The University of Wisconsin will welcome seven new members to its Athletic Hall of Fame in September.
The class includes baseball standout Steve Bennett, who earned four letters from 1973-1976. He made an immediate impact, leading the Badgers in doubles and RBI’s as a freshman. The following season, Bennett earned All-America honors while leading the nation in doubles. Bennett went on to set school records for hits, doubles and RBI’s and is one of just five two-time All-Big Ten selections in UW history.
Beau Hoopman is a member of the National Rowing Hall of Fame and rowed for the Badgers from 1999-2003. After graduation, Hoopman won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and a bronze in the 2008 games in the men’s eight.
Mike Kelley was the face of the Badgers’ 2000 Final Four team. His outstanding defense and gritty play embodied the character of that historic squad. Kelley was named the 1999 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and still holds the school record with 275 career steals. Kelley was a Wooden Award finalist as a senior and earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2001.
Left Tackle Chris McIntosh was instrumental in the success of running back Ron Dayne. McIntosh was a four-year starter on UW’s offensive line and a team captain on both the 1998 and 1999 teams that won Big Ten and Rose Bowl titles. Following his career at Wisconsin, McIntosh was chosen in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Steve Reinprecht is the only player in school history to lead the Badgers in scoring in three straight seasons. He helped UW win the Broadmoor Trophy then captained the 1999-2000 team to the MacNaughton Cup. Reinprecht led the country in scoring in 2000, earning first-team All-America honors and finishing as the runner-up in the Hobey Baker Memorial Award voting. He played 11 seasons in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.
The first women’s tennis player inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame, Melissa Zimpfer re-wrote the Badgers’ record book from 1995-1997. A three-time All-American, Zimpfer holds the UW single-season records for singles and doubles wins as well as the career singles winning percentage record. In 1996, she climbed as high as No. 3 in the national rankings and was named Big Ten Player of the Year.
Steve Lowe coached the Badgers’ volleyball team for five seasons, from 1986-1990, transforming UW from a struggling program into a national powerhouse. In his final season, the Badgers went 29-8 and won the program’s first Big Ten title. That year, UW also made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16.
Unfortunately, Lowe’s coaching career was cut short when he lost his battle to lung cancer shortly before the 1991 season.
The Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will officially be inducted on Friday, Sept. 5 in Heritage Hall at Camp Randall Stadium. The group will also be honored the next day on the field at Camp Randall during the football team’s home opener vs. Western Illinois.