UWP honors athletes

November 25, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville honored athletes at the 31st Annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction Saturday, Oct. 19.

Inductees Jim Jianette, JoAnne Spensley and Ken Nehring were selected from a list of 20 nominations to be inducted into the UWP Athletic Hall of Fame.

To receive this award, nominees are required to meet one or more of the following criteria: have documented outstanding past or current coaching performance of 15 or more years, have documented outstanding past or current contributions to UWP intercollegiate athletics and/or have documented outstanding performance in intercollegiate athletics while a student at UWP with a graduation date 17 or more years previous to the current year.

A selection committee, consisting of 21 individuals, reviewed the nominations for induction.

Jim Jianette enrolled at UWP in 1982 and majored in economics. As a soccer player, he was named Student Athlete of the Year in 1984 and was captain in 1983 and 1984. Jianette was named an NAIA All-America in 1982 and 1983. He also holds five NCAA Division III scoring records and was statistically the best scorer in college history.

After graduating from UWP, Jim went on to Fordham University and earned his MBA. He has worked with American Airlines since 1995 as manager for cabin services based out of O'Hare Airport in Chicago, where he oversees a staff of about 350.

Inductee Ken Nehring graduated from Watertown High School and began his studies at UWP in 1948. He played basketball his sophomore and junior years. Nehring went to the Army in 1951 and returned to UWP in 1953. That year the team won the State College Conference Championship with Nehring as the starting center.

From 1954-55 Nehring taught industrial arts at Brodhead High School, where he was also the head basketball coach and assistant football coach. Nehring went on to be the head basketball coach for 34 years at Whitewater High School. Nehring's teams achieved eight conference championships, 10 regional championships and 10 sectional championships. The teams had a record of 306-137. The record made Whitewater the most winning team in Southern Lakes Conference history.

In 1980, Ken received the UWP Watch Award, for coaching the class B Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Team and was also inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 1989, the Whitewater High School gym was named the Ken Nehring Gym in his honor.

Inductee JoAnne Spensley majored in physical education and graduated from UWP in 1973. Spensley competed in a variety of sports including volleyball, field hockey, track and field and basketball. During her senior year she was president of the Women's Recreation Association.

JoAnne started the volleyball program at Dakota High School in Dakota, IL. The program produced eight regional championships. She coached from 1973 to 1977 and then again in 1985.

In 1998, the Dakota volleyball team wrapped up conference, regional, sectional and super-sectional titles advancing to the Illinois State Tournament Elite Eight.

Spensley has also coached track and field for 28 years. In 17 of 28 years, Spensley's teams have placed third or better in the conference. Dakota earned conference championships in 1978,'81, '82 and '99. Fifty-two state qualifiers have emerged from Spensley's program.

Spensley is head of the physical education and health departments at Dakota High School and drives a school bus route.

The Athletic Hall of Fame is on display in the Williams Fieldhouse.

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