During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature the University of Wisconsin.
Morgan Shields (2004, women's volleyball)
A 2004 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Shields was a four-year letterwinner for Wisconsin, leading the Badgers to two Big Ten Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances. Shield, who was a setter, ranks first in Wisconsin history in assists per set (12.82) and fourth in total assists (4,076). She is also tied for third in service aces per set (0.35). Shields was tabbed a third-team All-American in 2002 and an Academic All-District pick in 2003. The Watertown, Wis., native was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Following graduation, Shields played professionally in Sweden and Portugal. In 2004, she played and served as the head coach with Katrineholms VK and in 2005, she competed with Club Academio VC.
Kirk Penney (2003, men's basketball)
Penney, who received Wisconsin's Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2003, was the first Badger to earn back-to-back first-team All-Big Ten honors (2002-03) since 1951-52. In 2002, Penney helped Wisconsin clinch a share of its first Big Ten title in 55 years, and he was just the fifth Badger to earn unanimous first-team honors since 1948. He currently ranks second at Wisconsin in career three-point field goals made (217) and attempted (561), ninth in points (1,454) and 10th in field goals made (503). The Auckland, New Zealand, native also ranks first in school history in total NCAA Tournament games (11). A four-year letterwinner, Penney earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2002 and was named an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in 2003. Penney played two seasons in the NBA with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers and currently plays for Trabzonspor of the Turkish Basketball League.
Erin Byrd (2003, women's volleyball)
Awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2003, Erin Byrd was a four-year letterwinner for the Badgers, leading Wisconsin in digs each season she competed. She helped lead her team to a pair of Big Ten Championships (2001-02) and four NCAA Tournament berths. She is one of just five Badgers to record more than 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills in her career. The outside hitter was a second-team AVCA All-American (2002), a two-time All-Big Ten selection (2001-02), a Big Ten All-Freshman Team pick (1999) and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2000-02). The Glen Ellyn, Ill., native tops the Badger record book in consecutive matches played (133) and is fourth in digs (1,397), fifth in digs per set (3.02) and eighth in service aces (120). Following her collegiate career, Byrd played professionally for six years before earning a master's degree in business administration from Wisconsin.
Mike Kelley (2001, men's basketball)
Mike Kelley, the 1999 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2001. The Menomonee Falls, Wis., native was an integral part of the Badgers' 2000 Final Four Team, earning All-Region honors during the tournament that season. He still holds Wisconsin's all-time record in career steals with 275, a mark that also ranks third in the Big Ten career record books. Kelley was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, collecting the honor in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Katie Voigt (1998, women's basketball)
Katie Voigt, a 1998 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, led Wisconsin to three NCAA Tournament appearances (1995, 96, 98) during her career. She was tabbed first-team All-Big Ten in 1998 and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times. The education and mathematics major was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree in 1996. Voigt ranks among the Badgers' career leaders in numerous categories, including: first in free throw percentage (.831), second in three-point field goals (234), seventh in assists (373) and three-point field goal percentage (.358), and eighth in points (1,576). Following her collegiate career, she played professionally overseas before returning to the U.S., where she joined Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.
John Byce (1990, men's ice hockey)
John Byce, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1990, tallied 165 points in 169 career games at Wisconsin. This included a hat trick in the 1990 NCAA championship game, which the Badgers won 7-3 en route to their fifth national title. Within a week of that contest, Byce was playing for the Boston Bruins, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1990. A native of Madison, Wis., Byce played professionally through the 1999-00 season before moving into the corporate real estate business.
Tim Hacker (1986, cross country)
Hacker led the Badgers to NCAA cross country titles in 1982 and 1985, winning the individual title in the latter year. He extended his running career long enough to win a U.S. cross country title at age 35 in 1997. Hacker became a senior scientist in Wisconsin's School of Medicine and director of the school's Cardiovascular Physiology Core Laboratory.
Cathy Branta and John Easker (1985, men's and women's track & field)
Big Ten Medal of Honor winners share a special bond, none more than Wisconsin's 1985 winners, Cathy Branta and John Easker. Branta and Easker were an engaged couple when they ran on the Badgers' cross country and track & field teams, both producing illustrious careers. Branta won 11 Big Ten track & field titles, was a three-time cross country champion (1982-84) and the conference's first national champion in cross country (1984). Easker was a four-time Big Ten track & field title winner and the 1983 conference cross country champion. The couple is married and operates a dairy farm outside of Wausau, Wis.
Ann French (1982, badminton)
The lone badminton player to be honored, Wisconsin's Ann French won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1982. As a freshman, French was honored with the Broderick Award, given annually to the "outstanding collegiate competitor in badminton." In 1980-81 and 1981-82, French and teammate Claire Allison won the AIAW national doubles title. The Elmhurst, Ill., native was also a four-time All-American.
Mike Eaves (1978, men's ice hockey)
Mike Eaves, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1978, is Wisconsin's career points leader with 267 points (94 goals, 173 assists) in 160 career games. A two-time first-team All-American, Eaves was a three-year captain for the Badgers, leading the squad to the 1977 NCAA title. He went on to record 226 points in 324 career games in the NHL before moving into the coaching profession. Eaves took the helm at his alma mater in 2002 and helped the Badgers claim their sixth NCAA crown in 2006. Eaves talked about what winning the Big Ten Medal of Honor meant to him at the inaugural Big Ten Men's Hockey Tournament this year, which his Badgers won. [insert video from Weber]
Douglas R. McFadyen (1970, men's ice hockey)
Douglas R. McFadyen, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1970, captained Wisconsin to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth at the conclusion of the 1969-70 season. The Calgary, Alberta, native skated in 98 games for the Badgers, tallying 82 points on 15 goals and 67 assists from the blue line. A three-time letterwinner, McFadyen led the team's defensemen in points in 1967-68 (35 points) and 1969-70 (16 points).
Pat Richter (1963, football)
A three-sport standout in football, basketball and baseball, Pat Richter earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1963. He was a consensus All-American in 1962, leading Wisconsin to the Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl Game. Also that season, he was an Academic All-American and was part of the Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of 1995. He played for the Washington Redskins from 1963-70 after being selected in the first round of the 1963 NFL Draft. Richter later assumed the role of director of athletics at Wisconsin, serving from 1989-2004. His name appears on the Big Ten's Richter-Howard Wide Receiver of the Year trophy.