Badger Sports Roundup

In this edition--hockey tragedy; volleyball nationally ranked; rowers earn top medals at Pan Am games; swimmers place at nationals and a new coach for women's golf.

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Former hockey coach Herb Brooks dies in car accident

Aug. 11, 2003


The premature death of former U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks stunned and saddened the hockey world today.  Brooks, 66, was killed in a car accident north of Minneapolis this afternoon.


Brooks, who most recently coached the 2002 Olympic men's hockey team to a silver medal, is most famous as the head coach of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" Olympic team that defeated Russia in the semifinals and later Finland to take the gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y.  A native of St. Paul, Brooks is known as a Minnesota legend.  He played for the University of Minnesota in college and later enjoyed a successful career as a coach, garnering three national titles and a 167-99-18 record.  He also coached the Minnesota North Stars (1987-'88), the New York Rangers (1981-'85) and the New Jersey Devils (1992-'93), as well as the French Olympic team at the 1998 Olympics. 


Mark Johnson, the current head coach of the Wisconsin women's hockey team and a member of the 1980 team, commented on Brooks' death.


"I'm personally stunned by the news we heard. It's certainly a sad day for American hockey and the United States, which lost one of its finest coaches. It's certainly shocking to a lot of people from that standpoint. It's a real tough day. On a very sad note, we lose not only a great coach and an innovator of the game, but a real good friend."


Volleyball ranked 17th in preseason polls

Aug. 11, 2003


The Badger volleyball team, for the seventh straight year, is ranked in the USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association pre-season poll.  Wisconsin, ranked 17th, was 25-9 last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before falling to the Miami Hurricanes.

Defending NCAA champion USC sits at No. 1 in the polls, while Minnesota (32-6 overall), ranked No. 6, is the top Big Ten team.  Three other Big Ten teams also cracked the top 25: Penn State (11th), Ohio State (18th) and Michigan State (25th).


Wisconsin loses second-team all-American Erin Byrd, a left-side hitter, outside hitter/middle blocker Lori Rittenhouse and middle blocker Amy Hultgren.


Wisconsin opens its season with the Badger Invitational Aug. 29-30 when it meets up with Washington, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and New Hampshire. 



New head women's golf coach named

Aug. 8, 2003


Future Athletic Director Barry Alvarez stated that he will announce the hiring of Dr. Todd Oehrlein to coach the women's golf team Aug. 25.  Oehrlein, a Sun Prairie, Wis., native, replaces retired coach Dennis Tiziani, who headed the men's and women's teams.


Oehrlein previously served as the men's golf coach at UW-Eau Claire, where he won the 2001 NCAA Division III National Golf Championship.  In his six years coaching at Eau Claire, his teams qualified for the NCAA National Championship all six years.  He also earned Golf Coaches Association National Coach of the Year awards and the Golfweek Magazine NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year in 2001.


Oehrlein not only coached golf, he served as an assistant coach for the men's basketball team as well.  A 1991 graduate of Eau Claire, he played all four years on the Blugold's squad and succeeded in college and as a coach.


Alvarez is pleased with Oehrlein's success and pledge to academics.


"Just listening to Todd you sense he will serve as a great role model for these young athletes. As a successful student himself, he knows about the importance of a good education and will emphasize the academics. As a head golf coach who has built a successful program in a northern climate, and as an assistant basketball coach, he knows the demands placed on student-athletes, and knows how to develop those players to their potential."


Oehrlein expressed his excitement to coach at Wisconsin.


"I am extremely excited at the opportunity to join the University of Wisconsin and look forward to working with the golf program. We have a number of very talented returning players and I'm sure they are anxious to start this fall. I look forward to improving on their excellent record last year and keep the program moving forward."


Last season, the women's golf team finished 24th in the NCAA Championship.


Men's and women's swim teams fare well at Championships

Aug. 9, 2003


The men's and women's swimming teams saw success at the U.S. National Championships in College Park, Md., Friday and Saturday.  Senior Bethany Pendleton earned two top-10 finishes, placing eighth in both the 200 and 400-meter individual medleys. Sophomore Sarah Hernandez finished 12th overall in the 50-meter freestyle. 


For the men, junior Tim Liebhold finished 12th in the 400-meter individual medley while sophomore Michael Hamm, swimming with the Waukesha Express Swim Team's 400-meter freestyle relay team, finished 13th.  Saturday, seniors Matt Marshall and Dale Rogers and junior Adam Mania placed in the 50-meter freestyle; Marshall took 11th, followed by Mania at 14th and Rogers at 20th.


Overall, the men's swimming team finished in 18th  place while the women tied for 30th


Two Badgers take gold and silver at Pan Am games

Aug. 10, 2003

Beau Hoopman and Paul Daniels earned gold and silver medals this weekend at the Pan Am Games in the Dominican Republic.  Hoopman and Daniels rowed with the first-place varsity eight boat and the silver-medal garnering men's four boat at the tournament.  Their varsity eight boat clocked in at 5:43.61 while the men's four boat finished just behind the Cuban boat at 6:28.29.


In other rowing news, Four former members of the men's crew team and one from the women's crew team will travel to Milan, Italy with the U.S. team for the 2003 FISA World Rowing Championships Aug. 24-31.

Ryan Torgerson will row with the nation's top boat, the men's eight, while 2000 graduate Matt Smith will compete in the men's four without coxswain and Brian McDonough, a 2002 graduate, will sit with the men's four with coxswain.  Matt Imes serves as an assistant coach.  Katie Hammes, a 2000 graduate, will row with the women's pair.

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