UWO Hall of Fame inducts 10


Photos courtesy: UWO Athletics– This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are Ellie (Sitek) Bogdanske, Rachel (Heitkamp) Chaney, Bob Harrington, Steve Jorgensen, Andy Kimball, Christina (Cahoon) Kremel, Dijouvne (D.J.) Marsh, Abe Mendoza, Dr. Esrold Nurse and Whitney Tornow.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh athletics department officially inducted 10 new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame Sunday morning at the Culver Family Welcome Center.

The 48th Hall of Fame Class featured former Titans Ellie (Sitek) Bogdanske, Rachel (Heitkamp) Chaney, Bob Harrington, Steve Jorgensen, Andy Kimball, Christina (Cahoon) Kremel, Dijouvne (D.J.) Marsh, Abe Mendoza, Dr. Esrold Nurse and Whitney Tornow.

Bogdanske, who did hammer throw and discus for the UWO track and field team, won three individual NCAA Division III track and field titles in 2009 and 2010. At the 2009 national championship, Bogdanske had the winning measurements in both the discus and hammer throw with 157-3 and 175-10, respectively. She defended her discus national title the following year when she had the winning measurement of 166-1 at the national meet.

Bogdanske, a four-time letter winner in both indoor and outdoor track and field, was named the Outstanding Field Performer at the 2009 WIAC Outdoor Championship where she won the 20-pound weight throw. In 2010, she was named the Division III Outdoor Athlete of the Year, Division III Midwest Region Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year and Outstanding Field Performer at the Division III Outdoor Championship.

The 2010 season saw Bogdanske take home a shot-put title at the WIAC Indoor Championship and a discus throw title at the WIAC Outdoor Championship.

Bogdanske, one of four Division III discus champions in UWO history, received eight Division III All-America awards during the outdoor season and four during the indoor season during her career which spanned from 2007-10. She helped the Titans to a Division III outdoor title in 2007 as well as national runners-up in 2009 and 2010.

Bogdanske, who led the Titans to a second-place finish in the 2010 Division III Indoor Championship, was named to the WIAC All-Centennial Women’s Track and Field team in 2012.

Chaney, a standout diver on the UWO swimming and diving team from 2001-04, was a two-time NCAA Division III champion and remains the only diving national champion in program history.

Jacob Link / The Advance-Titan                                    Abe Mendoza ran cross country and track for UWO.

An eight-time All-American, Chaney won the 1- and 3-meter diving titles with scores of 387.05 and 457.05, respectively, at the 2004 Division III Championship. She dominated the WIAC during her four-year career with the Titans, winning the 1-meter diving title in 2001, 2003 and 2004 as well as the 3-meter championship in 2003 and 2004.

Bogdanske said her diving coach, Amy, was a big part of her success at UWO.

“She joined us my junior year in college and really helped me through the last two years of competition,” Bogdanske said. “We had great success together.”

Chaney, who was named Diver of the Meet at both the 2003 and 2004 WIAC championships, has the most All-America Awards in program history and was selected to the WIAC All-Centennial Women’s Swimming and Diving Team in 2012.

Harrington, a former UWO Titan Booster Club president, has helped the athletics department through committee involvement and numerous fundraising activities since 1970.

“I want to congratulate all the inductees, who are all outstanding people,” he said. “I am very proud to be a part of the group and I only wish I had half the athletic ability of the student-athletes being inducted.”

Harrington has been a member of the UWO Athletics Hall of Fame committee since 1980 and served on the search committee for the head football coach position in 2007.

The Oshkosh High School alumnus has been a long-time supporter of the Titans, watching baseball games at Menominee Park, basketball at Merrill School and football at the New York Avenue Athletics Facility.

Jorgensen, a defensive end on the UWO football team from 1980-83, started all four years with Oshkosh, leading the WIAC in tackles his senior year as team captain.

In 1983, Jorgensen received All-WIAC First Team honors after leading the conference in tackles with 119, solo stops with 35, tackles for loss with 11 and five quarterback sacks. He finished his career at UWO with 303 tackles, including 91 solo tackles and 12 sacks.

“I’d like to thank the committee for giving me this great honor,” he said. “I think my athletic accomplishments at UWO were OK but have no comparison to the multi-All-Americans that I see here today.”

