STEVENS POINT, Wis.–The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has announced the 2012 inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame. This year's honorees include Amanda (Nechuta) Bailey, Jennifer Bruce, Mick Kempffer, Tara (Schmitt) Kielblock, Frank O'Brien, Dan Schwamberger, Bret Stamper and Bill Verbick.
Amanda (Nechuta) Bailey: A three-sport star in basketball, track & field, and soccer, Bailey is one of the most decorated female student-athletes in UWSP history. In her four-year career with the women's basketball team from 2002-05, Bailey was a two-time All-American, three-time First Team All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honoree and a two-time WIAC Player of the Year. She was named the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year during her senior season. Bailey is in the UWSP record books as the team's all-time leading scorer with 1,801 points and ranks fourth all-time in rebounding (756). Bailey was a member of the 2002 NCAA III Championship squad and the 2004 Final Four team. She was later recognized as a member of the D3hoops.com All-Decade Team. In track & field, Bailey was a four-time All-American in shot put and also earned All-American accolades in the discus in addition to several all-conference performances in shot put. Bailey also spent one year as a member of the Pointers women's soccer team. Bailey is currently in her second year as the head coach of the women's basketball team at Luther College in Iowa.
Jennifer Bruce: Bruce was a member of the Pointers women's soccer team from 2000-03 and was a four-time First Team All-WIAC selection and a NSCAA First Team All-Central Region honoree. As a senior, Bruce was named the WIAC's Judy Kruckman Women's Soccer Scholar Athlete. In 2003, Bruce earned Academic All-District and also received Academic All-America honors. Bruce can be found in the WIAC record books as the career assists leader (53), fifth in career points (161) and seventh in career goals (54). She ranks 17th in Division III in career assists and was the ninth player in NCAA Division III history to record 50 goals and 50 assists. In 2012, Bruce was elected to the WIAC Centennial Team.
Mick Kempffer: As a defenseman on the UWSP men's hockey team from 1990-94, Kempffer was a member of three NCAA Division III Championship teams. Kempffer was a three-time First Team All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association selection and a three-time All-American as a defenseman. He ranks as the Pointers' all-time leading goal scorer as a defenseman (26) and still holds the team record for goals in a game by a defenseman (3). He also ranks second on the all-time list for most career assists by a defenseman.
Tara (Schmitt) Kielblock: From 2001-04, Kielblock was a three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, and track & field. Kielblock shined on the pitch where she was a WIAC All-Conference and an all-region honoree as well as the WIAC Player of the Year. Her senior year she also received the WIAC Judy Kruckman Women's Soccer Scholar Athlete award. As a member of the women's basketball team, Kielblock was an all-conference honorable mention selection and part of the 2002 National Championship squad and the 2004 Final Four team. In 2002, she was selected to the Final Four All-Tournament Team. As a member of the UWSP track & field team, Kielblock was a conference champion in the 4x100 meter relay. Kielblock is currently the varsity women's soccer coach at Brookfield East High School.
Frank O'Brien: O'Brien retired as UW-Stevens Point's Director of Athletics in 2011 after 30 years of service to the university. O'Brien joined the university in 1980 as a residence hall director, student activities advisor, and assistant director of residence life. He then transitioned into serving as the strength and conditioning coach for the UWSP men's hockey team before becoming the athletic department's business manager and associate director of athletics. O'Brien assumed his duties as director of athletics in 1991. During his time with the university, the Pointers won 78 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and 15 of the school's 20 athletic teams made Final Four appearances. UWSP also posted 13 straight top-25 finishes in United States Sports Academy Director Cup Standings and was the top WIAC finisher in seven of 15 years. O'Brien was the first commissioner of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association and was instrumental in the development of women's hockey in the NCAA. For his efforts, the NCHA's playoff trophy was named the O'Brien Cup in his honor. He was an active member on numerous NCAA men's hockey, women's hockey, and wresting committees. In 1999 he received the #NACDA??# Athletic Director of the Year Award. O'Brien also received the UWSP Staff Excellence Award and the HPERA Service Award. A Bedford, Mass., native, O'Brien resides in Stevens Point with his wife Renee and two daughters, Megan and Hannah.
Dan Schwamberger: Schwamberger participated in both track and cross country in his four years at UW-Stevens Point (years). As a track star, he was a five-time All-American and a three-time conference champion. As a senior Schwamberger won the individual national championship in the indoor 5K run. In his four years with the cross country team, Schwamberger was a two-time All-American honoree. Schwamberger is currently the head cross country coach and the assistant track and field coach at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Bret Stamper: Stamper was a member of the UW-Stevens Point wrestling team from 1993-97. Wrestling in the 157-pound weight class, he compiled a career record of 97-37 with 381 takedowns. Stamper was a two-time conference champion and a two-time NCAA Division III All-American. Stamper placed third at the nationals twice and was a member of three conference championship teams. Stamper also excelled in the classroom, earning WIAC Scholar Athlete of the Year accolades in 1996 and 1997 and was also a four-time Academic All-American.
Bill Verbrick: Verbrick was a member of the Pointers baseball team from 1998-2002. As a freshman, Verbrick was named to the starting rotation where he went 7-2 and helped lead his team to a WIAC championship. Over his four-year career, Verbrick was a second team All-American honoree, a WIAC Honorable Mention selection, three-time WIAC Pitcher of the Week, 2002 WIAC Pitcher of the Year and Division III National Pitcher of the Week. Verbrick was a three-time WIAC champion and a three-time team captain selection. Verbrick holds the school's single-season records for innings pitched (102.0) and strikeouts (115) and ranks in the top five in decisions (14) wins (10-2) and complete games( 7). He holds the school's career records for innings pitch (294.0), decisions (37) and strikeouts (271) and ranks in the top five in complete games (19) and wins (26). In Verbrick's senior year, he pitched the first and only nine-inning perfect game in UW-Stevens Point history in a 5-0 win over UW-River Falls. For the last six years Verbrick has been working as the General Manager and Director of Golf at Ridgeway Country Club in Neenah, Wis.
The Hall of Fame ceremony will take place in conjunction with Homecoming weekend Oct. 19-21. Honorees will be introduced at halftime of the football game versus UW-Eau Claire on Oct. 20 and be honored with a ceremony that evening at the Dreyfus University Center on the UWSP campus.
For more information on the event, please contact the athletic department at 715-346-3888.
Courtesy: UWSP Sports Information