Already, it's clear to me why the Blugolds were ranked the 14th best athletics program out of more than 430 NCAA Division III schools in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup. The level of talent in multiple sports is impressive!
Even more impressive is that last year our 516 student-athletes earned a cumulative 3.124 GPA, and earned two National Jostens Community Service Awards. Also, 321 Blugold student-athletes were named to the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll, and 33 different Blugolds earned a total of 40 All-American honors. These are just a few highlights from a long list of honors our student-athletes received in recent months.
|UW-Eau Claire Nick Hirsch makes a great catch during Saturday's Blugold|
football game against Pacific Lutheran University.
Saturday I enjoyed the home opener for the Blugold football team. While the Blugolds came up short on the scoreboard, it was a hard-fought game against a nationally ranked team. The rain didn't dampen the spirits of the Blugold players or the fans who gathered to cheer them on.
|Blugold men's hockey team|
members Andrew Wilcox,
Jordan Singer and Daniel
Olszewski sport their national
championship rings, presented
Blugold football game.
Also this weekend, we welcomed seven athletes and coaches into the Blugold Hall of Fame. As I talked with them during Saturday's Blugold Hall of Fame Banquet, it was clear that UW-Eau Claire has played an important role in the lives of these athletes and coaches.
Congratulations again to the newest Hall of Famers: Marilyn Skrivseth, former director of athletics, and tennis and track coach; Don Parker, wrestling coach; Darrel Snell, football player; Rick Dahl and Tanya (Bauer) Longo, basketball players; Kari (Albers) Madden, diver; and Jason Slaikeu, national track champion.
|The newest Blugold Hall of Fame inductees (left to right): Don Parker, |
Kari (Albers) Madden, Marilyn Skrivseth, Tanya (Bauer) Longo,
Rick Dahl, Jason Slaikeu and Darrel Snell.
Also at the banquet, Erik Strand, a Blugold alumnus and current assistant men's hockey coach, received the Joe Merten Coaching Award; Becca Bestul, assistant women's basketball coach, received the Ade & Margaret Olson Coaching Award; and former UW-Eau Claire softball player Renee (Cook) Smith received the Sandy Schumacher Courage Award.
Congratulations to all!
I hope all members of our university community will take time to appreciate the efforts of our student-athletes by taking in one or more of our sporting events throughout the year -- and join me in cheering on the Blugolds!