After graduating from UWO in 1985 and earning a masters degree in 1986, Jorgensen transitioned to coaching high school football where he led Oshkosh North High School to a Division I WIAA state championship in 2000. Jorgensen also coached Kimberly High School to back-to-back WIAA state championships in 2007 and 2008.

Jorgensen won nine Fox Valley Association titles while compiling a 164-58 record in 20 seasons as the head football coach at Oshkosh North, Kimberly and Fond Du Lac high schools. He was named Wisconsin’s Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2007 while receiving Fox Valley Association Coach of the Year honors eight times.

Kimball was a dominant pitcher for the Titan baseball team from 1995-97 before being selected by the Oakland Athletics in the fifth round of the 1997 Major League Baseball First-year Draft.

A two-time NCAA Division III All-American, Kimball was the 1997 WIAC South Division Pitcher of the Year and was voted to the Division III All-Region First Team in 1996 and 1997.

“It’s such an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at UW Oshkosh,” Kimball said. “It feels like a lifetime ago that we were all here playing, and now just an old man stands before you.”

Kimball appeared in 30 games for UWO in his career, going 23-2 with 225 strikeouts, 20 complete games and a 2.40 earned run average (ERA) while pitching 202.2 innings for the Titans. Kimball, who ranks seventh in WIAC history in ERA, had five career shutouts including a complete game, two-hit victory over California Lutheran University in the 1996 Division III World Series.

An Oshkosh West High School alumnus, Kimball helped the Titans to a 101-21 record from 1995-97 as UWO won the WIAC South Division all three seasons. The Titans reached the Division III World Series twice during those seasons, finishing third in the nation in 1995 and fourth in 1996.

Kimball, who was selected to the WIAC All-Centennial Baseball Team in 2012, pitched five seasons in the  A’s and Milwaukee Brewers farm systems and compiled a 29-29 record with 364 strikeouts in 392.2 innings.

Kremel played volleyball for the Titans from 2007-10 and is a former NCAA Division III Player of the year and three-time All-American, leading Oshkosh to three straight WIAC regular season titles from 2008-10.

Kremel, who remains the only libero to ever be named National Player of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, received Division III All-America First Team awards in 2008 and 2009 and was selected to the Honorable Mention Team in 2010.

Kremel, one of four Titans to ever earn three All-America Awards, helped UWO to a 135-26 record from 2007-10 and four consecutive trips to the Division III tournament. Oshkosh had their best finishes in 2008 and 2009 when they placed fifth and third, respectively, at the Division III championship.

Jacob Link / The Advance-Titan.              Dr. Esrold Nurse ran track for the Titans from 1973-76.


“This amazing honor that I am receiving today is largely in part because I am blessed to have an incredible family,” Kremel said. “Whether it was driving me an hour to practice during a snowstorm or sitting in a gym for 10 hours a day on hard bleachers listening to  hundreds of pre-teen girls screaming, they have always been my biggest supporters.”

Kremel played in 150 career matches for UWO, totaling 2,753 digs (a WIAC record), 192 assists, 189 service aces and 38 kills while being named to the All-WIAC First Team as well as the WIAC All-Defensive Team from 2008-10.

“I will forever be indebted to this university. It allowed me to continue to play the game I love, and gave me opportunities to see places I never would have imagined,” she said.

A three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association First Team performer, Kremel was named to the WIAC All-Centennial Women’s Volleyball Team in 2012.

Marsh played basketball for the Titans from 2007-10 and earned several national, regional and conference honors while leading UWO to a 65-40 record during his four seasons.

Marsh, who started in all 105 games for Oshkosh, received three NCAA All-America awards, four All-Region accolades and was named to the WIAC First Team three times. He ranks third in UWO history with 1,800 career points and ranks sixth in WIAC history with 480 career free throws made.

The Nicolet High School product was named WIAC Co-Player of the Year in 2009 and led the conference in scoring during the 2010 campaign, averaging 22.3 points per game. Marsh recorded 17 career double-doubles while scoring in double figures 82 times, none more famous than his 38-point performance in the 90-87 loss to the University of Puget Sound on November 27, 2009.

Mendoza ran cross country and track for Oshkosh from 1997-2000, claiming two individual Division III national championships and was a three-time All-American.

