Nine to be Inducted Into Blugold Hall of Fame
Posted: Friday, October 9, 2009 at 9:00 AM
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Three national champions and two All-Americans are among nine individuals that have been tabbed for induction into the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Hall of Fame on October 24.
The 2009 class, which will be inducted October 24, includes football players Roger Hedrington and Cary Osborn, basketball player Eric Davis, basketball player and coach Todd Oehrlein, volleyball and track athlete Maria (Jensen) Miller, track athlete Lisa (Marshall) Irsfeld, diver Sara (Mulatz) Toth, swimmer Pat Anderson and sports information director and athletics administrator Tim Petermann.
This group represents the 33rd class of men's inductees and the 20th class of women's inductees and brings the number of athletes, coaches and administrators who have been honored to 174.
The Blugold Hall of Fame was established in 1973 to pay tribute, give deserved recognition and enhance school tradition by honoring former athletic letterwinners, coaches or administrators who showed distinctive, unique or exceptional ability while on the campus at Eau Claire and have distinguished themselves in their profession or personally since leaving the institution.
For women athletes, there must be a lapse of 10 years from their final season of eligibility before they can be considered for induction and for men 15 years.
The class will be recognized at halftime of the football game vs. UW-Stout October 24 and inducted during a banquet at the Eau Claire Country Club that evening. A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner at 6:30 and the program at 7:30. Tickets for the banquet, which will also include presentation of the Blugold Super Six Salute award winners from 2008-09 and recognition of the Joe Merten Coaching Award and scholarship recipients, are $20 and can be obtained by contacting the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association at (715) 836-3266 or email@example.com. Local television sports director Bob Gallaher will present the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees.
Irsfeld, Toth and Anderson all won national championships. Miller and Davis earned All-American recognition. Hedrington, Osborn and Oehrlein were All-Conference in their sports with Osborn setting school records and Oehrlein also earning NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition. After a brief absence, Oehrlein returned to the institution as an assistant basketball coach and later assumed the head men's golf coaching position, directing the team to a national championship. Petermann has been associated with Blugold athletics for the past 42 years, 36 as the school's first fulltime sports information director. He has been an athletics administrator since 1975.
One of the most successful eras in Blugold swimming history was the period from 1985-89 when Coach Tom Prior's juggernaut won four consecutive WSUC championships and placed among the top four teams at four consecutive NAIA nationals including a runner-up finish in 1988. Leading the way was three-time team MVP Pat Anderson.
Anderson won the gold medal in the 200 individual medley at the 1989 NAIA finals. He had also been a member of the 800 freestyle relay team which claimed a gold in 1987. In addition to those national championships, Anderson had 13 other finishes (individual and relay) among the top three at nationals. He personally contributed 238 team points in conference meets and 262.5 in the four national meets including 90 as a senior. He was the team MVP in 1987, 1988 and 1989.
Anderson was a six-time conference individual champion, twice winning the 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and the 200 individual medley. In addition, he swam on nine first-place relay teams. In national competition, he was an All-American more than 20 times. He set school records in the 200 individual medley and as a member of the 400 freestyle relay and 800 freestyle relay teams.
Since leaving Eau Claire, Anderson has coached swim clubs, high school teams and college teams. These have included the Rochester Swim Club, Bloomington Aquatics Club, Barracuda Aquatics Club and the Marlins Swim Club. He has coached the Rochester Mayo girls, the Shakopee girls, the Moorhead girls and boys and the Fargo (ND) South boys.
He currently is the head coach of the Fargo South boys team as well as the Moorhead girls team. Since 2002, he has been the diving coach for Concordia College and in 2006 coached Division III national champion Anne Cullen. Luke Pechmann, who trained with Anderson while swimming for the Moorhead Marlins' swim club, qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials in the 50-yard freestyle. Anderson has had a number of state champions at the high school level as well as conference champions and national qualifiers at the college level.
He also is Team Minnesota Head Coach, directing an All Star Team in the Central Zone Championships.
A Minneapolis native, Anderson has three children-Blake Otto, age 17; Beau Andrew John, age 13; and Breah Le, age 11.
