STEVENS POINT (PRESS RELEASE)– The UW-Stevens Point Athletic Hall of Fame will induct eight new members and the men's basketball back-to-back national championship teams from 2004 & 2005 into the class of 2010. The group will be officially inducted at a banquet held October 23.
Individuals in this year's class include former basketball coach Jack Bennett, basketball's Nick Bennett, men's hockey athlete Frank Cirone, former football and baseball player Jim Hansen, track & field runner Chris Horvath, women's soccer athlete Michelle Jacob, basketball standout Jason Kalsow and track & field and cross country's Rebecca (Leback) Suehring. Also in this year's class are the 2003-04 and 2004-05 Men's Basketball National Championship Teams.
The 2010 ceremony kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Pointer football game, as the inductees will be introduced to the crowd at halftime of the UWSP vs. UW-La Crosse game, scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Community Stadium at Goerke Park. The induction ceremony will take place following the game at the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center.
The individuals selected for this season's class include:
Jack Bennett, ME '81, Plover, former UWSP men's basketball coach and the winningest in its history, led the 2004 and 2005 men's basketball teams to the NCAA's first Division III back-to-back national championships. He accumulated a 200-56 record in nine years at UWSP and was a national and state Coach of the Year. The basketball court is named in his and his brother's honor. He coached a total of 33 years at the collegiate and high school level, with winning records for 32 seasons. He and his wife, Sue, have two grown sons, Jay Bennett, '01, Marshfield, and fellow inductee Nick.
Nick Bennett, '05, Edinburg, Texas, also helped take the Pointers to back-to-back national championships. He was named the 2004 Final Four MVP and a D3Hoops.com First Team All-American. An assistant basketball coach and recruiter at Texas-Pan America, he previously was an assistant coach at UWSP and director of basketball technology at Marquette University. Prior to joining Texas-Pan American in 2010, he also worked as the top assistant at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Frank Cirone, '94, Plymouth, N.H., was a member of UWSP's 1991 and 1993 national championship hockey teams and the 1991 runner-up team. He is fifth on the all-time career goal and point list and has a record for most short-handed goals in a season (five). He was a scholar-athlete, earned several team and NCHA honors and was the AHCA National Player of the Year. He is now a teacher, hockey and lacrosse coach and advisor at Holderness School in Plymouth. He and his wife, Susan, have two sons.
James Hansen, '71, Crandon, holds records for most passes caught, most touchdowns and most yards gained. He was the MVP of the 1967 UWSP football team and was on the All-Conference team. He was also a member of the 1967 conference championship baseball team. Drafted by both the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins, he signed with the Twins and played for their Auburn, N.Y. and St. Cloud, Minn., teams. He served in the National Guard then was a teacher, principal, athletic director and coach for the Laona school district for 36 years, retiring in 2007. He earned a master's degree in educational administration in 1990 at UW-Superior. He is married to Donna (Evans) Hansen, '71.
Chris Horvat, '01, Sturgeon Bay, was a UWSP track NCAA Division III national champion in the 800 meters, an All-American in several running events and a WIAC conference champion in the 800 meters. He now teaches at a private school in Door County and coaches cross country and track for the Sevastopol school district, who won WIAA state champion titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Michelle Jacob, '01, Houghton, Mich., a member of the 1998-2001 UWSP women's soccer team that won four WIAC season and tournament championships and a NCAA Final Four appearance, was a NCAA First Team All-American and WIAC Player of the Year. She is the head coach of Michigan Tech University's first women's soccer team. She has also coached at UWSP and Marian University.
Jason Kalsow, '05, Toledo, Ohio, UWSP's all-time leading men's basketball scorer and rebounder, was a member of the UWSP 2004 and 2005 men's basketball national championship teams and three WIAC championship teams. He was the 2005 Division III National Player of the Year and was named to the second team All-Decade by D3Hoops.com. An assistant coach at the University of Toledo, Kalsow also was the director of basketball operations and an assistant coach at UW-Green Bay and also coached at UWSP for two seasons.
Becky (Lebak) Suehring, '02, Janesville, won All-WIAC, All-Region and All-American honors while running cross country and track at UWSP from 1999 to 2002. She holds school records for the outdoor 10,000 and 5,000 meter runs and finished first at several conference championships. She was also a scholar-athlete winner and team MVP. She is a registered dietitian for Nutrition and Health Associates in Janesville and has run seven marathons. She and her husband, former teammate Shane Suehring, '02, have one child.
Members of the 2004 and 2005 Division III national champion men's basketball teams differ only slightly between the back-to-back championships. In 2004, the Pointers beat Williams College 84-82 with a buzzer shot by Jason Kalsow. They returned to Salem, Va., in 2005 to defeat Rochester 73-49. The 2004 championship team had a 29-5 record, while the 2005 team had a 29-3 record.