Jess Miller and modern era Green Bay men’s basketball added to Top 50 Most Influential Leaders List

There have been two recent additions to the “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list. The first of these additions is Jess Miller, who has been a Phoenix Fund board member for over 20 years and a season ticket holder since 1988, serving as president of the board. Miller is an influential member of the sports community in Green Bay as owner of The Bar franchise, Graystone Ale House and Hagemeister Park. In addition, Miller has helped connect coaches in the community and provide strategic direction to athletic department leadership throughout the years.

The second addition is Modern Era Green Bay men’s basketball, which has had an overall team record of 214-153, including 118-74 in Horizon League play from the 2008-2009 season to 2018-2019 season. This 11-year span included a 2014 Horizon League first place finish, eight post-season appearances, nine top four league finishes and a 2016 appearance in the NCAA Tournament after a 20-year hiatus. This era includes some of the program’s most successful players including Ryan Tillema, Troy Cotton, Rahmon Fletcher, Alec Brown, Keifer Sykes, Alfonzo McKinnie, Jordan Fouse, Carrington Love, Khalil Small and Sandy Cohen III. Head coaches from this successful period include Tod Kowalczyk, Brian Wardle and Linc Darner.

Busy weekend ahead for Green Bay Athletics

A jam packed weekend for Green Bay Athletics begins on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 with the men’s tennis team heading to North Dakota to play at 5 p.m. The women’s softball team plays Marist at a neutral site in Nashville, Tennessee at 6 p.m. The women’s basketball team hosts Detroit Mercy at the Kress Center at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, the nordic ski team competes at the CCSA Conference Championships in Houghton, Michigan. The women’s tennis team plays at North Dakota at 9 a.m. The men’s tennis team plays Omaha at a neutral site in Grand Forks, North Dakota at 2 p.m. The women’s softball team plays a doubleheader against Belmont at 3 p.m. and against Marist again at 5 p.m. The men’s basketball team plays at Milwaukee at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, Feb. 16, the women’s softball team plays Western Michigan at 9 a.m. The women’s tennis team play at South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. Finally, the women’s basketball team hosts Oakland at 1 p.m. at the Kress Center to cap off an exciting weekend slate for Green Bay Athletics.

Jim Merner and Gary Miller added to Green Bay Athletics Top 50 Influential Leaders List

Green Bay Athletics recently added two more names to the “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Green Bay Athletics being celebrated during the 2019-2020 season: Jim Merner, formerly the swimming and diving coach for 25 years, led the program to 10 Horizon League championships and was recognized as Horizon League Coach of the Year 11 times. Merner began his tenure as head coach in 1990 with the women’s team and then reinstated the men’s team in 1992. He impacted the lives of thousands of student-athletes and created a culture of success in the pool and in the classroom.

Former Chancellor Gary L. Miller (2014-2019) carried a torch for the importance and value of Division I athletics. He expanded partnerships, introduced innovative programming and provided a renewed sense of purpose for Athletics on Green Bay’s campus. Under Miller’s direction, Athletics elevated three programs (golf, tennis and softball) to include full-time coaches and provided national perspective by serving on the NCAA’s infractions committee. Miller now serves as president of the University of Akron.

Green Bay Athletics introduced new members to the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders list

Over the past six weeks, Green Bay Athletics has announced 11 new members to the “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list:

Men’s basketball coach Mike Heideman, served as a top assistant under Dick Bennett from 1986-1995, before becoming the head coach until 2002. Heideman led the team to a 25-win season, a conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth in 1995-1996, while leading the program through its relocation from Brown County Arena to the Resch Center and helping to drive community support for the program by aiding in starting the now annual tradition of the Phoenix Packers Steak Fry.

Green Bay Athletics team physician and surgeon from 1978-2012, Dr. Jim Hinckley, helped hundreds of student-athletes return from injury over his 35 years with the department. Dr. Hinckley’s commitment went beyond sports medicine, as he served as a consultant to the department, provided philanthropic support and still serves in advisory capacities across the department. Dr. Hinckley was inducted into the Green Bay Phoenix Hall of Fame in 1999.

