Blugold Hall of Fame
Steve Kurth's association with Blugold athletics totals 36 years. It began for the Eau Claire native when he transferred back from St. John's University to play football and basketball for the Blugolds. He was an All-Conference center and linebacker in football and earned the team co-MVP award for the 1960 season.
After teaching and coaching two years at Cadott High School and spending two years in in Morocco with the Peace Corps, Kurth obtained his master's degree from Washington State and his doctorate from the University of Oregon. He returned to his alma mater in 1968 as a teaching member of the physical education department. He was Link Walker's football assistant for 15 years and Ken Anderson's basketball assistant for seven years. He served 17 years (1975 through 1992) as the men's athletics director including nine as chair of the combined department of physical education and athletics. During his term as AD, the Blugolds won five Wisconsin State University Conference (WSUC) All Sports championships.
A widely respected administrator, Kurth spent 10 years on the NAIA District 14 executive committee with eight years as chair. Nationally, he chaired the NAIA District Chairs and the NAIA Divisions of Competition committees. He served as President of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) and, for six years, was on the NCAA Division III Ice Hockey Committee. After serving several terms as chair of the WSUC Faculty Reps, he was appointed to chair the transition team responsible for the merger of the WSUC (men's conference) and the Wisconsin Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC) into the current Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference.
After being named Associate Dean in the School of Education in 1992, Kurth continued his association with athletics as the men's Faculty Athletics Representative to both the WIAC and the NCHA.
A career of service also included assisting community members and professionals with the development of a successful cardiac rehabilitation program in the city of Eau Claire and serving terms on the University Faculty Senate, the university's Foundation Board of Directors and the Chippewa Valley United Way. During the summer of 1974, he was a U.S. State Department Grantee to provide workshops in physical education and athletics in Madagascar, Chad, the Ivory Coast and Senegal. During his nine years in the School of Education, he also chaired the UW System Deans and Directors of Education Committee for two years.
When Kurth retired from the university a year ago, he was cited as a leader in education and athletics as well as an outstanding teacher and coach. He has previously been inducted into the NAIA District 14 Hall of Fame and the Regis High School Hall of Fame and was a 2001 recipient of the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus award.
Kurth and his wife Judy are the parents of four boys: Nicholas, 23, and Nathaniel, 21, and Christopher and Benjamin who are deceased.