The UW-Oshkosh Athletics Hall of Fame increased its roster to 203 members with Sunday’s (Oct. 14) induction of cross country and track & field athletes Elizabeth (Woodworth) Kujawa and Steve Merline, baseball players Andy Pascarella and Jack Taschner, track & field athlete Kevin Deering, soccer player Roberto Gutierrez, and swimmer Cheri (Tiegs) Meyer. The ceremony was held at UW-Oshkosh’s Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.
Kevin Deering was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American and seven-time WIAC champion as a member of the UW-Oshkosh men’s track & field team from 2002-05. The Mukwonago High School graduate twice earned All-America status in the decathlon, winning the 2005 NCAA outdoor title with a school-record 7,104 points. He also earned All-America honors in the indoor high jump in 2003.
Deering was named to the WIAC All-Centennial Men’s Track & Field Team in 2012 after earning two league titles in each of the indoor high jump, outdoor decathlon and outdoor high jump, and one championship in the javelin.
Deering capped his 2003 indoor season with a third-place finish in the high jump at the NCAA Division III Championship before producing a second-place effort in the decathlon at the 2003 national outdoor meet. Deering’s senior season in 2005 ended with his school-record performance in the outdoor decathlon in which he beat the runner-up by more than 170 points. He remains the only Titan to win the Division III outdoor decathlon title.
In conference competition, Deering claimed seven individual crowns, winning back-to-back indoor high jump championships in 2002 and 2003, and outdoor titles in the both the decathlon and high jump in 2003 and 2005, and the javelin in 2005.
Deering qualified for the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division III Championship during each of his four years. UW-Oshkosh placed among the top six teams three times at the national indoor meet and finished in the top eight three times at the outdoor championship. The Titans were the national runners-up at the 2003 indoor championship and third at the 2003 national outdoor meet.
Deering, a 2005 UW-Oshkosh graduate, lives in Grafton, where he is the principal at John Long Middle School. Deering went on to complete his master’s degree in educational leadership at National Louis University (Ill.) before earning the 2008-09 Teacher of the Year award at Appleton North High School.
Deering and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of Samuel and Eva.
Roberto Gutierrez was the first UW-Oshkosh men’s soccer player to earn NCAA Division III All-America honors, collecting third team recognition in 1994 on the way to being named to the WIAC All-Centennial Men’s Soccer Team.
Gutierrez helped UW-Oshkosh compile a 61-11-5 record with three NCAA Division III Championship appearances from 1992-95. Gutierrez and the Titans advanced to the program’s first Final Four in 1994 in addition to national tournament visits in 1993 and 1995. A three-time All-Midwest Region selection, Gutierrez concluded his UW-Oshkosh career with 14 goals and 41 assists.
Gutierrez, a Milwaukee Thomas More High School graduate, led the Titans in assists during each of his four seasons, compiling nine in both 1992 and 1995, 10 in 1993 and 13 in 1994. He also notched a career-best six goals during his senior season in 1995.
The Titans compiled a 30-1-3 home record during Gutierrez’s four seasons. UW-Oshkosh produced at least 13 overall wins between 1992-95, including marks of 16-4 in 1993 and 18-0-3 in 1994. The Titans’ unbeaten 1994 campaign resulted in the second most wins in program history.
UW-Oshkosh made its second NCAA Division III Championship appearance in 1993, advancing to the quarterfinal round following its regional title won in Wheaton, Ill. The Titans, who also appeared in the 1995 national tournament, reached the 1994 Final Four in Ewing Township, N.J., before falling in a shootout following a scoreless contest to Bethany College (W.V.). UW-Oshkosh’s remarkable 1994 season featured 11 shutouts and just 14 goals allowed in 21 games as Gutierrez was selected to the All-Midwest Region first team and to the All-America Third Team.
Gutierrez, who graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 1997, works as an English as a second language (ESL) teacher and coordinator in the Walworth School District. Gutierrez attended UW-Milwaukee for graduate school, George Williams College of Aurora University (Ill.) for his master’s and UW-Whitewater for ESL certification.
Gutierrez lives in Franklin with his wife, Emily. They are the parents of Joseph, Roberto Jr., Gabriel and Mariana.
Elizabeth (Woodworth) Kujawa finished her UW-Oshkosh cross country and track & field career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history. Kujawa was a 12-time All-American in track & field, including a nine-time national champion, and a three-time All-American in cross country from 2000-04.
Kujawa, who placed second at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship in both 2003 and 2004, won three straight national indoor and outdoor 800-meter run track titles from 2002-04 and the 1,500-meter outdoor championship in 2004. She also ran a leg on UW-Oshkosh’s indoor national title-winning distance medley relay teams in 2002 and 2004.
