Meet some of our Featured Friends for 2017...
Bonnie Blair Bonnie began skating when she was just two years old. Following in the footsteps of her five older brothers and sisters, she went on to become the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian. Bonnie began her race in the 500 meter event of the 1988 Calgary Olympics immediately after her rival set a world record. Not to be outdone, Bonnie proceeded to skate the 500 meters faster than any woman had before or has since, capturing the gold medal in a world record time of 39.1. This record stood for 5 years until March 1994, when at the age of 30, Blair met her ultimate goal of shattering the 39 second mark with a time of 38.99. Four years later at the 1992 Albertville Olympics, she blew away the field in the 500 meters, defeating her nearest competitor by 18 hundredths of a second. In 1994, she continued to make history as the first woman in Olympic history to win consecutive gold medals in the event, and the first American woman to win consecutive Winter Olympic gold medals.
As a professional golfer and course reporter, Kratzert has participated in the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. He has won four PGA tours events in his career, as well as the Walt Disney World National Team Championship, Sammy Davis Jr. – Greater Hartford Open, Greater Milwaukee Open and Pensacola Open. He spent most of his youth in Indiana and was inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame in 1993. Since turning 50, he has started on the Champion Tour. Billy is a course reporter for several media outlets such as CBS Sports, ESPN, Turner Sports and has his own show on the Golf Channel called “On the Range."
Sports broadcasting veteran Terry Gannon joined Golf Channel in 2010 as a member of the network’s live tournaments team, serving as play-by-play host for its PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour tournament coverage. Prior to joining Golf Channel, Gannon worked as a sports commentator for ABC Sports and ESPN covering golf, college basketball, college football, World Cup soccer and the WNBA. He is a three-time host of the Tour de France and the Little League World Series, the voice of ABC’s figure skating coverage and worked on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, including the Olympic Games. Gannon began his career as a college basketball analyst for Raycom Media and Jefferson-Pilot Communications. Gannon was a member of North Carolina State University’s 1983 National Championship Basketball team and a two-time Academic All-American player.
Krabbenhoft played college basketball at Wisconsin from 2005-09, appearing in a school-record 136 career games, including 70 starts — during which the Badgers posted a 100-36 record and made four NCAA Tournament appearances. He earned all-Big Ten Freshman Team honors in 2006 and a place on the all-Big Ten Defensive Team in 2008, when Wisconsin won both the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. As a senior captain in 2009, he completed his career by earning honorable mention all-Big Ten recognition and receiving the Big Ten Medal of Honor Award. After graduating from Wisconsin in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Krabbenhoft embarked on a professional playing career that included stints with the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA Summer League in both 2009 and 2010, and with the NBA Development League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce during the 2009-10 season, where he averaged 13.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in 21 games with 13 starts. Krabbenhoft joined the South Dakota Jackrabbits as an assistant coach in 2013 after spending the 2012-13 season as the video coordinator on Bo Ryan’s basketball staff at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, and after playing three years of professional basketball both overseas and in the United States. Krabbenhoft's new adventure will start soon as the assistant coach on the UW men's Basketball Team.
Jordan Taylor was known as the consummate floor general during his time with the Wisconsin Badgers. Ranking 7th in school history in scoring, Taylor led the Badgers to consecutive NCAA Tournament berths throughout his four-year career there. Taylor knows how to take care of the ball, too. A Bob Cousy Award finalist in 2011, Taylor set an NCAA record for assist-to-turnover ratio.
Stiemsma is as home-grown Wisconsin as they come. Born and raised in the small town of Randolph, he led his hometown Rockets to an unprecedented three-straight high school state basketball titles. Stiemsma played for Bo Ryan’s squad for four years at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison before spending several years in Europe honing his craft on the post. Stiemsma earned his first NBA experience playing in Bostonin 2011 alongside Celtic legends Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, gaining a reputation as a gritty shot blocker and low-post defender. Signing with the Timberwolves at the start of the 2012 season, the Stiemsma continued to make an indelible mark on the NBA with 3.6 blocks-per-48 minutes, good for 6th in the league that year. In July 2013, Stiemsma signed with the New Orleans Pelicans and averaged 2.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. For the 2014-2015 season, he played for the Toronto Raptors.
Pat is the former University of Wisconsin-Madison athletic director and American football player. He is also the last college athlete who was a nine-time lettermen, lettering three times in football, baseball and basketball. He was also an All-American end twice. Pat's Rose Bowl appearance allowed him to set a record with eleven catches for one-hundred and sixty-three yards in the 1963 game. After his collegiate career, Pat was a first round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in the 1963 NFL draft and played eight seasons with the Redskins.
Ben Brust is poised to enter the record books as one of the most prolific long-range shooters in UW history. With range extending well beyond the 3-point stripe, Brust set the UW single-season record with 79 triples last season and equaled a UW record by knocking down seven 3-pointers in a game on two separate occasions during his sophomore season. However, the senior guard emerged as much more than just a long-range gunner last season, ranking fourth in the Big Ten with five double-doubles and finishing 19th in rebounding, despite his 6-foot-1 frame. Brust also finished second on the Badgers in assists, steals and charges drawn. He also added "clutch" to his legacy after making one of the most memorable plays in recent UW history, draining a half-court shot to force overtime in the Badgers' 65-62 win over No. 3 Michigan on Feb. 9, 2013. Owning some of the fastest feet on the team, head coach Bo Ryan has said the guard comes off a screen as quick as any player he has ever coached.
Josh Ray Josh joined the United States Airforce right after 9/11, spending 2 years overseas with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. While overseas, he was in Iraq during Saddam’s capture and received an Honorable Medical Discharge. After his military duties, Josh attended the Madison Media Institute for music production, and then got his bachelors from the University of Wisconsin Stout in Golf Course Management. He has worked as an assistant golf pro at Odana Hills in Madison WI, and then went on to run Tumbledown Trails in Verona, WI. After moving to Nashville, TN, he was selected to join the Mizuno Team JPX in 2013, as well as being nominated to play in the Folds of Honor Military golf tournament 2014. Josh was selected in 2015 to serve as a 2 year team vice-captain of the Wounded Warrior Project Courage Cup Team. Josh currently lives in Nashville with his wife Alexis.
Al Toon Toon played football and ran track at the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1981 to 1984. He was selected by the New York Jets in the 1st round (10th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times. During the 1988 season, he led the league with 93 receptions. Al is an active member of the Madison community, serving on many community boards, including the Green Bay Packers, and is the former president of the National W Club.
Former Badger and Hobey Baker Memorial Award-winner Blake Geoffrion joined the NHL following is career as a Badger with the Montreal Canadiens and as a second round selection of the Nashville Predators, 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In doing so, he became the first fourth-generation player in the league's history, after his father Dan, grandfather Bernie and great-grandfather Howie Morenz. He commitment to the community includes hosting the annual Blake Geoffrion Hockey Classic in Madison, which raises money to benefit the UW Health Burn Center,
Sean is one of sports television’s most versatile broadcasters. Named the voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football in 2016 – and also a leading play-by-play commentator on the network’s college basketball coverage, McDonough has covered the World Series, NCAA Final Four, the Olympic Games and all four major golf championships, among other marquee events during his accomplished career.