MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) -The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) has announced the members of its 2018 Hall of Fame class that includes three Blugolds, Arlene (Meinholz) Beardsle, Jim Bollinger and Tom Prior.
The WIAC established a Hall of Fame to coincide with the conference's celebration of its 100th anniversary, which took place during the 2012-13 academic year. The 27-member class for 2018 will be inducted at the WIAC Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on July 28, 2018, at UW-Eau Claire.
In announcing the 2018 class, WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner noted once again how difficult the selection process is given the 105-year history and incomparable success of the conference. "Quite frankly, there are dozens, if not hundreds, more individuals deserving of this honor. Therefore, it remains our intention to continue to induct future Hall of Fame classes every three years with the ultimate goal of recognizing those student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and others whose contributions and achievements have established and solidified the WIAC's status as the most accomplished Division III conference in NCAA history," added Karner.
For more information on the Hall of Fame class, please visit www.wiacsports.com. More detailed bios and photos on each of the inductees will be provided at a later date.
Name School Years Category
Arlene (Meinholz) Beardsle UW-Eau Claire 1992-96 Student-Athlete (women's basketball/women's track & field)
-Was a member of UW-Eau Claire's women's basketball team from 1992-95 and women's track & field team from 1992-96. On the basketball court, Beardsle was a WBCA All-America First Team selection in 1995. That same year, she was named the conference's Player of the Year and Judy Kruckman Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete. The Blugolds compiled a 92-20 record in her four seasons, won three conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 1994 and the Elite Eight in 1995. She owns the WIAC record with 1,834 career points, and upon graduation, held school career marks with 758 rebounds, 213 blocked shots, 492 free throws attempted and 358 free throws made. In track & field, Beardsle won the NCAA Division III outdoor high jump championship in 1995 and indoor high jump title in 1996. She was a five-time All-American and four-time conference high jump champion. In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women's Basketball and Women's Track & Field All-Time Teams in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.
Jim Bollinger UW-Eau Claire 1953-57 Student-Athlete (baseball/football/men's basketball)
-Ranks as one of the best all-around athletes in Blugold archives. He earned 12 letters and played on four conference championship teams in football, basketball and baseball. Bollinger captained the basketball team for three years, including the 1955 squad that won the conference championship and posted a 20-2 record. The following year, they shared the conference title, played in the NAIA Tournament and finished with a 20-5 mark. He scored 1,057 points in his career. As quarterback, Bollinger helped the football team to the 1956 conference crown and earned All-Conference First Team honors in 1955 and 1956. In 1957, he produced a batting average over .384 to help the Blugold baseball team to the conference championship.
Tom Prior UW-Eau Claire 1969-99 Coach (men's and women's swimming & diving)
-Served as UW-Eau Claire's swimming & diving coach for three decades. As the men's coach from 1969-99, his teams won 25 conference championships and finished in the top 10 at the national meet 24 times. The Blugolds won 19 consecutive conference crowns from 1978-69 and finished as the NAIA national runner-up in 1978, 1979 and 1988. In 21 seasons as women's coach, UW-Eau Claire claimed 19 conference championships, including 18 straight from 1980-97. The Blugolds also claimed NAIA national championships in 1983, 1987 and 1988. During his tenure, 140 men and 102 women earned All-America distinction. In 1993, Prior was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was named the WIAC Men's Swimming & Diving and Women's Swimming & Diving All-Time Coach in conjunction with the conference's Centennial Celebration.