Former University of Wisconsin Oshkosh gymnast Casey Edwards, coach Deb Vercauteren and pitcher Jarrod Washburn have been chosen for induction into the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Hall of Fame.
The inaugural 30-member class will be honored at the WIAC Centennial Celebration Banquet on August 4 in Madison. Each of the nine schools placed three inductees in the hall of fame, while three conference officials were also chosen.
Casey Edwards (1976-80) captured 22 individual national titles to become one of UW Oshkosh’s most decorated athletes. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team in 1980, when the country elected to boycott the games. During 1983, Edwards served as head coach and guided the Titans to the NAIA title and a second-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championship.
With 14 individual crowns, Edwards owns the most NAIA titles in history. He won six events at the 1980 championship to lead UW Oshkosh to the national title. The Titans also won team gold during 1978 as Edwards posted one of his three all-around victories.
Edwards compiled 20 NCAA Division II All-America awards and two more at the Division I level. With eight championships, Edwards ranks second in the history of the NCAA Division II. UW-Oshkosh won the 1980 NCAA Division II title with the help of five individual crowns by Edwards.
Deb Vercauteren coached both women’s cross country (1981-2010) and women’s track & field (1982-2009) for UW Oshkosh. Her teams captured 18 national titles and 36 WIAC championships. Vercauteren is the only coach in NCAA Division III history to win titles in women’s cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field. Her athletes also thrived, earning 58 individual crowns and 331 All-America honors.
In cross country, Vercauteren led the Titans to the national championship during 1987-88, 1991 and 1996. UW Oshkosh also finished in the top-four on nine other occasions. While winning 15 WIAC titles, Vercauteren was named the league’s Coach of the Year 10 times. She received NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in both 1985 and 1986.
Eight of Vercauteren’s national championships came from outdoor track & field. The Titans successfully defended their title three times, taking gold in 1990-91, 1995-97, 2004 and 2006-07. Vercauteren was voted the National Indoor Coach of the Year during 2006 and gained the outdoor award in 2004. As far as NCAA Division III indoor titles, UW Oshkosh posted a pair of three-peats from 1984-86 and 2004-06.
Jarrod Washburn (1994-95) rode his Titan success all the way to the World Series. He started two games in the 2002 Fall Classic as the Anaheim Angels won the MLB championship. Washburn pitched for the Angels from 1998-2005, the Seattle Mariners from 2006-09 and the Detroit Tigers during 2009.
In Washburn’s first collegiate season, UW Oshkosh went 41-4 and captured the NCAA Division III Championship. Washburn propelled his team to victory in the final with an eight-strikeout complete game. During the season, he marked a 6-1 record, 52 strikeouts and a 2.03 ERA over 48.2 innings.
Washburn received All-America status during 1995 after going 9-1 with a 1.93 ERA. He ranked fourth nationally in strikeout rate, including a game when he fanned 17 UW-Whitewater batters. The Titans finished third at the NCAA Tournament with a 39-5 record. Washburn then was drafted 31st overall by the Angels. His best major-league campaign was during 2002, when he booked an 18-6 record and a 3.15 ERA.
The three WIAC officials named for the Hall of Fame were Tom Butler, Judy Kruckman and Max Sparger. They will be joined in the class by Tim Petermann, Lisa Stone and Frank Wrigglesworth of UW-Eau Claire; Mark Guthrie, Roger Harring and Phil Esten of UW-La Crosse; Patricia Collins, Rob Jeter and Bo Ryan of UW-Platteville; Nate DeLong, Mike Farley and Don Page of UW-River Falls; Leah Juno, Clint Kriewaldt and Terry Porter of UW-Stevens Point; Terry Anders, Ray Johnson and Julie Wanless of UW-Stout; Dave Graichen, Americo Mortorelli and Doug Sutherland of UW-Superior; and David Kachel, Forrest Perkins and Martha van Steenderen of UW-Whitewater.
UW Oshkosh athletics submitted this announcement. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.