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|University School of Milwaukee is proud to recognize decades of outstanding athletic tradition by inducting former Milwaukee Country Day School (MCDS), Milwaukee Downer Seminary (MDS), Milwaukee University School (MUS), and University School of Milwaukee (USM) student athletes, coaches, teams, and distinguished athletic program contributors to its Athletic Hall of Fame. The Athletic Hall of Fame was established to forever commemorate a long legacy of exceptional performance and contribution by former USM and predecessor school athletes, coaches, teams, and distinguished contributors, and to recognize the important role of athletics within the culture of the school.|
USM welcomed its third class of inductees into the Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Watch the entire induction video, or view the individual inductee videos below.
Congratulations to all members of the Athletic Hall of Fame on their incredible contributions to athletics and USM!
- Hal De Bona MUS'40
- William "Bill" Fox MCDS'54
- Connie Meek '65
- Phil Uihlein '68
- Jenny Gruesser Jansen '84
- Richard Cartledge '91
- Alex Reinhart '03
- John "J.S." Stephens
- USM Hockey 1968
- Liz Krieg '79
- Lowell MacDonald Sr.
Hal De Bona MUS’40 was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track at Milwaukee University School, earning seven varsity letters. He earned the H. H. Uihlein Sportsmanship Trophy, as MVP, voted by his teammates as having contributed the most to the success and spirit of the 1940 football team’s 5–1 season—during which he was the leading scorer and rusher. He was co-captain of the basketball team and captain of the track team, where he participated in six different events, set a school record, and earned three letters as a consistent high-point scorer.
At Brown University, he continued to compete in football and track during his freshman year. With the outbreak of World War II, he transferred to Marquette University’s NROTC program and played on the 1943 Marquette Varsity football team. Watch Hal De Bona's induction video.
Bill Fox MCDS’54 served as captain for Milwaukee Country Day School’s basketball and track teams and was named the MVP for both sports. He received the Herbert W. Oviatt Trophy for three straight years, given annually to the underclassman who showed the most “sportsmanship, loyalty, and enthusiasm for track.” No other track athlete has earned this distinction. In his four years at MCDS, Fox earned seven varsity letters: three in basketball and four in track. He was the leading scorer on the basketball team and a top point leader and record holder on the track team.
Fox matriculated to Williams College, where he earned nine varsity letters in cross country, indoor relays, and track. He was captain of all three teams his senior year, an extremely rare accomplishment. Watch Bill Fox's induction video.
Connie Meek ’65 was a pioneering female athlete during her time at Milwaukee University School and University School of Milwaukee. She excelled in field hockey and basketball, and sought out the opportunity to try every sport offered to her, both inside and outside of school. She was captain of the MUS blue team, and is described in the yearbook as the most athletic in the class. She matriculated to Hood College, where she was a four-sport athlete in field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and swimming. Meek returned to USM in 1971 to teach Upper School math and coach varsity field hockey, and was inducted into the Hood College Hall of Fame in 2008. Watch Connie Meek's induction video.
Phil Uihlein ’68 grew up with a hockey stick in hand at all times, and it showed in his prowess on the ice. Former USM hockey coach Tony Fritz described Uihlein as the best player he ever coached in his career. Uihlein was a leading scorer, known for breaking many of his own records. He was an MVP twice in hockey and football. When not playing hockey, he could be found on the baseball and football fields, where he also earned all-conference honors in football. Following graduation, Uihlein matriculated to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for hockey. In 1971 he was drafted by the St. Louis Blues, and in 1976 he was invited to try out for the Olympics. He also played for his home team, the Milwaukee Admirals. Watch Phil Uihelin's induction video.
Jenny Gruesser Jansen ’84 was a three-sport athlete in field hockey, soccer, and basketball, earning 11 varsity letters. She was known by her teammates as being a fierce competitor and a source of encouragement, support, and fun pre-game music. During her senior year, she led the Wildcats as a three-sport captain and earned MVP awards in basketball and field hockey. She matriculated to Bethany College, where she played four years of varsity field hockey, also earning varsity letters in basketball, and softball. She was the field hockey team Captain and earned first team all-conference honors in 1987 and 1988. Watch Jenny Gruesser Jansen's induction video.
Richard Cartledge ’91 starred on both the soccer and track teams during his years at University School of Milwaukee. Cartledge still holds the record as the all-time leading scorer in boys soccer, with more than 100 goals in four years, including 20 hat tricks. He was an MVP and also won all- conference honors in both sports as a junior and senior. Following his graduation from USM, he played four years of soccer on the first team at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and was the captain of the team in his senior year. Returning to the United States, he played two years of professional soccer with the Milwaukee Wave. Watch Richard Cartledge's induction video.
