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Petermann Retires After 40 Years
As Sports Information Director

RELEASED: Sept. 24, 2007

Tim Petermann
Tim Petermann

EAU CLAIRE — For the first time in more than four decades, someone new is distributing news and sharing information about University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletics.

Kevin Meinholz, a May 2007 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, is serving as the interim sports information director, replacing Tim Petermann, who retired from the position July 31 after 40 years of service to the university.

"I started doing this when I was a freshman at UW-Eau Claire," Petermann said of his work to support Blugold athletics. "By the time I was a senior, I was working 40 hours a week for athletics. When I graduated in 1971, they didn't have anyone else doing this stuff so they made the position permanent and hired me full time. I've been here ever since."

Petermann's commitment to the athletics program and his willingness to assume new responsibilities during his 40-year career have been critical to the athletics program's success, said Scott Kilgallon, UW-Eau Claire's athletics director.

"Tim Petermann is synonymous with UW-Eau Claire and Blugold athletics," Kilgallon said. "He has a tremendous work ethic; he's dedicated, loyal and innovative. But what's impressed me most is that while he's accomplished so much, he doesn't want credit for any of it. Everything he does, he does to make sure our student-athletes have a great experience."

Throughout the years, Petermann's responsibilities have included everything from providing the media with statistics to organizing special events to serving as adviser to the cheerleading squad to overseeing the conference and NCAA eligibility certification process. He also served as the interim athletics director for two years, overseeing an athletics program that includes 11 women's teams and nine men's teams.

As a result of his hard work and commitment, Petermann has gained the respect of student-athletes, coaches, alumni and the media, Kilgallon said.

"The media know they can get fast, accurate information from UW-Eau Claire because of Tim's efforts," Kilgallon said. "Tim built positive relationships with everyone he dealt with over the years. I think people recognize and respect his abilities. UW-Eau Claire has a great reputation, and I believe Tim helped establish that reputation through years of hard work."

In addition to acting as the sports information director, Petermann also initiated and organized numerous special events, including the Super Six award, which recognizes student-athletes' athletic, academic and community service accomplishments.

"The Super Six award — the most prestigious award the university gives to a student-athlete — is just one example of a great program that exists because of Tim's dedication to the students," Kilgallon said. "He is always looking for ways to recognize student-athletes and their accomplishments in and out of sports."

When Petermann began working with athletics, there were few resources available to help track the athletes' and teams' successes, Petermann said.

"There wasn't a way to get reliable statistics, so I'd travel with the team and keep the statistics myself to be sure they were accurate," Petermann said of his early years with the program. "I was a historian as well as a communicator."

While he officially retired from the university in July, Petermann said he will continue to support the athletics program in a variety of ways. Beginning Oct. 1, he will return as a part-time senior administrative specialist. In that role, he will organize the "Final Four Fun Fest" and booster golf outing fundraising events; oversee the WIAC and NCAA eligibility certification; and organize the Hall of Fame/Super Six banquet.

Petermann also will work to document how he has gone about his many tasks, creating a "how-to" manual for those who will take over his many duties and projects.

"With Tim's extensive knowledge of the university and our program, he will be a tremendous asset to our department even on a part-time basis," Kilgallon said. "He has a great understanding of the inner workings of our very complex athletics program and remarkable knowledge of history of the university. Those are things that cannot be replaced but are incredibly valuable."

Meinholz has taken over Petermann's sports information director responsibilities. As interim sports information director, he handles media relations, writes news releases, manages statistical information, organizes historical archives and oversees student workers.

Like his predecessor, Meinholz also began working for the athletics program as a UW-Eau Claire freshman and continued throughout his four years as an undergraduate student.

"Tim has been my mentor," Meinholz said. "Working for him has definitely been an honor. He built the sports information program and made it what it is today. It's humbling to think that I have been chosen to continue the work he started."

Working for Petermann as a student has prepared him well for his new role, Meinholz said.

"I learned the statistical software we use and how to manage the Web site," Meinholz said of his work in athletics as a student. "Working here as a student also helped me develop relationships with a lot of other staff and departments on campus. And since I was at many home games doing stats, the media know me pretty well already.

"My goal is to continue what Tim has built and keep pushing into the future to keep us in the forefront of Division III athletics."



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