Davis, a 6-7 center, played on four consecutive Blugold teams that won NAIA District 14 championships and advanced to the NAIA Nationals in Kansas City. His senior season of 1988-89, the Blugolds produced a 29-4 overall record and placed third in the 32-team national tournament. After being named All-Conference for a second consecutive year and the player of the year in NAIA District 14, he was also named an NAIA third team All-American.
Davis, a native of Hamtramck, Michigan, did not begin playing basketball until his junior year of Eau Claire. At Eau Claire, he started 90 of 94 games during his final three seasons and played in 114 for his career, scoring 1,172 points (ranks 23rd all-time) with 748 rebounds and 186 blocked shots. He ranks among the top field goal shooters in school history, having hit 62.6 percent from the field during his career. His best statistical season came in 1987-88 when he averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game while hitting 65.5 percent from the field. He once hit all 10 of his shots from the field which will always give him a share of the school single game FG percentage record. The Blugolds were 48-16 in conference play and 102-23 overall during his four-year career. He was named to six All-Tournament teams, twice was the MVP of the Eau Claire Holiday Classic and was selected team MVP in 1988.
Davis earned his bachelor's degree in biology with a chemistry minor in 1990 and then received his master's degree in environmental & public health from UWEC in 1993.
He has had a distinguished career in environmental health and corporate safety. He began his career as Health & Safety Consultant at Wisconsin Electric Power Company in Milwaukee (1993-2001). He then moved to the Twin Cities where he spent four years as Environmental, Health & Safety Specialist at Medtronic (2001-2005), three years as Environmental, Health & Safety Manager at Seagate Technology (2005-2008) and currently is Corporate Safety Director at AmeriPride Services in Minnetonka.
He has been recognized for his work at least five times--twice for reducing work-related injuries, once for developing a method of on-site hazardous waste treatment, once for recovering over $100,000 annually in precious metals that were previously land-filled and once for implementing a manufacturing equipment thermal imaging process to identify hot spots which could be potential fire causes. He is currently certified as both a Safety Professional and a Hazardous Materials Manager.
When not working, he is passionate about teaching kids the fundamentals of sports and competition and his satisfaction comes from teaching a youngster how to play a sport and build their confidence. In the Twin Cities, he's had the opportunity to teach kids the game of golf through the Fairway Foundation of St. Paul.
Davis and his wife Marquita are parents of two daughters: Maya, age 6, and Malayna, age 4.
Hedrington played for Hall of Fame coach Ade Olson and also Jim Rice in an era when many players stayed on the field an entire game, playing both offense and defense. He started his Blugold career in 1951 but that was interrupted with two years of service to his country as a member of the United States Army from 1953-55. He came back to become a member of the 1956 conference championship team and also played in 1957 and 1958, earning All-Conference honors as a tackle his senior season when he served as co-captain. A 1951 roster indicates that Hedrington, an 18-year-old freshman at the time, was the fourth heaviest player on a 39-man roster at 197 pounds. A 1958 Eau Claire Leader-Telegram feature story indicated that Hedrington started every game in four years save one game in 1956 when he was injured. It also indicated he was known as "iron man" and played nearly every minute of every game during the 1958 season.
Hedrington also doubled as the Blugold kicker and won a game versus Superior with a last-second field goal in 1958. A popular player, Hedrington was also selected by his teammates as the Homecoming King in 1958.
Following his graduation with a social studies and physical education degree in 1960, he started a long career as a teacher and coach, making stops at Thorp High School, Wisconsin Rapids Assumption HS, Cornell HS and Chippewa Falls Senior High. During more than three decades of high school coaching, Hedrington was either an assistant or head coach in football, basketball, wrestling and track. He also assisted head coach Jim Lind with the Blugolds in 1991. He coached two championship teams at Thorp and his 1963 team was ranked No. 1 in the state.
A native of Chippewa Falls, Hedrington and his wife Betty have two grown daughters--Heidi Culbertson and Helen Dohm--and four grandchildren.
