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UW-Oshkosh Athletics Hall of Fame To Increase Membership By Six

UW-Oshkosh Athletics Hall of Fame To Increase Membership By Six

UW-Oshkosh increases its Athletics Hall of Fame membership to 189 when four former student-athletes, one former administrator and one former coach are inducted during the school’s 43rd Annual Hall of Fame & Senior Awards Banquet on Sunday, May 1.

This year’s induction class features women’s soccer player Carrie (Gilbert) Poehls, women’s gymnast Lynnda (Hahn) Mirkes, women’s basketball player and track & field athlete Kay (Mikolajczak) Chmielewski, men’s track & field athlete and football player David Weidemann as well as former director of athletics Allen Ackerman and women’s basketball coach Pam Ruder.

Gilbert, a three-time All-WIAC first team selection from 2000-02, is the only All-American in the 24-year history of the UW-Oshkosh women’s soccer program. Gilbert earned her All-America award as a second-team defender in 2001, when she spearheaded a UW-Oshkosh defense that recorded nine shutouts and allowed just 12 goals in 17 matches.

A graduate of Appleton West High School, Gilbert was named to the WIAC’s All-Time Women’s Soccer Team (24 members) in 2011. She also collected all-region second team accolades in 2000 and first team laurels in 2001 as a defender before finishing her career as a midfielder in 2002.

Gilbert, who transferred from UW-La Crosse after the 1999 season, helped UW-Oshkosh to a three-year record of 38-17-2, including marks of 15-4 in 2000 and 13-3-1 in 2001. The 2005 UW-Oshkosh graduate started 55 of the 57 matches she played for the Titans and totaled 11 goals and one assist.

Hahn is a 13-time All-American who won one national and five conference championships as a member of the UW-Oshkosh women’s gymnastics team from 1990-93. Her efforts helped the Titans capture three WIAC titles and four top-three finishes at the NCGA Championship,   

Hahn concluded her career with the second most All-America citations in both UW-Oshkosh and NCGA history. She became the fourth UW-Oshkosh gymnast to win an individual national championship when she captured the balance beam crown in 1990.

Hahn, a graduate of Brookfield Central High School, was a four-time All-American in both the all-around competition and floor exercise. She also achieved All-America status twice on both the balance beam and uneven bars and once on the vault.

Hahn led the Titans to second-place showings at the NCGA Championship in 1990, 1991 and 1993, and third place in 1992. The 1993 UW-Oshkosh graduate was selected to the WIAC’s All-Time Women’s Gymnastics Team (17 members) in 2012.

Mikolajczak’s long list of accomplishments include All-America citations in both women’s basketball and women’s track & field, and being the winner of NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award, Jostens Trophy, NCAA Wisconsin Woman of the Year Award, and the UW-Oshkosh Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

Mikolajczak, who transferred from UW-Eau Claire after the 2001 spring semester, earned three letters at UW-Oshkosh in both basketball and outdoor track & field from 2002-04.

In basketball, Mikolajczak capped her final UW-Oshkosh season by being named a first-team All-American and the winner of the Jostens Trophy, which is presented to the most outstanding student-athlete in Division III women’s basketball.

Mikolajczak’s UW-Oshkosh career totals include 1,124 points, 643 rebounds and a school-record 127 blocks in 80 games, including 67 as a starter. The Franklin High School alumna, who helped the Titans to a 64-19 record and one WIAC championship, was named to the WIAC’s All-Time Women’s Basketball Team (15 members) in 2012.  

In outdoor track & field, Mikolajczak won the 2003 WIAC javelin title and acquired All-America awards in the heptathlon after finishing fourth at the NCAA Championship in 2004 and fifth in 2002. Mikolajczak graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 2004.

Weidemann earned four letters in men's track & field and two in football before joining the staff at UW-Oshkosh as a track & field coach and administrator.

On the track, Weidemann won the 220-yard hurdles at the 1964 and 1965 WSUC Outdoor Championships. He also won the 120-yard hurdles at the 1965 WSUC Championship with a meet-record time of 15.0 seconds.  

