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Blugold Hall of Fame to Add Five

Blugold Hall of Fame to Add Five

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. ( - Two football players, two softball players and a swimmer make up the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Hall of Fame class of 2014.

The new class, which will be inducted during homecoming weekend October 4, includes football players Bill Perkins and Tyrone Cooper, softball players Heidi (Bergstrom) Kelly and Lisa Schueler and swimmer Bill Underwood.

View Team Photos of this Year's Inductees | Photos From Banquet

This group represents the 38th class of men’s inductees and the 25th class of women’s inductees and brings the number of athletes, coaches and administrators who have been honored to 205.

The Blugold Hall of Fame was established in 1973 to pay tribute, give deserved recognition and enhance school tradition by honoring former athletic letterwinners, coaches or administrators who showed distinctive, unique or exceptional ability while on the campus at Eau Claire and have distinguished themselves in their profession or personally since leaving the institution.

For women athletes, there must be a lapse of 14 years from their final season of eligibility before they can be considered for induction and for men 15 years.

The class will be recognized at halftime of the football game vs. UW-Platteville after an 11 a.m. induction banquet that precedes the 2:30 p.m. game.   The Hall of Famers will also ride in the homecoming parade which starts at 10 a.m. The banquet, which will be held in the Dakota Room in Davies Center on campus, will begin with a social at 11 a.m., dinner at noon and program at 12:30 p.m. Tickets for the banquet are $25 and can be obtained by contacting the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association at (715) 836-3266 or Former WEAU TV 13 sports director and current UW-Eau Claire Foundation employee Rick Foy will present the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees.

Besides the outstanding athletic credentials for this year’s class, the five have had distinguished professional careers which impressed the selection committee, according to Tim Petermann, Blugold Hall of Fame Executive Director.

Bill Perkins

Perkins was a two-time All-Conference end for Ade Olson and Jim Rice in 1958 and 1959. At that time, the All-Conference team in the Wisconsin State College Conference (WSCC) was one squad, not broken down by offense or defense. Perkins was also the team MVP his senior year when he caught 39 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns during an 8-game season.

After receiving his degree in biology in 1961, he went on to earn a doctorate from the University of Washington and also served as a post-doctoral fellow and faculty member in pathology at the Harvard Medical School. He then returned to the University of Washington for a decade as an assistant professor of anatomy and research assistant professor in medicine.

After his career in academia, Perkins entered the pharmaceutical industry in oncology research and drug development. He was employed by companies such as Novartis, Elan, ILEX and Aphton. He was also director of research at Surgical Review Corporation in Raleigh, North Carolina before his retirement in 2007.

Perkins has more than 30 publications to his credit, most of them during his stints at Harvard and Washington.

Following his retirement, he changed direction in helping people in need. Since 2008, he has been on the board of Patriot Paws, currently serving as Chairman of the Board. That non-profit organization provides service dogs for veterans with both mobility and emotional complications such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Much of his time is spent with fundraising activities including communication and meetings with associates such as former President George W. Bush and T. Boone Pickens.

Perkins and his wife Laura live in Rockwall, Texas. Laura was with Novartis Pharmaceutical for nearly 25 years, and most recently was Vice President of Sales, Neuroscience. She is currently a national Vice President of Hemophilia with Baxter Healthcare. They have two children: Bill, who lives in Seattle with his wife Jill, and Lori Mudge who lives in Eau Claire with her husband Bill.

Tyrone Cooper

Cooper, a native of Chester, PA, was a two-time All-WSUC first team tight end in 1977 and 1979 and made All-Conference second team in 1978 when he was hampered by an injury for much of the season.  He had an amazing 20.1 yards per catch average for his career and set the school career TD reception mark of 15, getting five scores in each of three seasons. During his Blugold career, he caught 69 passes for 1,391 yards, which still ranks 15th in career totals. His career TD mark has been surpassed by six others.

Cooper was also a five-time conference place winner in hurdle events and the triple jumps as a member of Bill Meiser’s Blugold track squads.

Since leaving Eau Claire with a degree in sociology, Cooper taught in two Pennsylvania high schools for six years, then spent 26 years in the military, retiring as a Command Sergeant Major with the 533rd Engineer Detachment out of Fort Knox, Kentucky.  He had six foreign tours: Desert Storm, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia and South America.  He was awarded two bronze stars and four meritorious service medals.

Cooper achieved his master’s degree in management from Webster University and is a doctoral candidate in management at Colorado Technical University.

He is currently a TDD (Technology Development Division) Senior Analyst and Deputy Program Manager with Lanmark Technology Inc., working in Crystal City, Virginia.

Cooper and his wife Robin have three grown children: Kitty, 31; Tyrone Jr., 24; and Tyrell, 21 and three grandchildren.

Bill Underwood

Underwood was an 11-time first team All-American and nine-time conference champion on Tom Prior’s powerhouse Blugold swim teams from 1989-93.

During Underwood’s career, the Blugolds won four consecutive conference championships and placed between fourth, fifth or sixth at the NAIA nationals in each of his four seasons.