Kujawa’s performances helped the Titans secure the 2000 WIAC and NCAA regional cross country titles. Kujawa, who led the Titans to a fourth-place finish at the 2004 Division III Cross Country Championship, played a major role in UW-Oshkosh’s indoor and outdoor track & field national titles in 2004. Kujawa, who still holds school records in the indoor 1,500-meter run and the outdoor 3,200-meter relay, scored 20 of the Titans’ winning total of 56.5 points during the 2004 national indoor meet and 20 of the team’s school-record 80 points at the 2004 outdoor meet.
Kujawa’s numerous individual accolades include 2004 NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors, the 2002 and 2004 NCAA Division III Midwest Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year awards, 2004 WIAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in both cross country and track & field, and three consecutive CoSIDA Academic All-America awards from 2003-05 in both cross country and track & field. A 2004 United States Olympic Team qualifier in the 1,500-meter run, the Marinette High School graduate was selected to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's NCAA Division III Silver Anniversary Team in 2006 and to WIAC All-Centennial Teams for cross country and track & field in 2012.
Kujawa, who graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 2005, lives in Berlin, where she works for ThedaCare as a part of the Laboratory Leadership Team. She served as head coach of the UW-Oshkosh women's cross country team in 2011 following the retirement of Deb Vercauteren.
Kujawa and her husband, Joshua, are the parents of Alyssa, Quinn and Elijah.
Steve Merline earned three All-America awards and five WIAC titles as a member of the UW-Oshkosh cross country and track & field teams from 1978-82.
A Green Bay Southwest High School graduate, Merline was the first Titan to earn All-America accolades in both men’s indoor and outdoor track & field. Merline secured NAIA All-America citations in 1981 and 1982 for the indoor 1,000-yard run. He also earned NCAA Division III All-America recognition in 1981 for the outdoor 1,500-meter run.
Merline placed third in the 1,000-yard run at the 1982 national indoor meet after finishing fifth in the event in 1981. Rounding out his All-America awards was a fourth-place performance in the 1,500-meter run at the NAIA outdoor meet. Merline was the second Titan to garner track & field All-America honors and the first to earn national accolades in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. His three total All-America citations were the school record until 1984.
Merline won WIAC titles in four different races, claiming the indoor 880- and 1,000-yard runs in 1982, the 1982 outdoor 800-meter run in 1982 and back-to-back outdoor 1,500-meter run championships in 1981 and 1982.
Merline led UW-Oshkosh to a 21st-place finish at the 1982 NAIA Indoor Championship after accounting for all of the team’s points as the Titans placed 36th at the 1981 NAIA outdoor meet. Merline also scored each of UW-Oshkosh’s four points at the 1981 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship.
Merline’s cross country career included an eighth-place finish at the 1981 WIAC Championship.
Merline resides in De Pere, where he works for LPL Financial at Denmark State Bank. He and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of Lexie, Cally and Addie.
Cheri (Tiegs) Meyer became the first women’s swimming & diving national champion in UW-Oshkosh history when she won both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events at the 1996 NCAA Division III Championship. She remains one of two Titans to win a women’s swimming & diving national individual title.
Meyer closed her career with four All-America awards as she finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke and seventh as a member of the Titans’ 200-yard medley relay team at the 1997 NCAA Championship. Meyer’s four All-America citations are third-most in program history.
A West Allis Central High School graduate, Meyer claimed five individual and two relay titles at the WIAC Championships as a Titan from 1994-97, including consecutive 100-yard backstroke crowns in 1996-97 and two straight 200-yard backstroke victories in 1995-96. Completing her WIAC titles were the 200-yard individual medley crown in 1997 and roles in the Titans’ winning 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay teams in 1997.
Meyer helped the Titans finish a then program-best 19th at the NCAA Division III Championship and third at the WIAC Championship. The Titans’ third-place showing at the league meet remains tied for the best in school history. Meyer and the Titans also finished 24th at the 1996 Division III Championship and 43rd at the 1995 national meet. The Titans had scored points at the NCAA Championship one time, in 1982, before Meyer and UW-Oshkosh’s three straight trips to the national meet from 1995-97.
Meyer, who still holds UW-Oshkosh records in both the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, was selected to the WIAC All-Centennial Women’s Swimming & Diving Team in 2012.
Meyer lives in Greendale, where she is the Manager of Human Resources and Administration for The Merco Group, Inc. Meyer and her husband, Chad, are the parents of Mikayla, Caden and Nathan.
