Cheesehead Nation: Top 100 Wisconsin-born Sports Figures (100-81)
The Badger State, America's Dairyland, Packerland; just a few names to describe Wisconsin.
That is a place where the following 100 people can say they were born. They then went on to have some pretty good careers.
It only took me a few days to get the full 100, but it took even longer to get the ranking to my liking.
You will see mostly sports stars (many still competing), with other figures mixed in from various sports outlets. I made sure to look all around the sports world for these 100.
This is part one of the five-part series; part two (80-61), part three (60-41), part four (40-21) and part five (top 20).
Pretty much the only requirement was that it must be shown somewhere that the person was born anyhwere in the cheese state.
Before we start the countdown, let's look at who just missed out making the list.
Just Missed Out
— Connie Carpenter (Madison and pictured): Was the first women to compete in both the summer and winter Olympics. Also won cycling gold in 1984 L.A. games.
— Rodney Buford (Milwaukee): Participated in track, basketball and baseball in high school. Has played 230 games in the NBA, scoring 1,472 points.
— Scott Servais (La Crosse): Hit 63 career home runs, with a .245 average. He is now the director of player development for the Texas Rangers.
— Gary Varsho (Marshfield): Batted .244 with 10 career home runs. Attended UW-Oshkosh and is now the bench coach for Pittsburgh Pirates.
— Beth Heiden (Madison): Sister of Eric (who you will see later in this list), who bronzed in the 3,000 meters for speed skating in 1980 Olympics. Also was the 1980 U.S. cycling champ, and won the 1983 NCAA cross country skiing title.
— Travis Kvapil (Janesville): Was Rookie of the Year in the Craftsmen Truck Series and has had six top 10 finishes in the Sprint Cup.
100. John Matuszak (Oak Creek)
Matuszak was the No. 1 overall pick in 1973 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He also spent time with the Oakland Raiders, and appeared in two Super Bowls.
He didn't have much of a playing career though, but his role as Sloth in Goonies is what gives him the nod to kick off this list.
Matuszak also finished ninth in the 1978 Strong Man competition with his 6'8" 280-pound frame.
He died at the age of 38 due to heart failure. The cause was noted as either cocaine or pneumonia.
99. Mark Wilson (Menomonee Falls)
Wilson turned professional in 1997 and has notched two career PGA victories.
He won the 2001 Wisconsin State Open, and has never played in the Masters or British Open.
Wilson has yet to make the cut in the U.S. Open or PGA Championship.
98. Jerry Augustine (Kewaunee)
"Auggie" played at UW-Oshkosh and then with the Milwaukee Brewers from 1975-84.
He amassed a 55-59 record, with an ERA of 4.23 and 348 strikeouts. Augustine pitched in 279 and notched 11 saves.
Augustine also went on to become head baseball coach at the UW-Milwaukee for a number of years.
He is now an analyst for the Brewers, and his nephew is James Augustine; former member of the University of Illinois basketball team and current Orlando Magic player.
97. Willie Mueller (West Bend)
I could not find a picture of Mueller, who played Yankees pitcher Duke in Major League. He was the guy who "threw at his own kid in a father-son game."
Mueller pitched in six games for the Milwaukee Brewers, going 1-0 with a 6,14 ERA and seven strikeouts.
A limited taste of professional stats, but his role in a cult classic gets him on the list.
He still resides in West Bend.
96. Reece Gaines (Madison)
Gaines went from a star on his Madison West High School team to a star with the University of Louisville. His father Clyde played at Wisconsin.
He averaged 15.6 ppg as a Cardinal and scored 1,945 points in his career.
Gaines was then drafted 15th overall in 2003 by the Orlando Magic, and now plays in Italy.
He also had a stint with his home-state Milwaukee Bucks, but played very limited minutes.
95. Paul and Morgan Hamm (Washburn)
Paul is a three-time Olympian and was the first male to win an all-around gymnastics gold in 2003.
He was originally on the 2008 U.S. gymnastics team, but had two drop out with an injured hand.
Morgan made the 2000 squad at the age of 17 and played a vital role for the U.S. in its silver medal performance in 2004, where he was the highest scorer in both vault and high bar.
He also had to drop out of the 2008 games, with an ankle injury. Morgan was married on May 23, 2007.
94. Ryan Rohlinger (West Bend)
Rohlinger is the nephew of No. 97 Willie Mueller, and was an all-state athlete his senior in four sports at his West Bend East high school.
Yes, that's right, four sports, as West Bend East plays summer baseball in Wisconsin. He also played football (fall), basketball (winter) and tennis (spring).
Rohlinger holds most of his high school's baseball offensive records and, during his four years, the team was 110-21.
Now in the San Francisco Giants' system, he is rated as one of the best third basemen in all the minor leagues.
However, with the great play of Pablo Sandoval, we'll see where Rohlinger fits in.
93. Leslie Osborne (Milwaukee)
Osborne was a star athlete at Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School, and went on to UC-Santa Clara, where she was on the 2001 NCAA Championship team.
She was named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, but tore her ACL before competition began.
Osborne is currently a midfielder with the FC Gold Pride of the Women's Professional Soccer League and is a volunteer assistant at UC-Santa Clara.
92. Pat Harder (Milwaukee)
Harder played at the University of Wisconsin, where the team went 8-1-1 in 1942.