In cross country, Alex Reinhart ’03 set the school record in the 5k in 2003, was a WIAA first-place finisher his junior year, and lead team to a Midwest Classic Conference championship. In track, he set the school record in the 3200, was named first team all-state three times, and won the team sportsmanship award. He was named first team all-conference all four years in both sports. Upon graduation, he continued his running career at Duke University, where he earned nine letters in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Watch Alex Reinhart's induction video.
John Stephens, affectionately known as “JS,” served the school for 53 years as teacher, coach, and administrator. During the day, he taught history and economics; after school he coached 8th grade football in the 1950s and 1960s, varsity basketball from 1963 to 1964, varsity baseball, junior varsity basketball and, in the 1970s, varsity softball. He was a member of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association board of directors in the 1980s and 1990s, serving many terms. A favorite of many students was “JS Ball,” a game he organized and participated in on Fridays during the winter. All four of his children played sports at USM and he supported them enthusiastically, as well as his students in all sports over the years. He was widely recognized as someone who embodied the spirit of the school. Watch John "J.S." Stephen's induction video.
The 1968 hockey team’s secret weapon was, without question, the experience and depth of its roster, which was dominated by juniors and seniors. With Chris Wright ’69 and captain Phil Uihlein ’68 leading the high-powered offense, combined with a strong defense, the excellent goaltending of Frank Briber ’68, and expert coaching of Tony Fritz, the team was nearly unstoppable. At one point in the season the team had nine consecutive victories, resulting in the most successful season in the history of USM at the time. The team elevated the USM hockey program not only within the state but also the country, and ended its 1968 season with a record of 17–2. Watch the 1968 hockey team's induction video.
Liz Krieg’s ’79 illustrious 12-year career as USM’s varsity field hockey coach resulted in seven consecutive conference championships, five Wisconsin High School Field Hockey Association state championships, and a record of 129–50–17. Krieg was not only known for her leadership on the field, she was revered for her mentorship and the positive difference she made in the lives of the athletes she coached. In addition to her coaching, Krieg also served as USM’s director of College Guidance and a part-time history teacher. Watch Liz Krieg's induction video.
Lowell MacDonald Sr. began his coaching career at University School of Milwaukee in 1979. Prior to that, he was a professional National Hockey League winger who played during the 1960s and 1970s for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, and Pittsburgh Penguins. MacDonald wore many hats during his tenure at USM, including athletic director and boys’ varsity hockey coach from 1979 to 1997, as well as varsity golf coach for five of those years. He was known for always stepping in to help support the lives of USM athletes, and for championing the growth and success of USM athletics. Watch Lowell MacDonald Sr.'s induction video.
- Robert "Bobby" Jake MUS'40
- Alice Kieckhefer Fajen MDS'44
- John Stocking MCDS'57
- Jim Bell MUS'58
- Eugene "Pepi" Randolph '79
- Karen Hartwig '86
- Sarah Cyganiak '94
- Audrey Arndt
- MCDS Football 1947-1950
- Tony Fritz
Robert "Bobby" Jake MUS'40 was a highly decorated athlete, earning nine letters and serving as captain in basketball and tennis and competing in track and field. He was a standout tennis player, winning every singles match in Midwest Prep competition from freshman year on, and secured the National Boys Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships in 1938. He was ranked number one in the country for boys tennis in 1939. As a junior, he led the basketball team in scoring with 103 points, and as a senior he set a school record with 165 points.
Jake matriculated to Northwestern University in 1940, where he played both varsity basketball and tennis before serving in World War II. He returned to Northwestern in 1946 in time to win the Big Ten Conference Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships in the spring of 1946.With one year of athletic eligibility remaining, his athletic success continued in medical school at the University of Vermont, where he earned varsity letters in football, basketball, and tennis. Vermont's 1946-47 basketball team won the Yankee Conference and Jake was the second-leading scorer. He was selected 16th overall in the 1947 draft of the Basketball Association of America, the fore-runner to the NBA, by the Baltimore Bullets. However, he elected to complete medical school instead. Watch Bobby Jake's induction video.
Alice Kieckhefer Fajen MDS'44 was a pioneering female athlete. During her time at Milwaukee Downer Seminary, Fajen lettered in the three major sports that were recognized at the time: field hockey, basketball, and volleyball, and also participated in tennis and ping pong.
