Posted September 29, 2015
A new class of members will be inducted into the UW-River Falls Athletic Hall of Fame during an Oct. 2 ceremony as part of the Homecoming Week festivities.
Since 1977 a new class has been selected every two years. This is the 21st class (1992 also had an inductee) to add their names and accomplishments to those who preceded them.
The process to be chosen is quite a thorough one. A person is nominated via an online form where they must fall into one of the categories for people eligible. The categories include athletes, coaches, positive contributors, and teams. After the nomination form is submitted it is added to the other nominees, and a committee gets together to determine the inductees.
The committee is composed of a wide range of people, and had 13 members deciding who the inductees would be this year. The members on the committee range from current athletes to the athletic director, to citizens at large, and a variety of others.
Roger Ternes, director of athletics and chair of the committee, explained it takes more than two and a half months to pick the recipients. He said it usually begins with gathering information on each individual.
“We collect all the data we can and give it to the committee, and then we have several meetings to discuss those people,” Ternes said.
This year there will be nine people and one sports team, the second in the Hall of Fame’s history, celebrated for their athletic ability or positive contributions to the University. The individuals selected are:
Brady Alstead: Goalie for the men’s hockey team from 1995-1999, Alstead still holds school records with a .944 percentage in saves and 1.55 goals against average in the 1995-1996 season, according to UWRFsports.com. He was all-WIAC 1998 and 1999, and ACHA All-American in 1996 and 1999. Alstead had eight career shutouts and played 84 games. He was also a member of the 1999 WIAC championship team. Alstead was named to the WIAC hockey all-time team in 2012.
Rick Bowen: Coach of the men’s basketball team for 20 years, he also served as the athletic director for three years at UW-River Falls before retiring. Bowen holds the record for having the most wins as a coach, and is ranked on the WIAC career victories list, according to madison.com. Bowen also introduced a postseason tournament to the WIAC that is still used today.
Amy Brooke: Member of the women’s softball team from 2000-2003, Brooke was a pitcher for the Falcons. She was named a WIAC scholar athlete each of her four seasons with the Falcons. Brooke pitched 99 games in her career and started 74 of them. She pitched a total of 512 innings and had 39 wins. Brooke also had 347 strikeouts, according to UWRFSports.com.
Kris Buhrt: A two-sport athlete, Buhrt played both softball and basketball from 1987-1990. Buhrt was named a WIAC scholar-athlete in 1989. In basketball she scored 1,069 career points and had 159 steals. Buhrt is still ranked in UWRF records for best rebound average with 7.4 and most rebounds with 802. In the 1989-1990 season alone she had a free throw percentage of .835, according to the UWRFSports.com.
Lindsay Carlson: A member of the women’s hockey team from 2000-2004, Carlson was named 1st team all-NCHA in 2001, 2003 and 2004. She was also All-American in 2003 and 2004. Carlson had 86 career points, with 36 points scored in the 2003-2004 season alone. She holds onto the No. 2 spot in UWRF women’s hockey season assists with 25 in her 2003-2004 season.
Connie Foster: Women’s gymnastics coach from 1984-1992, Foster ended her 25 years with UW-River Falls as the 17th chancellor. Foster was named the WIAC coach of the year in 1988. She also served as the women’s athletic director from 1992-1996 and earned the Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic award for having the highest GPA in the conference, according to the UW-River Falls website. Foster is being inducted for being a positive contributor to Falcon athletics.
Steve Gustafson: A member of the men’s basketball team from 1965-1969, Gustafson was named a UW-River Falls all-time player. He also received the All-WIAC award in 1968 and 1969. Gustafson is still ranked in UWRF records for leading in rebounds with 524, according to the UWRFSports.com.
Mandy Stokes: A member of the women’s hockey team from 1999-2003, Stokes was named an all-time player by UW-River Falls. Stokes also received All-NCHA in 2001, and NCHA All Academic from 2001-2003. In 2000, she was the scoring leader of the team with 10 points. That same season she had nine goals and three power plays, according to UWRFSports.com.
Melissa Tvrdik: A member of the women’s volleyball team from 2000-2003, Tvrdik was named one of the league’s most valuable players and a scholar athlete by the WIAC in 2003. She was UW-River Falls player of the week four times, and WIAC player of the week once. Tvrdik was part of the team that won two championship WIAC titles in 2002 and 2003. She played 111 career matches and was one of the UW-River Falls top career players. She had 1,209 kills and ranked second in career kill percentage, according to UWRFSports.com.
Men’s Hockey Team 1988: The second team to ever be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame, it won a national championship. Steven Hammer, a member of the winning team, said one of his favorite memories was River Falls having a parade the next night when the team returned. But there was also satisfaction in having the Falcons be the team to beat. “After the disappointment of coming very close in 1987, we were the team to beat and got every team’s best shot,” he said in an email interview. The team was highly competitive, according to former Coach Rick Kozuback — so competitive that the athletes set several school records. The team scored 229 goals that season and 569 points, according to UWRFSports.com. Kozuback said that to this day he can still remember how competitive the team was. “One of the things that remains constant with me is the competitive nature of our team back then, and the camaraderie that they developed over being competitive,” he said in a telephone interview. Hammer also felt to camaraderie, because he said he made lifelong friends from that team. In the national championship, the Falcons went 2-1 against Elmira in upstate New York to win the title.
Each member being inducted gives a speech at the ceremony, but according to Ternes their pride and joy over the honor is heard in a special way.
“You can hear it in their voice. It’s not their speech necessarily, but it’s the tone and the love of the school. It’s the relationships they had on their teams with their coaches,” he said. “It’s not so much the words, it’s the passion they have.”
The ceremony will held at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in the Riverview Ballroom of University Center. The inductees also will be recognized at halftime of the football game on Saturday, Oct. 3. The game begins at 1 p.m. at Ramer Field.