Mark King is a key supporter of Green Bay Athletics and former student athlete (golf) who graduated from the University in 1981. King is the current CEO of Taco Bell and was the CEO of both Adidas and TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company. He provided philanthropic support with projects like the former TaylorMade-adidas Golf Outing, newly renovated softball stadium “King Park” and also provides golf team scholarships. Furthermore, he is credited with the department’s apparel deal with Adidas, which now outfits nearly 250 student-athletes in consistent branding across all sports. King was inducted into the Green Bay Phoenix Hall of Fame in 2002.

Mike Kline, the longest-tenured coach and administrator, serves as both the head men’s and women’s cross country coach and the athletics academic coordinator. Coach Kline is credited with the department’s incredible reputation for academic success, which has 40 consecutive semesters above a 3.0 GPA. Coach Kline received the Chancellor’s Award in 2014 for his leadership at the University.

Denis Kreft, the Phoenix Fund Board President provides leadership for the department during difficult times of transition, and galvanizes community support for various Green Bay Athletics programs. While also providing philanthropic support for the department, Kreft supported the department strategically as well, becoming instrumental in the department’s rebranding in 2007 and the facility rebranding in 2019.

The Kress Center Trio was a unique partnership with private donors, the state of Wisconsin and the students of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, to the approval and building of the award-winning Kress Events Center. The student commitment of $15 million came first, with the adoption of increased activities fees to cover nearly half of the estimated cost of the project, led by former student government leaders Brian Gold and Kurt Kober. The state contribution of $7.5 million followed with leadership from legislators Rob Cowles, John Gard and Dave Hansen. Finally, $11 million from private donors completed the partnership, led by campaign co-chairs Ginny Riopelle and Tom Olson and project volunteer Mike Meeuwsen.

Members of the Kress family are long-time supporters of UW-Green Bay and athletics. Their monumental gifts of the Kress Events Center in 2009 and the Kress Family Outdoor Recreation Complex in 2018 were program-changing projects that embody today’s modern Green Bay Athletics brand.

Lou LeCalsey was UW-Green Bay’s founding soccer coach, former Council of Trustees President and retired business executive, is credited with setting the standard of excellence for Green Bay men’s soccer and providing continuing guidance and council for the University, today. LeCalsey was the first coach for all of Green Bay Athletics, serving in the 1969 and 1970 seasons, compiling a record of 22-4-2. He was recognized with his induction into the Green Bay Phoenix Hall of Fame in 2000, the Chancellor’s Award in 2001 and an honorary degree of the Doctor of Law in 2016.

Legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi helped shape Green Bay Athletics during the early years of the program, serving as an athletics advisor and pushing for the implementation of soccer as a premiere sport at the University.

Marilyn McCarey, who worked for Green Bay Athletics for nearly 40 years, served as the lead secretary and later as the director of ticket sales for almost three decades. McCarey was foundational in the department’s transition to Division I athletics and always offered to help in areas outside of her job, including planning major events, such as the Hall of Fame. McCarey always ensured season ticket holders had a first-class experience and was a key figure in the success of Green Bay Athletics.

Mike Meeuwsen has been a supporter of Green Bay Athletics for more than three decades. Meeuwsen joined the newly formed Phoenix Fund Board in 1990, serving in various leadership roles, including president. In addition, he played a key role in the campaign for the Kress Events Center. Meeuwsen, his wife Kate, and daughters Emily, Gretchen and Ellen continue to attend games and provide council and guidance to University and athletics staff today.

 

GBPhoenixGear.com screenshot

Get geared-up for Phoenix Friday! Green Bay Athletics announced new online team store

Green Bay Athletics is excited to announce the opening of a new official online team store. The store is the perfect place for fans to get officially branded gear, allowing you to dress just like the athletes. In honor of the store’s grand opening, fans can find special deals until the end of January on various apparel purchases, making now the perfect time to purchase official team gear to support Green Bay Athletics. The store has officially branded hats, shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, jerseys, performance gear and more for men, women and children with the department’s new logo and typography displayed on it, which were unveiled last year.

