TAYLOR W. ANDERSON
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater returned to sports dominance this week at the hands of three alumni, who helped the Warhawks earn a spot in the NCAA record books.
The baseball team took home the Division III World Series trophy with a 7-0 win over Emory University on Tuesday, coached by John Vodenlich. The Warhawks’ title came two months after Pat Miller’s basketball team won the men’s D-III championship, and five months after Lance Leipold’s football squad won the D-III title.
The trinity of titles makes UW-Whitewater the only school in NCAA history to win championships in football, men’s basketball and baseball in the same school year.
Before their run, though, Miller, Leipold and Vodenlich were all students at UW-Whitewater.
“I think it means a lot to the university and the athletic department in that we accomplished something that’s never been done,” said Miller, a 1989 UW-Whitewater graduate.
Leipold, a 1986 graduate, also has the best winning percentage among active coaches in all of college football, according to NCAA statistics. His team missed the playoffs during the 2012 season, but came back in 2013 to beat the University of Mount Union in December — capping its fourth undefeated, championship-winning season in five years.
“You have to turn the page and keep going,” Leipold said of the school’s recent success.
In late March, Miller’s basketball squad beat Williams College by two free throws in the championship game — the team’s second title in three seasons.
It came down to Vodenlich, a 1992 Whitewater graduate whose team went 44-7 this season. The team had last won the championship in 2005 under Vodenlich.
The coaches said the win should give the athletic department more recognition among recruits and other players.
“I’m glad we have Google,” Vodenlich told the Wisconsin State Journal. “Anytime people search it, they’ll see that UW-Whitewater is the only school in history that accomplished it.
“I know it’s not like winning World War II or anything, but it’s our own little piece of history that is very special.”
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