Oct. 9, 2009
Eau Claire, Wis. -
UW women's golf coach Todd Oehrlein, a former Blugold basketball player and national championhip golf coach, is among nine individuals that have been tabbed for induction into the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Hall of Fame Oct. 24 in Eau Claire.
The 2009 class 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. Oehrlein joins UW women's basketball coach Lisa Stone (class of 2006) as Badger staff members inducted into UW-Eau Claire's Athletics Hall of Fame.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Local television sports director Bob Gallaher will present the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees.
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.
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.
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 and a team tournament win in 2009, the first since 1999.
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.
Wisconsin Athletic Communications
Tim Peterman, UW-Eau Claire sports information 10/9/2009 10:16:11 AM