Her most notable athletic achievement was as a junior women's tennis player. At a tournament in Philadelphia in the summer of 1944, Fajen was a member of a western team that defeated a quad from the middle Atlantic to win the Sears trophy. In 1945, as the fourth seed, Fajen beat the No. 1 seed to win the Western (Girls') Tennis Association singles championship held at Milwaukee's Town Club. She then teamed up with a partner to win the doubles championship at the same event. Fajen matriculated at Smith College, where she continued to excel in tennis. Watch Alice Kieckhefer Fajen's induction video.
As a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track at Milwaukee Country Day School, John Stocking MCDS'57 earned an extraordinary 12 varsity letters. During his high school career, he received numerous Midwest Prep Conference honors in each sport he played. He was the only unanimous, First Team All-Midwest Prep selection in 1957 in basketball. Additionally, he was the Midwest Prep leading scorer with 331 points that same year. He also served as a captain and received MVP distinction in all three sports.
He continued his athletic abilities at Yale University, where he was a two-sport varsity athlete as a member of the Bulldog's football and track teams. He helped the football team achieve its first undefeated and untied season since 1923, with a record of 9-0, which still stands today. Watch John Stocking's induction video.
Jim Bell MUS'58 excelled in both academics and athletics, and was a force on the football field, basketball court, and tennis court. He displayed strong leadership skills, which ultimately led him to serve as captain of all three teams.
During the 1957-58 basketball season, Bell and his teammates started one of the longest winning streaks in Wisconsin high school history, with the team winning 57 straight games from 1957 to 1961, which still stands today. Additionally, Bell helped the tennis team earn a consecutive match record of 36 straight wins over four years.
Bell earned the Thompson Trophy in 1958, and he matriculated at Williams College, where he continued his football career. He has shared his time and talent with University School of Milwaukee as a member of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the school's endowment board. He is also a recipient of the University School of Milwaukee Alumni Service Award. Watch Jim Bell's induction video.
Eugene "Pepi" Randolph '79 was known for his work ethic and incredible speed as a student athlete. He earned all-conference and all-area accolades in football, basketball, and baseball during his time at USM, and ended his USM career as the MVP in baseball and football.
Randolph earned four varsity letters in baseball, three in basketball, and three in football. His senior year he served as the captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams and earned the coveted Henry H. Uihlein Sportsmanship Trophy.
Randolph matriculated to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he played baseball and helped the team to four top-five finishes in the Big Ten during his career. His batting average at UW-Madison was .324, and in 1981 he led the team in doubles. A four-year letter winner in baseball, Randolph served as a team co-captain during his senior year in 1983. Since graduating from UW-Madison, Randolph has served as president of the W Club as well as two terms on UW's athletic board of directors. Watch Eugene Randolph's induction video.
During her time at USM, Karen Hartwig '86 received 10 varsity letters (three in field hockey, four in basketball, and three in soccer). She was a three-sport captain, and also a three-time MVP, in those sports. In 1986 she was awarded the Trustee's Cup and also the Marion Chester Read Award as the top female athlete of her class. According to her coaches, Hartwig was a player they could always count on and she put in the work to excel in every sport in which she participated.
Hartwig matriculated at Dartmouth College, where she received multiple all-conference selections as a goalkeeper in field hockey. Her college career includes Ivy League conference championships in 1987 and 1988, and she is that school's all-time single-season record holder in save percentage. While at Dartmouth, Hartwig won the Dorothy Hall Leavitt Award and received an all-Ivy League Honorable Mention in 1987. Watch Karen Hartwig's induction video.
Sarah Cyganiak '94 was a significant contributor to the legacy of University School of Milwaukee in tennis. She earned four varsity letters in tennis and was the WISAA regional and state champion, finishing the year with a record of 31-0. She also won state titles in her sophomore, junior, and senior years, and finished her USM career with an overall record of 103-1, with the lone loss coming as the result of an injury default.
Cyganiak also excelled in track and field, earning 5th place at state in the triple jump. Following graduation, she enrolled at the University of Michigan, where she was named the Big Ten freshman of the year and Intercollegiate Tennis Association rookie of the year in 1994. Cyganiak was a four-time all-Big Ten selection and was named conference player of the year in both 1995 and 1997. She served as a team captain when the school won its first Big Ten championship. Watch Sarah Cyganiak's induction video.
Audrey Arndt dedicated her many skills and talents, along with her passion, to Milwaukee Country Day School and University School of Milwaukee from 1946 to 1992. Arndt served as the assistant to the head of Upper School, but her service went far beyond the expected duties of her position, as she spent many hours contributing in myriad ways to the athletic program after her official duties were completed each day. In this volunteer capacity, which extended beyond evenings to also include weekends and holidays, she contributed as a statistician, scorekeeper, and the primary contact for various news sources, ensuring that athletic events were well-coordinated and efficient.