Roger Harriman added to Top 50 Most Influential Leaders list

Roger Harriman, former head coach of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay swimming and diving team, was added to Green Bay Athletics “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Harriman served as head coach from 1976-1990, leading the women’s team to Green Bay’s only national championship in 1984 as the NAIA champions. Harriman received the honor for the NAIA Coach of the Year in 1984 among many other awards during his time as head coach. In addition, Harriman recruited, trained and coached dozens of All-American swimmers and divers and is credited with aiding in the growth of swimming and diving talent locally during his tenure. Harriman was the second coach inducted to the Phoenix Hall of Fame 1998 class.

Green Bay Athletics announces a new member of its “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list every week during the 2019-2020 academic season to celebrate 50 years of Green Bay Athletics.

 

Coach Hammerle at game

Former Green Bay women’s basketball head coach added to Top 50 Influential Leaders List

Carol Hammerle, the Green Bay women’s basketball head coach for 25 seasons, from 1974-1999, was recently added to the “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list. Hammerle was the program’s first head coach beginning in 1974, winning 456 games during her 25 seasons, earning her a spot in the Green Bay Phoenix Hall of Fame. In addition, Hammerle led the program to its first NCAA Tournament appearance during the 1993-94 season. Hammerle coached the program to 12, 20-win seasons and is credited with starting the strong ties of community support through her efforts to build relationships and connections in the Green Bay area.

Green Bay Athletics is releasing new members of the “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list throughout the academic year in honor of the 2019-2020 season marking 50 years of Green Bay Athletics.

Early era men’s soccer players join Top 50 Most Influential Leaders List

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, Green Bay Athletics added the early era men’s soccer players to its “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” List. The early era, spanning from 1969-1980, saw the men’s soccer team rise to national prominence, playing a vital role alongside men’s basketball to help propel the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay into Division I status. The soccer program competed in the NAIA Area Championships three times, competed in the Division II post-season four teams, including two Final Four appearances and continue to hold records in multiple categories for the men’s soccer team. Green Bay Hall of Fame members from this era include Christian Akiwowo, Chuck Stark, Ivan Delbecchi, Horst Stemke, John Hummel, Mark Wehking, Nezih Hansanoglu, Rick Voightlander, Terry Powers and Zach Papanikola. Green Bay Athletics announces a new member of their “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list every week during the 2019-2020 academic season to celebrate 50 years of Green Bay Athletics.

Yooper Night headlines a busy weekend for Green Bay Athletics

On Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, the Green Bay women’s basketball team will be hosting an exhibition game against Michigan Tech at 7 p.m. at the Kress Center. This game is also the program’s inaugural Yooper Night, where tickets are $9.06 in honor of the Upper Peninsula’s 906 area code, pasta will be served at the concession stands and prizes will be given away throughout the night.

On Friday, Oct. 25, the women’s volleyball team hosts Cleveland State at 6 p.m. at the Kress Center.

On Saturday, Oct. 26, the swimming and diving team hosts Cleveland State at Noon. The women’s volleyball team plays host to Oakland at 4 p.m. at the Kress Center. The men’s soccer team plays at home against Detroit Mercy at 7 p.m. at Aldo Santaga Stadium.

 

Early Era Men’s Basketball players honored on Top 50 Influential Leaders List

On Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, Green Bay Athletics announced the addition of Early Era Men’s Basketball players, specifically from 1969-1981, to its “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list.

From 1969-1981, Green Bay Men’s Basketball rose from NAIA to Division II and played a vital role in the program’s elevation to Division I status before the 1981-1982 season. During this time frame, the men’s basketball team appeared in two NCAA DII championships, three DII Final Four appearances and nearly knocked off the number four team in the country, DePaul, in the 1976-1977 season to galvanize community support and intrigue in the program.

Green Bay Hall of Fame members from this era include: Tom Anderson, Ron Ripley, Dennis Woelffer, Bryan Boettcher, Leon Mitchell, Jerry Blackwell, Tom Jones, Terry Schott, Nate Barnes, Tom Diener and Ray Willis.

Green Bay Athletics releases a new addition to its “Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Green Bay Athletics History” list each week through the 2019-2020 academic season.