On the football field, the Columbus High School graduate played defensive back and wide receiver for the Titans.

Weidemann ascended to the positions of Director of Admissions and Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs during an administrative career at UW-Oshkosh that spanned from 1966 until his retirement in 2000. Among his roles at UW-Oshkosh, Weidemann also temporarily filled vacancies as the director of athletics in 1990-91 and track & field coach in 1968-69.

Weidemann, a 1966 UW-Oshkosh graduate, was a member of the UW-Oshkosh Athletics Hall of Fame Committee from 1974-2014 and the UW-Oshkosh National “O” Club from 1973-2012. Weidemann has volunteered his time to assist in the operation of numerous UW-Oshkosh sporting events over the past four decades.

Ackerman had an award-winning tenure as UW-Oshkosh’s director of athletics for 19 years, overseeing 19 national championships, 64 conference titles and several construction projects.

Ackerman was named UW-Oshkosh’s director of athletics in 1991 and remained in the position until his retirement in 2010. Prior to coming to UW-Oshkosh, the Athens, Ohio, native was the director of athletics at Elmhurst College (Ill.) from 1981-91.

Ackerman, the 2003 NCAA Division III Central Region Athletics Director of the Year, played a key role in the conversion of Titan Stadium into the Oshkosh Sports Complex, a venue for the community that generates millions of dollars annually for the local economy.

Ackerman planned and supervised construction of a new swimming & diving facility as well as remodeling efforts that improved several competition venues in Kolf Sports Center. The 1975 Ohio University graduate also helped in planning the construction of the UW-Oshkosh Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

Ackerman oversaw a department whose student-athletes combined to collect 43 Academic All-America Awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America and 42 WIAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year citations. UW-Oshkosh was the host of numerous conference, regional and national championship events during Ackerman’s leadership.

Ruder concluded her nine seasons (1997-2005) at the helm of the UW-Oshkosh women’s basketball program with a 203-46 record (.815 winning percentage), four WIAC titles, four appearances in the NCAA Division III Championship and one national coach of the year award.

Ruder, the 1999 Division III Coach of the Year, guided the Titans to WIAC championships in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2004 and a run of four consecutive NCAA postseason appearances from 1997-2000. UW-Oshkosh won at least 19 games during each of Ruder’s nine seasons, including records of 27-2 in 1999, 26-2 in 1998 and 23-4 in 1997.

Ruder, currently the 10th winningest women’s basketball coach in WIAC history, served as UW-Oshkosh’s assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator from 1996-2005 before accepting the head women’s basketball coaching position at Southwestern University (Texas) in 2005.

Ruder was also an assistant coach under UW-Oshkosh head coach Kathi Bennett for six years (1991-96), including the program’s lone national championship season in 1996, when the Titans compiled a 31-0 record and secured the title in Kolf Sports Center.

Ruder, a Marshfield Columbus High School alumna, was inducted into the UW-Whitewater Hall of Fame in 1999 after earning three letters in basketball and helping the Warhawks to three national tournament appearances from 1982-84. She graduated from UW-Whitewater in 1984.

This year's banquet will be held at UW-Oshkosh’s Alumni Welcome and Conference Center (625 Pearl Avenue). Festivities begin with a social from 4:15 - 4:45 p.m., followed by the banquet at 5 p.m.

UW-Oshkosh will also honor its seniors at the banquet. The event includes the presentation of the John Taylor Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards.

Banquet tickets are available at a cost of $23 per person. People may also sponsor a senior-athlete’s dinner for $23. To purchase tickets or sponsor a senior student-athlete, please contact Susie Gustke at (920) 424-1383 or Tickets will be available until April 22.

The UW-Oshkosh Hall of Fame was established in 1974 to give tribute and deserved recognition to former athletes, coaches and friends of the university. It is also intended to enhance school tradition by honoring those people who have shown exceptional ability while on the UW-Oshkosh campus and since graduation.