1922. In 1969, Chinnock received an Award of Merit from the NAIA for his many years serving as the district eligibility chair.

 

Laura (Verdegan) Knudsen            UW-Stout                          2001-13                Student-Athlete (women's basketball/women's track & field) & Coach (women's track & field)

-Was a member of UW-Stout's women's track & field team from 2001-05, women's basketball team from 2001-04 and served as the track & field head coach from 2009-13. In track & field, she collected 12 All-America honors, one national title, 10 conference individual championships and held nine school records and two conference records. In 2004, Knudsen won the NCAA Division III indoor title in the triple jump. In 2005, she was the USTCA NCAA Division III Female Athlete of the Year. As head coach, she directed the men's team to a third-place national finish outdoors and fourth-place finish indoors. On the basketball court, Knudsen earned all-conference first team recognition in 2004 and 2005, and was a three-time all-defensive team honoree.  In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women's Track & Field All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.

 

Mel Coleman                                       UW-Stout                          1966-69                Student-Athlete (men's basketball)

-Although having never played high school basketball, Coleman a member of UW-Stout's men's basketball team from 1966-69, earning NABC All-America First Team recognition in 1969 – the only player in program history to accomplish the feat. In 1969, he was also selected conference Player of the Year – earning all-conference honors for the second straight season – and helped the Blue Devils reach the NAIA Tournament. Coleman's 38 rebounds against UW-Whitewater in 1968 still leads the conference's single-game list. He ranks fourth on the school's all-time chart with 1,069 career rebounds and compiled 1,130 points. In 1969, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals of the National Basketball Association and the Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association.

 

Jack Miller                                             UW-Whitewater            1999-2005            Administrator (chancellor)

-Served as UW-Whitewater's chancellor from 1999-2005 and oversaw completion of the $14.5 million Kachel Fieldhouse, home of UW-Whitewater indoor track & field and practice facility for multiple teams. During his tenure, the Warhawks won the first (women's volleyball – 2002) of 16 national championships in a 15-year span. He headed a highly successful campaign to raise money for a new College of Business and Economics building and was a global ambassador for Warhawk Athletics and UW-Whitewater. Miller was the chair of the Board of Governors of The Renaissance Group, a national organization of 37 universities devoted to training the next generation of educators.

 

Matt Turk                                              UW-Whitewater            1988-90                Student-Athlete (football) & Lifetime Achievement

-Was a member of UW-Whitewater's football team from 1988-90 and earned all-conference recognition in 1988 and 1990 when the Warhawks won conference titles. Turk played 17 seasons in the National Football League with six teams and averaged 42.4 yards per punt for his career. He was named to the All-Pro First Team in 1996 and selected to the Pro Bowl in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Turk appeared in the playoffs five times during his career and was the oldest player in the NFL when he retired.

 

Dave Vander Meulen                       UW-Whitewater            1979-2001            Coach (men's basketball)

-Served as UW-Whitewater's men's basketball coach from 1979-2001, accumulating a 440-182 record (.707 winning percentage) and leading the Warhawks to NCAA Division III championships in 1984 and 1989, as well as four conference titles. He was a two-time national Coach of the Year, five-time regional Coach of the Year and five-time conference Coach of the Year. His teams made 12 NCAA Division III appearances and compiled a 241-127 record in conference games. In 2013, Vander Meulen received the NABC Division III Outstanding Service Award.

 

Jason Church                                       WIAC Office                     2007                       Life-Time Achievement/Inspiration

-A former two-way player and four-year letter winner in football and 2011 graduate of UW-La Crosse. Upon graduation, Church was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the United States Army and following completion of Army Ranger School, Army Airborne School and Stryker Leader Course was deployed as a platoon leader to Afghanistan. On August 23, 2012, First Lieutenant Church was injured in an IED explosion that resulted in the loss of both legs below the knee. After undergoing 21 surgeries and a prolonged recovery, Church has gone on to earn a Master's degree in international relations from Georgetown University and is currently enrolled in law school at UW-Madison. On November 10, 2012, at his request and less than three months after he sustained his injuries, Jason's purple heart was awarded by his father (a US Army colonel) at a UW-La Crosse home football game. He was the 2014 Recipient of the NCAA Inspiration Award. 

 

Craig Culver                                          WIAC Office                     1999                       Contributor

-An alumnus of UW-Oshkosh, Culver is the co-founder and chairman of the board of one the most recognized and fastest-growing restaurant franchises in the nation. What started out in 1984 as a family run restaurant featuring ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard in Sauk City, Wisconsin, now consists of over 600 Culver's restaurants in 24 states. Over the past 20 years, Craig Culver and Culver's Franchising System have been significant contributors to the success of the WIAC to include sponsorships of the WIAC vs. NSIC Border Battle event, the WIAC Scholar-Athlete Recognition Program, the WIAC Student-Athlete Spotlight and Culver's is currently the presenting sponsor of all WIAC championships and postseason events. Craig Culver also was a significant supporter and contributor to the success of the WIAC Centennial Celebration.   

 

**Lou Pitt                                             WIAC Office                      1976-2010           Game Official (football, women's basketball, softball)

-A longtime sports official, Pitt was associated with the WIAC for nearly four decades. During that time, he officiated hundreds of WIAC contests in the sports of football, women's basketball and softball. While officiating records only go back so far, it is likely he officiated more WIAC athletics contests than any other official in the history of the conference. Pitt was selected to work numerous NCAA playoff games including 10 Division III football contests. He also worked extensively as a Division I and II basketball official and was selected to officiate the 1991 NCAA Women's Division I Championship game between Tennessee and Virginia.       

**Deceased

 

By: Matt Stanek, WIAC Assistant Commissioner for Media Relations