Lisa Marshall Irsfeld
Lisa Marshall Irsfeld competed just two years at UWEC after transferring in from Colorado State but made the most of her limited competition. She was a two-time conference champion and two-time NCAA Division III national champion in the discus. Only two conference champions have ever thrown farther than Lisa in winning their conference title. She broke the school record in the 1994 nationals and then bettered that mark the following year at the conference meet. She broke the record a final time at the 1995 nationals with a throw of 161 feet, 11 inches, a standard that still stands.
A corporate fitness major at Eau Claire, Irsfeld went on to get her K-12 Teaching License in Healthy and Phy Ed from Augsburg College and her Masters of Arts Education from St. Mary's University. Since 2001, she has been a seventh grade health and physical education teacher in the Mahtomedi School District. From 1996-2002, she coached shot and discus at North St. Paul High School. She was the head track coach at Mahtomedi High School, her alma mater, from 2003-05 and assistant coach for throws at Mahtomedi in 2006-07. She has been the assistant cross country coach at Mahtomedi since 2004.
Among her honors, Irsfeld was the St. Paul Suburban Conference Track & Field Assistant Coach of the Year in 2001. She has been a volunteer at the Twin Cities Marathon the past six years.
She and her husband Jeff, who owns his own landscaping and maintenance business, have two children: Peyton, age 7, and Harrison, age 4.
Maria Jensen Miller
Maria Jensen Miller is one of only four Blugolds who has earned American Volleyball Coaches Association first team All-America honors. She did that in 1997 when she led the Blugolds to a 32-6 overall record and a 7-1 conference mark. The Blugolds advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III playoffs that year.
Miller set school single season records for kills (581) and total attacks (1,329) while setting a match record for service aces (9). She still ranks among the top five in career kills (4th-1,408), career total attacks (3rd-3,469) and career digs (3rd-1,561). She is also in the top 10 in career service aces (8th-167).
Besides her All-American recognition, she was a three-time All-Conference first team pick and a GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection in 1996.
Miller was a sprinter and jumper on the Blugold track team, earning three letters. She still holds the school 600-meter indoor record. She competed in the Drake Relays twice and was an NCAA Division III indoor and outdoor national qualifier in both 1996 and 1997.
A math major at UWEC, Miller is a math teacher for Twin Cities Academy High School in St. Paul. She also tutors for Sylvan Learning Center in Hudson. She obtained her math teaching certification from UW-River Falls last December. Since her UWEC graduation, she has coached track at Notre Dame Middle School and volleyball at McDonell High School in Chippewa Falls and at Lone Rock Middle School in Stevensville, Montana. She also coached the JV2 volleyball team at Hudson for four years and a club team for two years.
Miller was inducted into the Eau Claire Regis High School Hall of Fame in 2008.
She and her husband Pete, an environmental health specialist for Ramsey County in Minnesota, are the parents of two children: Cy, age 11; and Karina, age 8. They reside in Hudson.
Todd Oehrlein had three successful careers at UW-Eau Claire as a basketball player, assistant basketball coach and golf coach. He is currently in his seventh year as the head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers' women's golf team and serves on the NGCA national ranking committee and as chair of the Big Ten Conference women's golf coaches.
Oehrlein actually spent five seasons in a Blugold basketball uniform but remained on the bench his entire freshman season as Coach Ken Anderson redshirted him to retain his four seasons of eligibility. Each of those five seasons, the Blugolds advanced to the 32-team NAIA Nationals in Kansas City.
During his playing career, the Blugolds were 111-19 overall, 53-11 in league play and 10-4 at the national tournament, finishing as national runner-up in 1990. The 6-7 Oehrlein was a role player and defensive specialist, playing alongside Hall of Famers Mike Johnson, Mike Prasher and Tim Blair as well as two years with Eric Davis. He was both All-Conference and NAIA All-District as a senior and captured at least one team award every year, including Inspirational Award as a freshman, Most Improved as a sophomore, Big D and Team Hustle awards as a junior and Big D, Most Improved and Inspirational awards as a senior when he was a co-captain. In addition, he was an NAIA Scholar-Athlete in 1990 and as a senior was named a Super Six recipient.
