Springfield, Mass. – December 15, 2017 – Three former National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) members will be inducted into the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Hall of Fame. The WIAC established a Hall of Fame to coincide with the conference’s celebration of its 100th anniversary, which took place during the 2012-13 academic year.
The 27-member class for 2018 will be inducted at the WIAC Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on July 28, 2018, at UW-Eau Claire.
In announcing the 2018 class, WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner noted once again how difficult the selection process is given the 105-year history and incomparable success of the conference. “Quite frankly, there are dozens, if not hundreds, more individuals deserving of this honor. Therefore, it remains our intention to continue to induct future Hall of Fame classes every three years with the ultimate goal of recognizing those student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and others whose contributions and achievements have established and solidified the WIAC’s status as the most accomplished Division III conference in NCAA history,” added Karner.
Merilee (Healy) Cardinal
Merilee (Healy) Cardinal was a member of UW-River Falls’ women’s gymnastics team from 1992-95 and a nine-time NCGA All-American. In 1994, she secured the national title in the uneven bars and followed with a national championship in the balance beam in 1995. She is the only individual in program history to win a conference title in the all-around, accomplishing the feat in 1994 and 1995. In 1994, she was also a conference champion in the uneven bars and earned all-conference recognition in all five events. Cardinal was inducted into the NCGA Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women’s Gymnastics All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference’s Centennial Celebration.
Barbara Gibson served as UW-La Crosse’s women’s gymnastics coach from 1986-2016 and led the squad to 17 NCGA championships and 20 conference titles. She was chosen the NCGA Coach of the Year six times and the WIAC Coach of the Year on six occasions. Gibson coached 32 NCGA individual champions, 78 conference individual champions, 209 All-Americans and posted a career record of 806-205, including 774-201 at UW-La Crosse. In 2012, she was selected the WIAC Women’s Gymnastics All-Time Coach in conjunction with the conference’s Centennial Celebration.
Mary (Leivian) Taylor
Mary (Leivian) Taylor was a member of UW-Oshkosh’s women’s gymnastics team from 1986-89, claiming 15 national titles and 12 conference championships. She captured individual titles in the all-around and uneven bars at the 1986, 1987 and 1988 NAIA championships. Taylor was a four-time conference champion in the all-around from 1986-89 – the only gymnast in WIAC history to accomplish the feat. She helped the Titans secure the 1986 NAIA championship and 1989 NCGA championship. Taylor was inducted into the NCGA Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2012, she was selected to the WIAC Women’s Gymnastics All-Time Team in conjunction with the conference’s Centennial Celebration.
Press release courtesy of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC)