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Seven Former Titans To Join UW-Oshkosh Athletics Hall of Fame

Seven Former Titans To Join UW-Oshkosh Athletics Hall of Fame

UW-Oshkosh increases its Athletics Hall of Fame membership to 203 when seven former student-athletes are inducted during the school’s 45th Hall of Fame Ceremony on Sunday, October 14.

The 2018 induction class features 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 for the new inductees will be held at UW-Oshkosh’s Alumni Welcome & Conference Center (625 Pearl Avenue). The event includes a social at 9:15 a.m., breakfast at 10 a.m. and program at 10:30 a.m.

Tickets for the induction ceremony are $15 and can be obtained by contacting UW-Oshkosh Sports Information Director Kennan Timm at (920) 424-0365 or by Friday, October 5. Michael Patton, the public address voice of the Titans, will introduce the 2018 Hall of Fame inductees and their presenters.

This year’s induction class will also be recognized at halftime of UW-Oshkosh’s football game against UW-Platteville on Saturday, October 13 at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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 lives in Grafton, where he is the principal at John Long Middle School.

Gutierrez became the first UW-Oshkosh men’s soccer player to earn NCAA Division III All-America honors, collecting third team recognition in 1994. Gutierrez, who was also named to the WIAC All-Centennial Men’s Soccer Team in 2012, 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. Gutierrez, a three-time All-Midwest Region selection, concluded his UW-Oshkosh career with 14 goals and 41 assists. The Milwaukee Thomas More High School graduate led the Titans with 13 assists in 1994 and 10 assists in 1993. Gutierrez, who lives in Franklin, is a bilingual and second language teacher in the Walworth School District.

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 finished 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. The Marinette High School graduate was also a member of national title-winning indoor distance medley relay teams in 2002 and 2004. Kujawa’s performances led UW-Oshkosh to NCAA indoor and outdoor team championships in 2004. Kujawa, the 2004 Division III Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, was named to the WIAC All-Centennial Team in both women’s cross country and women’s track & field in 2012. Kujawa lives in Berlin, where she works for ThedaCare as a part of the Laboratory Leadership Team.

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. The Green Bay Southwest High School graduate 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 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’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.

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. 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. The West Allis Central High School graduate 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. 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.

Pascarella helped the UW-Oshkosh baseball team to a pair of WIAC championships and a fifth-place finish at the 1974 NAIA World Series. 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. The Homewood-Flossmoor High School (Ill.) graduate concluded his 73-game UW-Oshkosh career with 12 home runs, 45 runs batted in and a .345 batting average. A sixth-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976, Pascarella played 127 games across two seasons in the Brewers’ minor league system. 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 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.

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. The Racine Horlick High School graduate was named All-WIAC First Team and NCAA Division III All-Midwest Region Second Team in 1999 after going 7-0 with 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. Taschner, who was voted to the WIAC All-Centennial Baseball Team in 2012, was selected in the second round by the San Francisco Giants in 1999. He played professionally for 12 years, appearing in 222 games across six seasons at the Major League level. Taschner made his Major League debut against the Cleveland Indians on June 11, 2005. Taschner lives in Neenah, where he is employed as a police officer for the City of Appleton and head baseball coach at Neenah High School.

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.

This fall, the UW-Oshkosh Hall of Fame begins a new era as the 2018 induction class will be the first to join membership during a month other than April or May. Inductions were held in harmony with the school’s Senior-Athlete Awards Banquet every year since 1974, but this past winter the 2018 Hall of Fame inductions were postponed due to the debut of the Oshcars, a UW-Oshkosh student-athlete awards show that was held in April at The Grand Opera House in Oshkosh.

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).