Oct. 18, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – Dig out your pink Wisconsin gear as the Badger volleyball team takes on Indiana Friday in a match to raise awareness of breast cancer. First serve is at 7 p.m. in the UW Field House.
The Badgers lost one of their own to breast cancer as former player and coach Margie (Kaminski) Fitzpatrick lost her fight to the disease in 2004. A pre-match ceremony will recognize Fitzpatrick’s family before Friday’s match.
“As a former player, coach and supporter of the program, we decided to honor Margie by naming one of our team awards for her,” said UW head coach Pete Waite. “She truly epitomized what our F.I.G.H.T. award means (For Inspiration, Guts, Hardwork and Teamwork) as a Badger player, coach and while she was fighting breast cancer.
“She was instrumental in the rise of the Badger volleyball program over the years and we definitely miss her laugh and passion for the game. This match is a great way to recognize her and raise awareness of breast cancer.”
Fitzpatrick was a four-year letterwinner for Wisconsin from 1984-87. The 6-0 outside hitter from South Bend, Ind., ended her career ranked in the top 10 of nearly every statistical category for the Badgers. She still holds the UW season and career records for service aces. Fitzpatrick was a three-time honorable mention All-Big Ten selection and two-time team MVP.
Fitzpatrick returned to the Badger bench in 1990, aiding Wisconsin to its first Big Ten championship and NCAA tournament berth under head coach Steve Lowe. She served as the Badgers’ interim head coach in 1991 following Lowe’s death, leading the team to a 23-10 record and a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Fitzpatrick returned to the role of assistant coach in 1992 under first-year head coach John Cook. She became the head coach at Northwestern in 1993, coaching there for three years.
Fitzpatrick fought breast cancer twice and passed away in December of 2004 from the disease. Her family, husband Mike and children Colin, Kevin and Meghan will be recognized before Friday’s match.