During a game against Ohio State that year, the Badgers won 17-7 in which Harder scored all 17 points.
Harder was the No. 2 pick in the 1944 NFL Draft, where he won a title with the 1947 Cardinals and led the league in scoring in '47, '48 and '49.
He was also a member of the Detroit Lions' '52 and '53 title teams, and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.
91. Garrett Weber-Gale (Stevens Point)
Weber-Gale was a member of that infamous relay team for the U.S in the 2008 Olympics, where Jason Lezak edged out the French team by the smallest of margins.
Weber-Gale started swimming at the local YMCA in Brown Deer, and went on to the University of Texas from 2003-07, where he won the 2006 NCAA title in the 100 freestyle.
He was the first U.S male to go under the 48-second mark in the 100 freestyle when he swam a 47.78 in a preliminary round.
90. David Steckel (West Bend)
At 6'5" and 218 pounds, he appears to be a force in the NHL.
Steckel played at Ohio State University from 200-04 where he had 50 goals, 55 assists and 249 penalty minutes.
Now a member of the Washington Capitals for the past four years, Steckel has 13 goals and 18 assists, with 70 penalty minutes.
He has appeared in 21 playoff games with four goals and three assists.
89. Chellsie Memmel (West Allis)
Memmel has won seven medals in her career as a gymnast.
She took third at the 2003 World Championship on the uneven bars, and won the all around at the '05 Worlds.
Memmel was on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, and currently owns M&M Gymnastics with her parents.
She still resides in West Allis.
88. Charlie Whitehurst (Green Bay)
Whitehurst was born and raised right in the hub of Packer Nation and went on to Clemson University.
As a Tiger, he was the only quarterback to go 4-0 against the heavy rival South Carolina Gamecocks.
Whitehurst was drafted in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft to the San Diego Chargers and has yet to throw a pass in the regular season.
87. Janel McCarville (Stevens Point)
McCarville starred on her Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) team from 2001-04, where the team went 59-11.
SPASH was the runner-up in the WIAA State Tournament in 01, as McCarville averaged 19.4 ppg in that season.
McCarville went on to the University of Minnesota where she was given the nickname "Lady Shaq" where she is top 5 in most major statistical categories.
She also holds the NCAA Tournament records for most rebounds (75 in 5 games). McCarville was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft ot the Charlotte Sting, and now plays for the N.Y. Liberty.
86. Drew Stafford (Milwaukee)
Growing up, Stafford played for the Waukesha Warhawks, and was later drafted No. 13 by the Buffalo Sabres in 2004.
He has played in 184 games in the NHL, where he has 49 goals and 61 assists, to go along with 113 penalty minutes.
Stafford's father Gordie also played for Edmonton of the NHL.
85. Scott Wimmer (Wausau)
Wimmer started racing in his hometown Wausau and is very well known throughout the Midwest.
He was second in the ASA Rookie of the Year voting.
Wimmer has thee top 10 finishes on the Sprint Cup, while getting six wins and 64 top 10's on the Nationwide Series.
He also competed in downhill skiing events when he was 14 years old.
84. Steve Novak (Brown Deer)
As a junior at Brown Deer High School, Novak averaged 22.2 ppg, 12 rpg and 3.4 bpg. He followed that with 20.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 5 apg as a senior.
Novak was named Wisconsin's Player of the Year in 2002, and BDHS retired his No. 20 jersey in 2006.
He then went on to star at Marquette University as a three-point specialist. With Dywane Wade and Travis Diener, he helped the Golden Eagles reach the Final Four.
Novak was drafted in the second round by Houston in 2006, and now plays for the L.A. Clippers.
83. Travis Diener (Fond du Lac)
The last name of Diener is that of a rock star in Wisconsin, but Travis will be the headliner.
In high school, Travis Diener was a USA Today Player of the Year: 2000 All-America High School Baseball as a pitcher and a shortstop.
He played a key role in the 2003 Final Four run for Marquette. Diener was drafted 38th by the Magic in the '05 NBA Draft.
Others in the Diener clan:
— His sister Brittney played basketball for NCAA D-II Lewis University.
— His sister Rachel played basketball for Saint Louis University.
— His cousin Drake played basketball for DePaul University and currently plays professionally in Italy.
— His cousin Drew played basketball for Saint Louis University and is currently the director of basketball operations at the University of Virginia
— His high school basketball coach was his uncle Dick Diener
— Another uncle, Tom Diener, is the former boys basketball coach at Milwaukee Vincent, where he won five state titles, tied for the most of any coach in Wisconsin high school basketball history.
82. Chris McIntosh (Pewaukee)
McIntosh was a member of the Wisconsin Badgers from 1996-99 under Barry Alvarez.
He was an All-American and made the All-Big Ten first team in his career and was co-captain in '99 and '00, when the Badgers won the Rose Bowl both years.
McIntosh was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, but had to retire in 2003 due to a neck injury and is currently a real estate agent in Milwaukee.
81. Joe Pavelski (Stevens Point)
Pavelski also attended SPASH, and won the WIAA State hockey title in 2002.
He then went to Wisconsin for the 05-06 where the Badgers were NCAA Champs.
Pavelski was the 205th pick by San Jose in 2003, and would become the first Shark to score a goal in his very first NHL game.
He played all 82 games in 07-08, having 58 goals and 59 assists, with 92 penalty minutes. He also had three game-winning goals in the '08 playoffs.