Tickets still available for UW-Superior Athletic Hall of Fame event
Posted on Sep 16, 2013
2013 UW-Superior Athletic Hall of Fame induction Oct 5.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior has announced that eight individuals and one team will be enshrined in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2013. Four individuals will be enshrined based on their athletic accomplishments while at UW-Superior, while three will be enshrined on the merits of their coaching careers following their time at UW-Superior. The final individual will go in based on his contributions to Yellowjacket Athletics.
Those going in as individuals are men's hockey players Tom Doig and Colin Kendall, Diane Martinson, a multi-sport standout in the early years of women's athletics at UW-Superior, and longtime athletic trainer David Kroll.
Veteran coaches Dave Gerber, Bruce Plante and Bernie Tomzak will enter the Hall of Fame as recipients of the Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award, and Jerry Schnell will receive this year's Carl Vergamini Award for his contributions to the Yellowjacket Athletic Department.
"We feel that we have a very strong class that we are inducting in 2013," athletics director Steve Nelson said. "Every one of them has made a tremendous mark in their careers, whether that be as an athlete at UW-Superior, as a coach when they left UW-Superior, or in what they did for the department and we are excited to enshrine them among the all-time greats at UW-Superior."
Doig, a Duluth native, played for the Yellowjacket men's hockey team from 1976-80, coming along a year after the team claimed the school's first national championship. An NAIA All-American in 1979, Doig was also a three-time all-conference selection who still remains in the school's top ten all-time in goals (68), assists (96) and points (164).
Colin Kendall (27 in white) scores the game-winning goal in the 2002 NCAA Championship Game.
Kendall played for the Yellowjackets from 1998-2003, missing the majority of his first season with an injury. His finest moment as a Yellowjacket came in 2002 when he scored the tying goal in the 2002 NCAA championship game with just over a minute to play in regulation and then scored the game-winning goal 23 seconds into overtime (pictured at left) to give the Yellowjackets the national championship. Kendall was an All-American in 2002 and 2003.
Martinson was a pioneer among female athletes at UW-Superior, competing in five sports for the Yellowjackets when women's varsity sports were in their infancy. Martinson played basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis and competed in track and field, receiving at least one letter in every sport. She later went on to play for the All American Redheads women's professional basketball team that was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Kroll came to UW-Superior in 1989 to become the head athletic trainer and stayed in the position until 2012 when he moved into a full-time faculty position. Often considered a thankless job, Kroll put in countless hours of work and treated numerous injuries to Yellowjacket student athletes over 23 years as head trainer, remaining the lone constant in the Yellowjacket Athletic Department over that span.
Gerber graduated from UW-Superior in 1987 and immediately began coaching several sports. From the youth through high school levels, Gerber has coached soccer, baseball and wrestling, with the latter being where he made his most significant mark. Gerber guided his teams 208 dual meet wins and in 1995 was the Wisconsin Wrestling Coach of the Year. He currently serves as the athletics director at Cameron (Wis.) High School.
Plante, who was a goaltender at UW-Superior for two years, is well known in local circles as one of the greatest high school hockey coaches in Minnesota. A native of Cloquet, Minn., Plante has coached at Hermantown for 24 years and racked up over 500 victories. Four times he has been named Coach of the Year in Minnesota and nine times he has taken the Hawks to the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament, winning the Class A championship in 2007.
Tomzak is another inductee that is no stranger locally. Graduating from UW-Superior in 1958 following a four-season basketball career, Tomzak went onto a 32-year career teaching and coaching in Woodville, Wis. and Superior. At Superior High School, Tomzak coached golf, basketball and baseball as well as serving as athletics director. Tomzak also led a team to the Little League World Series.
Schnell was born and raised in Superior and was a business major as a student at UW-Superior. At that time, he also adorned the Yellowjacket mascot uniform for the first time to entertain the masses at sporting events, bringing enthusiasm to the position and upping the entertainment value of the games. Today, Schnell can still be found at Yellowjacket sporting events, though only as a fan instead of the mascot.
The final group receiving induction as part of the Class of 2013 is the 1913 Yellowjacket football team. A century ago, Coach Kangas led his squad to the first conference championship in the history of the WIAC (then the WSUC), when the university was known as the Superior Normal School. UW-Superior would go onto win five more conference championships, but the first came in the conference's inaugural year, making it noteworthy.
"Obviously the members of this team have long since passed away, but we would absolutely love it if we had descendants of these players that could come and be a part of the induction," Nelson said. "We don't have a lot of records detailing where they were living and the names of their family members, so we're relying on the public to assist in hopefully tracking down people whose family members were part of this team. We want someone there to represent this group as they receive an honor that is long overdue."
Unfortunately, the roster on record for the team only includes last names and positions. Players on the 1913 team include Wehrle (center), Doonan (left end), Roberts (right tackle), Whitney (right end), Reetz (left guard), Donalds (left tackle), Hanson (right guard), Mungavin (right end), Connell (quarterback), Rill (fullback), Cowie (right end), Brown (left guard), Roberts (right guard), Stanbury (right half) and Butler (left half). Another player named Gilbert was listed without a position.
The 2013 UW-Superior Athletic Hall of Fame induction will be held on Saturday, October 5 at Mertz Mortorelli Gym on the UW-Superior campus. If you have questions regarding the event, or if you have any connections to the 1913 football team, please contact Yellowjacket Athletics at (715) 395-4693 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story written and photo provided by Jon Garver UW-Superior athletics.