MILWAUKEE - Baseball was the first sport offered by MSOE in the current era of intercollegiate athletics.
Then, in the spring of 1976, golf got its start. Forty-one years later, the man who led that first golf squad into action is still going strong as head coach of the Raiders.
Joe Meloy, who recently retired from MSOE as an academic counselor after this past school year, has won 13 league championships. He has taken his teams to three NCAA Championships. He has already been inducted into the MSOE Athletics Hall of Fame.
Coach Meloy has seen Raider athletics grow from nothing in the 1970s to the early days of the St. Patricks (the former team nickname) to the Raiders and now to an athletic department we know today with 21 varsity sports.
As the golf team hosted the annual MSOE Invitational this past weekend, we caught up with Joe to discuss the growth of athletics at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
"Obviously, there's been tremendous growth," Meloy said. "We were at two sports (when I started coaching). We didn't have a place to play anything, nowhere for a basketball team to play. We had to rent (the gym at St. John's Cathedral). (Former director of athletics) Dan Harris did a lot to bring it out. Our former VP for finance, Armund Janto also did a lot by committing university resources to athletics."
Under Harris, the athletic department grew from 14 sports to 21 sports, as well as establishing more dedicated coaching positions for a number of sports.
"The coaches are coaches," Meloy said of the biggest change over the years. "There were some coaches that just drove the van. They got the kids fed and drove the van. They were (doing something else on campus), so they didn't fully understand the sport. Having dedicated coaches that know the sport, and are coaches for that sport, has helped a great deal. That's been a big change within the conference and I think it has been important for MSOE."
Having worked on both the academic and athletic side of collegiate life, Meloy has a unique perspective of the effects participating in varsity sports can have on students.
"Our continual growth has served the student body well, "Meloy said. "I think we have a different kind of student body now than we did before. They want to participate. They are active in it and it's fun to see. We could use more sports.
"(Competing in athletics) teaches leadership. It teaches team sportsmanship. It teaches how to get along with others. There is a chemistry on my team now that's really good. They like each other. They hang out together. They help each other in school, which I think is really something."
Of the 10 intercollegiate athletic programs that sponsor the most sports in the country, six of them are Ivy League schools, as well as Stanford and MIT. That figure is not lost on Meloy.
"I think athletics is important for doing more than just your class work," Meloy said. "I read somewhere that schools like MIT have more intercollegiate sports than any other college in the nation. That's a statement. That's a statement about what they believe is important. I think it is (important), too."
Elsewhere Around MSOE Athletics…
- Sullivan Schrandt (Golf) and Carly Grant (WTEN) were named NACC Players of the Week
- Rowing returned to the water, winning the Open 4 and Open 8 at the Tail of the Fox Regatta. The Raiders were first or second in each of their seven races.
- Women's Tennis clinched a spot in the NACC Tournament and set a school record for wins in a season (eight) by going 2-1 with wins over CUC and Alverno last week.
- Braden Andryk scored a pair of second-half goals to erase a 3-2 deficit and lead Men's Soccer to a 4-3 win at Rockford Saturday.
- Women's Soccer picked up its first league win of the season 9-0 at Alverno Saturday, led by a hat trick from Aly Loepfe.
- Women's Volleyball split a pair of matches last weekend, scoring a four-set win at Alverno Friday for its first NACC win of the season.
- Golf took 10th/14 teams at the MSOE Invitational it hosted Sunday and Monday.
- Men's Cross Country was 12th and the Women's team was 13th at the Blugold Invitational.
Coming Up This Week...
- Women's Tennis (8-3, W3) finishes the fall season with three matches this week, first at Edgewood Tuesday and then at Lakeland and CUW Saturday.
- Men's Soccer (6-3, W1) is at Marian Wednesday and returns home to take on Wisconsin Lutheran Saturday.
- Women's Soccer (3-7, W1) is at home against Marian Wednesday and Wisconsin Lutheran Saturday.
- Women's Volleyball (9-12, L1) have a home weekend of action, hosting Rockford Friday and Edgewood Saturday.
- Cross Country goes to the La Rosa Invitational Saturday.
- Rowing is in action for the second-straight Sunday, this time at the Head of the Rock Regatta.
|Tuesday||Women's Tennis||@ Edgewood*||3:00 PM|
|Wednesday||Men's Soccer||@ Marian*||7:00 PM||Live stats | Video|
|Wednesday||Women's Soccer||Marian*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Friday||Women's Volleyball||Rockford*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Cross Country (M/W)||@ La Rosa Invitational||10:00 AM|
|Saturday||Women's Tennis||@ Lakeland*||10:00 AM|
|Saturday||Women's Volleyball||Edgewood*||12:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Men's Soccer||Wisconsin Lutheran*||1:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Women's Tennis||@ Concordia Wisconsin*||2:00 PM|
|Saturday||Women's Soccer||Wisconsin Lutheran*||4:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Sunday||Rowing||@ Head of the Rock||All Day|
|* Conference Contest | Home Contests in BOLD|