Andy Pascarella helped the UW-Oshkosh baseball team to a pair of WIAC championships and a fifth-place finish at the 1974 NAIA World Series before going on to play professionally in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Pascarella and the Titans amassed a 62-27-1 record from 1974-76, including league championships in 1974 and 1975. Pascarella, a second baseman, received NAIA All-America honorable mention recognition in 1976 after leading the WIAC with 10 home runs and a .425 batting average.
A Homewood-Flossmoor High School (Ill.) graduate, Pascarella concluded his 73-game UW-Oshkosh career with 12 home runs, 45 runs batted in and a .345 batting average.
After hitting .271 with one home run in a part-time role as a freshman in 1974, Pascarella batted .304 and stole seven bases as a starter in 1975 as the Titans compiled a 17-5 record on the way to clinching conference and district titles for the second straight season. Pascarella’s .425 batting average in 1976 was then the third-best in program history
Pascarella, a sixth-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976, played 127 games across two seasons in the minor leagues. He reached the Single-A level in 1976, hitting seven home runs and driving in 46 runs across 60 games for the Brewers’ farm system. He concluded he professional career in 1979 with the independent Newark Co-Pilots, hitting .282 in 67 games with a pair of home runs and 37 runs batted in and 34 runs scored.
Pascarella, who splits time living between Oshkosh and Venice, Fla., retired in 2016 after 30 years of operating Pascarella Auto Sales Inc. in Oshkosh. For the past seven years, Pascarella, a 1979 UW-Oshkosh graduate, has been an assistant baseball coach at St. Mary Catholic High School in Neenah, including the 2016 season, when the Zephyrs won the WIAA Division 3 state title with a 26-0 record.
Pascarella and his wife, Shelley, are the parents of Tony.
Jack Taschner was a dominant pitcher for a UW-Oshkosh baseball program that produced a 102-19 record and won WIAC championships during each of his three years as a Titan from 1997-99.
Taschner concluded his UW-Oshkosh career with a 13-0 record, 141 strikeouts and a 2.29 earned run average in 122 innings pitched before being selected in the second round by the San Francisco Giants following his junior season in 1999.
A Racine Horlick High School graduate, Taschner was named All-WIAC First Team and NCAA Division III All-Midwest Region Second Team in 1999 after going 7-0 with a team-leading 79 strikeouts and 21 hits allowed in 53.2 inning pitched as UW-Oshkosh produced a 34-4 record.
In 1998, Taschner helped the Titans to a 41-5 record and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA World Series. He compiled a 4-0 record with 46 strikeouts in 43.2 innings pitched in 1998 and a 2-0 mark with a 2.55 earned run average in 1997.
Taschner, who was voted to the WIAC All-Centennial Baseball Team in 2012, played professionally for 12 years, appearing in 222 games as a relief pitcher across six seasons at the Major League level. Taschner, who made his Major League debut against the Cleveland Indians on June 11, 2005, pitched for the Giants from 2005-08, the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009, and both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010. He had a 2-0 record and a 1.59 earned run average in 24 appearances as a rookie in 2005. Taschner won three games and led the Giants with a career-high 67 appearances in 2008.
In the minor leagues, Taschner was selected to the California League All-Star Game in 2001 and named to the Fresno Grizzly’s All-Decade Team.
Taschner, a 2017 UW-Oshkosh graduate, lives in Neenah, where he is employed as a police officer for the City of Appleton and head baseball coach at Neenah High School. He was named 2017 Officer of the Year by the Appleton Police Department for his actions on duty.
Taschner and his wife, Miriam, are the parents of Gradin, Mirella, Reed and Teagan.
The UW-Oshkosh Hall of Fame was established in 1974 to pay tribute and give deserved acknowledgement to former athletes, coaches and friends of the University. It is also intended to enhance school tradition by honoring those people who have exhibited exceptional ability or given distinctive recognition to the UW-Oshkosh athletics program while on campus or since graduation.
The first UW-Oshkosh Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held April 28, 1974, at The Pioneer Inn & Marina. The five inductees were Edward Boguski, Ed Hall, Burton Karges, Robert Kolf and Robert Williams.
Four venues have hosted UW-Oshkosh’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony – The Pioneer Inn & Marina (1974-2001), Hilton Garden Inn (2002), UW-Oshkosh’s Reeve Memorial Union (2003-13) and UW-Oshkosh’s Alumni Welcome & Conference Center (2014-Present).
2018 UW-Oshkosh Hall of Fame Inductees & Presenters
Kevin Deering, presented by Steve Pratt
Roberto Gutierrez, presented by Toby Bares
Elizabeth (Woodworth) Kujawa, presented by Deb Vercauteren
Steve Merline, presented by Ronald Akin
Cheri (Tiegs) Meyer, presented by Andy Salm
Andy Pascarella, presented by Tony Pascarella
Jack Taschner, presented by Ted Brzenk