Friday, August 8, 2008

Wisconsin's all-time Top 10 athletes

Last week my brother-in-law Nick (Sorgi-Romo) Barbera emailed me a link to an feature on Wisconsin's Top 10 all-time athletes. It's interesting -- here's the list:

10. Joe Thomas
9. Tony Granato
8. Pat Richter
7. Michael Finley
6. Red Below
5. Mark Johnson
4. Alando Tucker
3. Ron Dayne
2. Suzy Favor-Hamilton
1. Alan Ameche

Here's my top 20:
20. Gene Englund
19. Lee Kemp
18. Joe Thomas
17. Mark Johnson
16. Sara Bauer
15. Chris Solinsky
14. Al Toon
13. Alando Tucker

12. Amy Wickus
11. Cathy Branta
10. Kathy Butler
9. Robert Butler
8. Arlie Mucks
7. Pat O'Dea
6. Dave Schreiner/Pat Harder
5. Alan Ameche
4. Mike Eaves
3. Ron Dayne
2. Pat Richter
1. Suzy Favor-Hamilton

Don't know some of these names? Visit and do some research. Please return and discuss.


Jim Polzin said...


I was surprised to see Eaves at No. 4 -- 13 spots better than Mark Johnson.

Numbers don't tell the whole story, but ...

Johnson (125 games)-- 125 goals, 256 points
Eaves (160 games) -- 94 goals, 267 points

Scott Tappa said...

Good point Jim. I knew that Eaves was the school's all-time scoring leader and thought SI ranked Johnson high because of his name and the Olympics, but Johnson's numbers do look better when factoring in games played. I thought both played the same number of years.

Edward said...

I appreciate the love for the runners and the recognition of Lee Kemp, but come on Scott... No Lee Evans, No Michael Finley, no Donny Pritzlaf the 4-time All-American wrestler with 2 National Champiships? Joe Thomas only at 18? Tucker only at 13?

I also note that running is the one sports along with swimming where one person can simply rack up the champiships.

Edward said...

That said Suzy Favor was a beast (a hot beast).

Scott Tappa said...

A couple points on Edward's valid comments:

-I may have made a concerted effort not to overrank our most recent athletic heroes - Alando, Thomas - because that's where our minds generally go first.

-I also may have made a concerted effort not to overload the list with athletes from the highest-profile sports, football and basketball, which is why no Evans and Finley.

-When comparing athletes from football and basketball with ones from running and wrestling, you need to use different standards. One national championship in track and field might be considered to be equivalent to being conference player of the year in football or basketball. But some of these runners won six, seven national titles. You can't undersell that.

Keep the comments coming, they're great!

Scott Tappa said...

By the way, Lee Kemp is our freestlye wrestling coach at the Olympics:

Watching the opening ceremonies right now, which is somewhere between awe-inspiring and bizarre.

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