In 1999, Mendoza won the Division III 3,000-meter steeplechase championship with a time of 9:01.06 and helped UWO to their fourth WIAC indoor track and field title in program history. Mendoza, a 10-time letter winner, defended his steeplechase title in 2000, setting a school record time of 8:55:09 at the Division III Outdoor National Championship.

“It is an incredible honor to be included in this class and I have many people to thank for helping me along the way,” Mendoza said.

The Appleton East High School graduate is one of only four three-time cross country All-Americans in UWO history and his performance at the 2000 WIAC cross-country championship gave the Titans their seventh conference title in program history.

Mendoza said he was lucky to be coached by legendary track coaches, such as high school coach Joe Perez.

“He was a coach that really helped me keep my head on straight, never letting me get too high or too low and that was certainly a great help,” he said.

Nurse ran track for Oshkosh from 1973-76 and was a nine-time WIAC champion while being named co-captain of the track team in 1975 and 1976.

Nurse, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, won indoor conference titles in the 300-yard run in 1974 and 1976 as well as the 440-yard run in 1973 and 1976. He was also part of the Titans’ indoor mile relay team that won WIAC titles in 1973, 1974 and 1976.

Nurse said he enjoyed the daily interactions with his teammates and especially the teammates of his home country.

“My experiences as a resident of Oshkosh, a student at the university and a member of the track team was important in my overall development (as a person),” he said.

But Nurse said being a Black man living in Oshkosh had its challenges.

“I had racial slurs pointed at me, and of course there were always questions raised about where I was from,” he said.

 “On one occasion, I was stopped by a police officer outside Kmart. When I asked what was going on, I was told that I fit the description of someone they were looking for,” Nurse said. “I informed the officer that I happened to be a forign student at the university and showed him my Id and was released.”

In 1974, Nurse led the indoor 800-yard relay team and outdoor 440-yard relay squad to conference championships. Nurse, who was named UWO’s Most Valuable Track Performer during each of his four seasons, set the WIAC record for the 440-yard dash in 1976 with a time of 49.7 seconds. He also played an important role in the Titans record breaking indoor mile relay time in 1973 as UWO set a conference record with a time of 3:23.3.

Nurse said he chose Oshkosh because he knew of other Trinidad and Tobago natives that attended the university.

“It’s like anything else, you go somewhere where you know someone or someone knows you,” he said. “Now we’ve had a lot of people from Trinidad and we’ve got to do something to get some traction from athletes from Trinidad who want to come here since we have a history and it’s a good one.”

Nurse, who helped UWO win the team title at the 1973 WIAC Indoor Championship, qualified for the 1976 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Indoor Championship in the 440-yard run.

Nurse received his doctorate from UW-Madison in 1994, serving as the assistant dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at Madison before becoming the executive director of the Advising Center for 23 years at the University of Michigan.

The final inductee into the Hall of Fame class of 2022 was Whitney Tornow, who played softball and tennis for the Titans from 2006-10.

Tornow received NCAA Division III All-America First Team honors in 2010 and second team honors in 2009 as a center fielder on the softball diamond. She was named to the WIAC First Team from 2008-10 and was named the conference’s Position Player of the Year in 2009.

 Tornow, who received Division III All-Region accolades from 2008-10, owns the WIAC single season record with a .500 batting average and 40 walks during the 2010 season. The Neenah High School product led the WIAC in home runs with 12 in 2009 as well as batting average, doubles and total bases in 2010.

“It is such an honor to be here today,” she said. “I am extremely humbled to be a part of this Hall of Fame class.”

Tornow ranks among the top eight in WIAC history in slugging percentage, doubles, RBIs, batting average and home runs. She was selected to the WIAC All-Centennial Softball Team in 2012 and is just one of three UWO players to register five hits in a game.

“I was blessed to have a tremendous support team around me throughout my career, people who helped me to keep things in order and in perspective,” Tornow said.

Tornow finished her softball career with a .420 career batting average with 31 home runs, 48 doubles, eight triples, 146 RBIs and 122 runs scored in 152 games played. She helped the Titans to a 110-60 in her four seasons as the Titans won the regular and postseason WIAC championships in 2007 and 2008.

With 231 members, the UWO Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1974 to pay tribute and acknowledge former athletes, coaches and contributors to the university athletics department.