Arndt regularly attended both home and away athletic events to cheer on her beloved teams, which further demonstrated her loyalty and support for the student athletes. She was student-centered and her reward was the appreciation of the students, faculty, staff and parents she served. Arndt typified what the school strives for in its student athletes: hard work, dedication, loyalty, friendship, and devotion. Watch Audrey Arndt's induction video.
The MCDS football teams from 1947-1950 are referred to by many alumni and event football historians as extraordinary, increddible, and tremendous. The teams achieved a collective 27-0 record, with each team being honored as Midwest Prep conference champions. In the 27 games played during those four years, MCDS scored 730 points while their opponents scored a combined 129 points. In 12 of those 27 games, the MCDS Cougars shut out their opponents, not allowing a single point. The 1948 team has two players who received All-State honorable mentions for the first time in school history. The teams played under the esteemed coaching of the legendary head coach Ken Laird and assistant coach Tom Hughes. Watch the MCDS 1947-1950 football induction video.
Tony Fritz began his University School of Milwaukee career in 1964 as a high school physical education teacher and ice hockey, soccer, and baseball coach. It was the beginning of a 14-year success story. Fritz turned USM's fledgling hockey program into a state powerhouse, compiling an overall record of 159-90-7. There were no state hockey tournaments for private schools during his USM coaching career, so he was unable to lead the team to any state titles, but he was beloved and respected by his players.
Fritz left USM in 1978 to become the head coach of the Lake Forest College men's hockey and men's soccer programs, where he carried on his winning record. He was inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Forester Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2013, he received the John MacInnes Award, established by the American Hockey Coaches Association in 1982, in recognition of his contributions to amateur hockey and youth programs. Watch Tony Fritz' induction video.
- Frederick C. Miller MCDS'25
- Von Mansfield '78
- Lane MacDonald '84
- Holly Palin Cornille '02
- Polly and Henry Uihlein
- Marion and Verne Read
- MUS Boys Basketball 1957-1961
- Howard Boese
- Jim Laing
- Ken Laird
Frederick C. Miller MCDS’25 came to Milwaukee Country Day School as a high school freshman. From the start, he excelled both academically and athletically. He quickly became a star on the football team, playing fullback during his MCDS career. He was also a starter on both the basketball and baseball teams. Miller’s excellent football skills, combined with his scholastic average, caught the attention of several major colleges, including the University of Notre Dame. Upon graduation from MCDS, Miller enrolled at Notre Dame, and became an All-American tackle under legendary head coach Knute Rockne. In 1947, he was named as president of Miller Brewing and is credited for transforming the company from a regional leader to the nation's fifth-ranked brewery. Watch Frederick C. Miller's induction video.
Von Mansfield ’78 joined University School of Milwaukee his sophomore year and had an enormous impact on the athletic program, earning nine varsity letters. Mansfield served as co-captain of the basketball and track and field teams. In addition to being an all-conference defensive back in football, he was a state champion in the long jump. After graduation, Mansfield walked on to the University of Wisconsin football team, and subsequently earned an athletic scholarship. He was drafted by the NFL in 1982, and played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. Watch Von Mansfield's induction video.
Lane MacDonald ’84 served as captain for University School of Milwaukee’s football, hockey, and baseball teams in the early 1980s. During his time on the ice at USM, MacDonald helped his teams win the WISAA State Championships in both 1983 and 1984. He was also the recipient of the Henry H. Uihlein Sportsmanship Trophy in 1984. MacDonald was drafted by the NHL in 1985 but instead chose to enroll at Harvard University, where he played hockey and graduated cum laude with a degree in economics. He was twice named a first team All-American and won the Hobey Baker Award. He deferred his senior year at Harvard to train for the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, where he co-led the team with six goals in six games. While serving as captain his senior year he led the Crimson to their first NCAA title in 1989, which still stands as Harvard’s only national championship in any major sport. MacDonald was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005 and also became the 54th inductee into the Beanpot Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014. Watch Lane MacDonald's induction video.
Holly Palin Cornille ’02 is one of the most highly decorated female athletes in University School of Milwaukee history. She earned 14 varsity letters during her high school career, and served as captain of the USM field hockey, basketball, and soccer teams. In basketball, Palin was a starter all four years and a three-time first team all-conference selection. In soccer, she led her teams to three conference championships. In field hockey, Palin was the only freshman on the varsity squad. She led the team to three Wisconsin High School Field Hockey Association state titles. Her junior year she was named first team all-conference and invited to participate in the all-star game.
