UWS to induct four into hall of fameWomen’s two-sport star Erin Kegley, record-setting diver Robert Schneider and men’s hockey standout Nathan Ziemski will be inducted on the merits of their athletic careers at UWS, while James Negrini will enter the hall as the 2012 recipient of the Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior announced that four individuals will be enshrined into the Athletic Hall of Fame as the class of 2012.
Women’s two-sport star Erin Kegley, record-setting diver Robert Schneider and men’s hockey standout Nathan Ziemski will be inducted on the merits of their athletic careers at UWS, while James Negrini will enter the hall as the 2012 recipient of the Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award.
“Our department is excited to honor four people that not only left their marks on the university during their time here as student-athletes, but also have touched the lives of others upon their graduation,” athletics director Steve Nelson said. “Our four inductees this year are most deserving and we look forward to honoring them in September.”
The UWS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Sept. 29 at Barker’s Island Inn and Conference Center. The evening will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., with the dinner and program commencing at 7 p.m. Cost to attend the event is $40 in advance.
A limited number of tickets will be available at the door the night of the event for $50. People may register online at www.uwsuper.edu/alumni or by calling the UWS Alumni Association at 715-394-8452.
Kegley was a two-sport star at UWS, tearing up the record books in both women’s hockey and softball from 2003 through 2007. Kegley was a four-time first-team all-American and four-time All-NCHA player in women’s hockey and holds the school record for goals and points in a career. She was also a four-time All-NCHA pick and a third team all-American in 2004, the year she was the catalyst for the softball team that won the conference tournament and qualified for the NCAA regional.
Kegley’s name is still very prominent in the WIAC softball record book, where she is in the top ten in several categories.
Schneider was the first superstar diver in not only the history of UWS but also the WIAC. Schneider won both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events at the 1969 WSUC Championships, setting a conference record in each event. He accomplished the same feat as a sophomore, and again one-upped himself as a junior.
As a senior in 1972, Schneider won the gold medal in the 1-meter, but came up short in the 3-meter, settling for a bronze medal. In all, Schneider won seven of a possible eight gold medals in conference competition, making him one of the elite divers in conference history.
Schneider was also the first diver in conference history to be named All-American.
Ziemski made his mark on the Yellowjacket record book and was the backbone of the men’s hockey team that claimed the national hockey championship in 2002. A transfer from Cortland State University in New York, Ziemski got his career off to a monster start in 2000 by setting the school record for wins in a season and helping the Yellowjackets to a record-setting year where they won 30 games (including 19 in a row) and a third-place finish nationally. The next year he backstopped the Yellowjackets to a national championship, the second in school history.
Ziemski finished his career as a two-time All-American and a two-time all-conference player and still is listed prominently in the UW-Superior record book.
Negrini played four years of football for the Yellowjackets in the 1970s, but it is what he has done as a coach that vaults him into the hall of fame. Negrini began his coaching career in 1976 when he established the first YMCA Youth Football Program in Eau Claire. From there Negrini went on to become one of the most successful high school girls basketball coaches in the state. At Regis High School in Eau Claire, Negrini fashioned a 210-61 record in 10 seasons, winning a pair of state championships and twice being the runner-up in six appearances. Negrini also had coaching stops at Osseo-Fairchild and Eleva-Strum High Schools. During his time with Osseo-Fairchild, Negrini won the 300th game of his coaching career.
A native of Hurley, Negrini is also a member of Hurley High School Hall of Fame.