September 26, 2011

Blugold Spirit Award Presented to Arnsdorf and Sikers

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Two Jim Mueller Blugold Spirit Awards were presented at the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Hall of Fame banquet Saturday.

This year’s award, in its second year of existence, was presented to Bill Arnsdorf, the official men’s basketball scorekeeper for 47 years, and Milt and Marci Siker, active and generous friends of the program.

The award was established to recognize someone outside of the athletics program who has made contributions to the program for a long period of time. The first recipient, after whom the award is now named, was Jim “Curly” Mueller, a tireless volunteer for Blugold athletics since his retirement from the university as a locksmith in 1996.

The Sikers became involved with the women’s basketball program through the congeniality of former coach Lisa Stone who befriended the local business family during the Blugolds’ post-game gatherings on the Zorn playing court. For nearly two decades, they have provided post-game treats for the team as well as travel care packages for road games. They were similarly involved with the softball team for many years. Health issues have forced the pair to curtail their activities to a degree in recent years.

Bill Arnsdorf witnessed the ups and the downs of Blugold basketball the past 47 years as the official scorekeeper during which time the team fashioned a 897-388 record. He was recruited by Bill Zorn for the final four seasons of his 40-year career; then was on hand for the 27-year career of Ken Anderson and the 16-year career of Terry Gibbons. He was witness to some outstanding players that appeared in Zorn and went on to careers in the NBA. He was there for the big rival games that developed over the years, not only in the conference, but in the playoffs as well such as the EC-Parkside District 14 contests. He saw the packed crowds, the last-second shots. He dealt with coaches who were or became famous after their appearances as well as referees who advanced to higher levels. Arnsdorf also saw a lot as a member of the chain gang at Blugold football games for 27 years. At one time he helped promote the Blugolds through souvenir items sold in the university bookstore which he managed for many years.