Summer 2013

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Fifty Wildcat Greats: Who's on Your Top 10 List?

Wildcat Fans Have Their Say

Tell us what you think. E-mail comments or questions to the editors at letters@northwestern.edu.

Ever wonder about those strange designations we use throughout Northwestern to identify alumni of the various schools of the University? See the complete list.

Northwestern fans have voted for their all-time favorite athletes. Have your voice heard by voting for our all-time Top 10 Wildcat greats.

On the best and the rest:

The list is already pedestrian at best without the inclusion of Luis Castillo! The man was the quintessential student athlete whose class was and still remains second to none! Not to mention a stellar eight-year NFL career!
Steven Austin

This list could easily have been a top 100, to which I would have added Len Williams, last Silver Football recipient from NU, and Lee Gissendaner, who, with Williams, capped for one of the most impressive comebacks in college football history, coming back from 20 points down in the fourth quarter to win at Illinois [see the Chicago Tribune story about Northwestern’s 27-26 win over Illinois in 1992].
Christopher Bailey

Leon Brockmeier #67. Leon was my son in law, we lost him suddenly on September 22. He gave us so much happiness, love and the best, his 3 sons, Brodie, 6, Carson, 4, and our new blessing Noah, just 4 weeks old. He is and will always be loved, missed and in our hearts.
Jan Michael

My dad would want to me say, "Otto Graham." For me, it's Fitz.
Hey, what about Joe Girardi?
Laurel Haropulos Bailey

This list is not complete without Andrew "Andy" Cvercko. Three-year starter on the football team playing on both the offensive and defensive lines. Named an Academic All-American for '57, '58, and '59. Also was the first Wildcat football player to be named to both the All-American and Academic All-American teams in the same season. He earned his degree in electronic engineering. Andy played in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns. Member of the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame.
Matt Summerall

Greatest of all time, Otto Graham. But Mike Adamle & Jack Rudnay should at least be on the list of 50.
Steve Goldman

I think Kristen Kjellman is a strong candidate. She was instrumental in building women's LAX at NU and has the awards and championships to rival any college athlete in decades.
Chris Davidson

I vote for Garland Cooper. I have known Garland since she was a standout softball pitcher/hitter and outstanding strong rebounding and energetic scoring defending basketball player. She is a fearless competitor and a great team player and her credentials are unmatched by any of the Northwestern greats, of which there are many. I am very proud of Garland's athletic achievements and the fine young lady she has become. I am proud to call her my friend.
Steve Tanner

A must-have: softball — Eileen Canney '07
Two-time all-American
Two WCWS appearances
Big ten pitcher of the year
28? Strikeouts against Minnesota
Pitcher Team USA
Played professionally in Japan -- Denso Bright Pegasus ...  
And in the US, winning pitcher of the year in the NPF for the Chicago Bandits.
John T

Patty Walsh Iverson was a great volleyball player during her time at NU and she is sharing her talent with the York High School Girls Volleyball team today, where she also teaches AP US History and World Studies.  She is a dedicated, motivated teacher and coach who has led her teams to a great deal of success over the years, including 4th in the State of Illinois in 2010. Way to go Patty!
Holly Kost

I really liked the piece.  But, what about Luke Johnsos Sr.?  9 Varsity Letters. According to the NU site, "...one of the most talented all-around athletes in Wildcat history."  On the diamond he led the Big Ten in HRs in in 1928.   and On the gridiron in 1927 he was an Eastern All-Star football team.... in 1928 the only athlete to letter thrice.  Not to mention his exploits with the Bears.
Douglas Trafelet

Joe Girardi is a big miss in my opinion. According to his bio on the New York Yankees website, he put up some impressive achievements while at NU and afterward.
"Graduated from Northwestern University in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering...was a three-time Academic All-American and two-time All-Big 10 selection at catcher...was elected to the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame on July 1, 2007, becoming the rst former Major Leaguer to be enshrined...also received the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Northwestern University Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences...received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award on Jan. 14, 2010, recognizing the personal achievements of a college graduate 25 years following their collegiate athletic career"
Anthony Natale

Sybil Bauer. She set 23 world records for the backstroke.
Sylvan Lane

Pat Fitzgerald. This man is the best thing that ever happened to Northwestern Athletics.  He has intelligence, class and an incredible work ethic.  He seems to pass all of this on to his players.
I hope he is still at Northwestern in 30 years.
Richard Olson

Matt Grevers deserves to make the all-time list for Northwestern athletes not only for his legendary career record but also for his personality. He was a light-hearted, outgoing teammate whose goofiness lit up a room & the pool deck. The team would not be what it was during his reign, or what it is today, without the tone he set for it.
Katie Braun

Lisa Ishikawa set the stage for future success in NU softball.
Michelle Kerr