Following his graduation from UWEC in 1991 with a biology major and chemistry minor, Oehrlein went on to earn his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1995.
The year he earned his chiropractic degree, Ken Anderson stepped down as the Blugold men's basketball coach and assistant Terry Gibbons assumed the lead position. That opened the top assistant spot for Oehrlein to return to Eau Claire as a coach and instructor in kinesiology.
During his eight seasons as an assistant basketball coach, the Blugolds were 139-74 overall with a conference tournament championship and NCAA tournament appearance in 2001 and an NCAA national runner-up finish in 2000.
He also assisted Hall of Fame coach Frank Wrigglesworth for two years with the men's golf program before taking over as head coach in 1997 and continuing until he left the university for Madison in 2003. The Blugolds qualified for the NCAA nationals all six years Oehrlein was head coach, never finishing lower than 12th, and became the first Division III institution north of the Mason Dixon line to win a national championship in 2001. During the stretch from 1999 through 2002, the Blugolds had four consecutive finishes in the top five. Oehrlein was named both Golfweek and GCAA Division III national coach of the year in 2001. One of his players, Ryan Quinn, received the Jack Nicklaus Award as Division III national player of the year in 2003.
At Wisconsin, Oehrlein's golf team has finished first twice and second once in the CHAMPS Cup competition, a national program that promotes and monitors overall student-athlete development in the areas of academics, athletics, personal development and community service. In the short time he has been at Wisconsin, Oehrlein's teams have had four of the lowest single season scoring averages in school history. In addition, his players have annexed five individual tournament victories.
Throughout his career, Oehrlein has taken leadership roles in the governing groups for whatever sport he has been coaching. He has been active in the support of youth golf and youth basketball programs. He is a respected speaker on topics from health to fitness to career choices to golf and basketball.
A Sun Prairie native, Oehrlein and his wife Dina are parents of three children: Nate, age 12; Taylor, age 11, and Olivia, age 8.
Osborn was one of the key cogs in an explosive offense brought in by Jim Lind when he replaced Link Walker in 1987. Osborn was a versatile running back who set a school single season scoring record as a freshman with 108 points and finished his career with a school-record 330 points. He still ranks third and second, respectively, in those two categories.
During 40 consecutive starts, Osborn rushed 729 times for 3,262 yards, an average of 4.5 yards per carry, and scored 48 touchdowns. He also caught 122 passes for 1,319 yards and seven touchdowns. As a punt returner, he averaged 7.5 yards for 61 returns. He still ranks among the career leaders in rushing (3rd), receptions (7th), receiving yards (16th), total offense (13th) and points scored (2nd).
Twice during his career, he scored four TDs in a game and three times he had a trifecta. He once rushed for 224 yards in a single game and once caught 12 passes for 179 yards in a game, both among the best single game efforts in school history.
Osborn was a team co-captain and the Blugold MVP in 1990. He was a two-year All-Conference first team pick after being named to the All-WSUC second team twice.
Osborn also was a reserve on the 1987-88 Blugold basketball team.
A finance major, Osborn currently works in real estate development and property management as the CEO at AHMC Asset Management in Eau Claire. He was one of the key players on the Carson Park Turf Committee which allowed UW-Eau Claire to become the first WIAC football program to have the modern "Field Turf" synthetic grass installed on its home field in 2004. He was also one of four individuals who formed an investment group that ultimately attracted 34 local investors to purchase and preserve the Wild Ridge and Mill Run golf courses in Eau Claire.
While doing all of this, Osborn has been a Blugold assistant coach since 1998, serving Bob Nielson, Todd Hoffner and Todd Glaser, and helping the Blugolds win two conference championships and make two NCAA playoff appearances. He has served as running backs coach, head JV coach, special teams coordinator, offensive coordinator and currently as quarterback coach.
A native of Augusta, Osborn has two sons, Cody, age 10, and Cade, age 8.