Palin was recruited to play field hockey for Northwestern University, where she was also a member of the basketball team. At NU she was a three-time Big Ten All-Academic team honoree, was named to the NCAA All-Midwest Region team, served as captain her senior year, and was invited to try out for the U.S. Women’s National team. Watch Holly Palin Cornille's induction video.
Lifelong supporters of athletics, Polly MDS’38 and Henry MCDS’39 were dedicated to youth hockey in Milwaukee. They were among the original supporters of the Milwaukee Winter Club, which has been instrumental in promoting the sport in the Greater Milwaukee area. The Uihleins also made a significant contribution to renovate the ice rink at USM, which now bears their names. Additionally, each year the Henry H. Uihlein Sportsmanship Trophy is awarded to a senior male athlete for his ability, attitude, conduct, and leadership. Watch Polly and Henry Uihlein's induction video.
True fans and boosters of the University School of Milwaukee athletic programs, Marion MDS’37 and Verne Read attended countless Wildcats games and matches, supporting their children and grandchildren, and their teammates. Their long and enduring friendship and generosity helped bring to fruition a multitude of fundraising efforts. Hockey, tennis, compensation for coaches, and USM’s outdoor athletic complex have all benefited from their support. The Marion and Verne Read Lower School Gymnasium is named in their honor. Watch Marion and Verne Read's induction video.
From 1957 to 1961, the Milwaukee University School boys’ basketball team was unstoppable. During the 1957-58 season, they started a winning streak that became one of the longest in Wisconsin high school history and is still the longest in School history. The streak began when the Lancers, coached by Gerry Gottowske and led by co-captains Jim Bell and Paul Wick, defeated Milwaukee Lutheran 55-43. Following were 57 more consecutive victories under the subsequent leadership of captains Robert Walker, Pete Berg and Andy Sawyer. The team was known for balanced scoring and strong control of the boards. Many fans and coaches marveled at their unusual poise under fire. The streak was finally snapped by Wayland Academy during the 1960-61 season. Watch the 1957-1961 team's induction video.
Howard Boese coached football, basketball, and baseball at Milwaukee University School, and also served as its athletic director, beginning in 1949. His teams were renowned for “doing it the right way,” and for playing with respect for the game, the rules, and their opponents. Following the school merger in 1964, Boese was named University School of Milwaukee’s first athletic director, and he coached baseball for USM until 1980. To honor Boese, an award was created bearing his name. It is given each year to the senior baseball player who best exhibits exemplary sportsmanship. In addition to being a dynamic coach, Boese was an incredible athlete. Considered a standout during high school, and after serving in World War II, he went on to play baseball for the University of Wisconsin. Watch Howard Boese's induction video.
Beginning in 1964, Jim Laing coached the University School of Milwaukee boys’ tennis team to 36 Midwest Prep and Midwest Classic conference championships and 10 Wisconsin Independent School Athletic Association (WISAA) team championships. His players also won 24 WISAA state individual championships. In 1971, he began also coaching the girls’ tennis team. He led them to an all-time record 12 WISAA state team championships. His players also won 41 WISAA state individual championships, before he retired as head coach in 2000. Wanting to remain involved with USM tennis, Laing stayed on as an assistant coach in both programs for several more years, finally retiring completely in 2008, 44 years after first accepting leadership of tennis at the School. Watch Jim Laing's induction video.
From 1938-1970, Ken Laird compiled an overall record of 189-42-13 as head football coach at Milwaukee Country Day School and University School of Milwaukee. His teams achieved 12 undefeated seasons, and won five Wisconsin Prep Conference championships and 11 Midwest Prep Conference championships. During one period while at MCDS, he coached a 32-game winning streak. Laird also found time to officiate football and basketball at both the high school and collegiate levels for 25 years. In 1970, his final team was not only undefeated but also the first non-Catholic private school to compete in the WISAA playoffs. Laird is a member of the Wisconsin High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and USM’s football field was named in his honor in 1992. Watch Ken Laird's induction video.
Steve Becker MCDS'64
Jaime Erickson McGaver '99
Kip Jacobs '74
Andy Read '90
John "J.S." Stephens
Margy Stratton Norman '84
Jay Wigdale '78
Mike Williams '70
Sue Baker, physical education teacher and volleyball coach
Kip Jacobs '74, Outdoor Education Coordinator
Tim Williams, Director of Athletics
Ivan Guzman, Assistant Director of Athletics
Vanessa Nerbun, Executive Assistant to the Head of School