EAU CALIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Called by his head coach “an irreplaceable fixture with the team,” assistant track & field coach Paul Conlin is this year’s recipient of the Joe Merten Coaching Award, Director of Athletics Scott Kilgallon has announced. The award will be presented at the Hall of Fame banquet October 13.
This UW-Eau Claire athletics award was created in 2008 and is available to any part-time assistant coach, graduate assistant coach, community coach or student coach on the Blugold coaching staff. This annual award, which involves a monetary stipend, was established by the family of basketball Hall of Famer Joe Merten who died in March 2008 to honor his memory. Based on the family’s criteria, the recipient “shall demonstrate a deep commitment to the student-athletes and embody a passion for lifelong learning and the ‘love of the game’.”
Conlin is entering his 18th season as the throws coach for the UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s track teams. During his tenure at Eau Claire, Conlin has coached Blugold throwers to three national titles, five national runner-up titles and 30 All-American recognitions (top eight finishes at nationals). In the 2012 season alone, he had four separate athletes qualify for nationals and become All-Americans with four school records broken in the process. Tyler Genovese, a senior thrower, ended his career last spring as a national champion in the indoor weight throw, national runner-up in the outdoor discus, an All-American in the outdoor hammer and National Field Event Scholar of the Year for Division III indoor track and field.
Conlin, who is an engineer with the Department of Transportation, is no stranger to success. He was a three-time NCAA Division III national champion and five-time All-American in the throws at UW-Platteville in the early 1990s. He was inducted into the UW-Platteville Hall of Fame in 2010.
Long-time Blugold head track coach Chip Schneider, said he considers it a “privilege to work with Conlin each day during our long track and field season. He is a great coach and friend.”
Conlin is the fifth recipient of the Joe Merten Coaching Award which previously went to Kimamo Wahome (2008), Amanda Zenner (2009), Amanda Schultz (2010) and Liz Germonprez (2011).