Underwood was an outstanding middle and long distance freestyler, winning conference titles in the 200, 500 and 1650. Twice he finished third in the 500 at nationals.

Underwood earned the team’s Hardest Worker award four times, was MVP in 1992 and co-MVP in 1993. He was an NAIA Scholar-Athlete twice and a first team and third team CoSIDA Academic All-America. Only 17 Blugold athletes have ever been named a first team Academic All-American.

A 1993 summa cum laude graduate in political science and environmental studies at UWEC, Underwood went on to receive a law degree (Order of the Coif) from the University of Oregon School of Law. He is an accomplished attorney with litigation and transactional experience, serving as senior counsel for Target Corporation since 2004. Prior to that, he spent seven years as an associate at Faegre Baker Daniels.

Most recently, Underwood founded Everwood Farmstead Foundation with husband Chris Everett and serves as the board secretary and treasurer.  Their foundation is based on their farm near Glenwood City. Underwood has also served on the Board of Theater Latté Da for 11 years, seven of those as president. Three years ago, Underwood established and has funded the William L. Underwood Study Abroad Scholarship through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

Heidi (Bergstrom) Kelly & Lisa Schueler

Heidi (Bergstrom) Kelly (pictured on the left) and Lisa Schueler (pictured on the right) represent the battery for one of the two most successful eras in Blugold softball history.

Kelly, the pitcher, and Schueler, the catcher, played for JoEllen Bailey and Deb Steward from 1997 through 2000 when the team compiled a 144-53 overall record, won three conference tournament championships, amassed a 27-5 regular-season conference record and made four NCAA tournament appearances, finishing fourth in both 1999 and 2000. The 1998 and 1999 teams still hold the school records for wins in a single season with 40.

Kelly, a native of Austin, Minnesota, was a four-time All-Conference pick, a three-time All-Great Lakes Region first team selection and an NFCA third team All-American in 1999 and second team All-American in 2000. She was named to the 2000 NCAA finals all-tournament team, a tournament in which she pitched all 15 innings in a 3-2 elimination-game win over Roanoke.

Schueler, a native of Watertown, Wisconsin, was a three-time All-Conference pick, two-time All-Great Lakes Region first team selection, the conference division player of the year as a senior and an NFCA third team All-American in 2000. She was named to the 1999 NCAA finals all-tournament team when Eau Claire hosted the national tournament at Gelein Field in Carson Park.

Only nine softball players in school history have earned some kind of All-American recognition and only four have been a conference player of the year.

Kelly and Schueler served as Blugold co-captains for the 2000 season.

Kelly still holds the school record for innings pitched in a season with 214 2/3 in the 1999 season when she fashioned a 24-9 record with an 0.91 ERA. She is still the career leader in games started (88), complete games (68) and tied for the lead in shutouts (27). She is second in wins (74), appearances (108), innings pitched (628 1/3), ERA (1.34) and strikeouts (343).

Schueler has the fourth best single season average (.449) in school history, set during her senior season. Her career average of .387 ranks fourth and she is also ranked third in games played (188) and doubles (42), fourth in fielding percentage (.986) and hits (201) and fifth in RBI (114). She also ranks among the top 10 in several other single season and career categories.

Kelly was a Blugold Super Six Award Winner in 2000 and both she and Schueler were named to the WIAC All-Time softball team in 2012 as part of the conference’s Centennial celebration.

Kelly graduated cum laude in 2000 with a degree in biology and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in food science from Kansas State. She has been employed by Land O’Lakes since 2002 and has been a senior technologist since 2003. She was a member of the Foodservice K12 Team that won the Land O’Lakes President’s Award in 2010. She began her career as a lab technologist with the Parker Hughes Cancer Center.

Kelly and her husband Kyle, a corrections officer, have one child, Oliver, who is 7 ½ months old.

Schueler graduated magna cum laude in 2000 with a criminal justice major and spent one year as a Deputy Sheriff in Sauk County. She then entered the business world, serving as a Store Manager for Bruegger’s in Madison for one year. Since 2002, she has been employed by BMO Harris Bank, currently serving as Business Credit Analyst/Bank Officer in Monona after stints as Loan Servicing Manager and Operations Specialist.

Schueler was BMO Harris Bank’s United Way Loaned Executive in 2009. She has served on the United Way’s Loaned Executive Committee and was BMO Harris’ United Way Days of Caring Coordinator and Campaign Coordinator. She was also a BMO Harris ProCess Community Chair and March of Dimes Campaign Coordinator.  She also served on the Dane County Boys and Girls Club Building Winners Event Committee. She coached softball at Madison La Follette from 2006 through 2009, serving as a varsity assistant on the school’s 2007 state tournament team.

WIAC = Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
(current conference for men’s and women’s sports, combined in 1996)

WSUC = Wisconsin State University Conference
(former men’s only conference)

NAIA = National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
(former national organization to which UWEC belonged through the 1992-93 seasons)

NCAA = National Collegiate Athletic Association
(current national organization which UWEC joined provisionally in 1986-87)

NFCA = National Fastpitch Coaches Association