Tim Petermann has had a direct association with the Blugold athletics program longer than any other person in school history. He started as a student statistician as a freshman student in 1967 and has served in a variety of capacities ever since. After four years as a student sports information assistant, he became the university's first fulltime SID for the men's 10-sport program when he graduated in 1971. In 1975, he became an assistant to first-year Director of Athletics Steve Kurth and in that position has been responsible for the eligibility certification of student-athletes and event management ever since. In 1977, the coordination of women's sports information was added to his responsibilities.
He remained as SID until his retirement in 2007 after which he returned part-time as a consultant, a role in which he continues today. For the period from 2002-04, he served as interim Director of Athletics while maintaining his role as SID. He also served 10 years as the information director for NAIA District 14, leading to his election to the District 14 Hall of Fame in 1994.
He was recognized by the NAIA in 1985 with its Ike Pearson Award as SID of the Year and by the College Sports Information Directors Association in 1999 with selection to its Hall of Fame. He also served on the media staff of the 1983 National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs.
Petermann has been honored by the university with its Professional Academic Staff Excellence Award in 1992 and with the Department of Communication and Journalism's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995. He was cited this year by the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a Special Recognition Award.
He has been one of the proponents of UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Super Six Salute Award which will recognize its 23rd class of recipients this year.
He founded the Wisconsin Sports Information Directors Association in 1977, served as chair of the WIAC SIDs for many years, served 10 years with the NAIA sports information directors association including a term as president, worked four years on the media staff of the Badger State Games, served as scoreboard operator for an NAIA championship game in Kemper Arena and served as the courtside liaison/TV timeout coordinator for the ESPN broadcast of NAIA final four games. Petermann also has been the media host for numerous district, regional, sectional and national championships hosted by UWEC.
Petermann's service has included more than two decades on boards and committees at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Eau Claire including a three-year term as congregational president. He has also been a youth coach, a youth group leader, Sunday School teacher and Bible Class presenter.
Petermann and his wife Vicky, the Director of Research and Donor Relations for the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, have three grown children-Matthew (Valerie) of Crystal, MN; Lisa (Ryan) Stortecky of Weston; and Joshua (fiancé Stephanie Tschida), of Eau Claire.
Sara Mulatz Toth
Sara Mulatz was a six-time conference diving champion and placed among the top five at nationals on both the one and three-meter boards in four consecutive NCAA Division III championships. She won the NCAA one-meter title in 1995 and had a runner-up finish in 1994 after placing third in 1993. On the three-meter board, she was fifth in 1993 and 1994 and third in both 1995 and 1996.
She set the conference three-meter record with a score of 500.80 in 1996 and that ranks as the best winning score in conference history although her record was broken in the preliminaries. She also has the best 10-dive score in conference history on the one-meter board.
A corporate exercise management major, Toth returned to her hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan in 1996 and began a career in coaching and fitness. She was an assistant age group coach with the Regina Diving Club for two years, then a condition coach with the Queen City Gymnastics Club for two years. She became executive director of the Saskatchewan Rowing Association in 1997 and a community consultant for the Trans Canada Trail Millenium Project. From 2000-02, she was executive Director of the Saskatchewan Rugby Union and a coach of the Can Am Gymnastics Club. In 2003-04, she was administrative assistant with Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay. Since 2004, she has been a recreation consultant with "Saskatchewan in motion". That provincial-wide movement is a revolutionary approach to increasing physical activity for health benefits. The group conducts research, assists in community developments, grants funds, offers programs, raises public awareness, develops resources and facilitates changes in social and physical environments for more physically active lifestyles. For four years, her focus was on workplace wellness. More recently, she has concentrated on physical literacy and increasing sport participation.
Toth is a National 1 level gymnastics judge and a Senior National level diving judge. She is also a course conductor for gymnastics and diving officials. She is a committee member of the Canadian National Diving Officials Committee. She served as a volunteer for the Canada Summer Games 2005 Organizing Committee, the 2007 Canadian Gymnastics Championships and the 2008 Canadian Senior National Diving Championships Organizing Committee.
She and her husband Jeff, a swim coach on the coaching staff of Team Canada Paralympic Swim Team, are the parents of three children: Harriet, age 6; Rosanna, age 4; and Sydelle, age 20 months.