Meinholz leaves own print on athletics department

Sports Information Director moves to College of Business


Photo by Shane Opatz

Story by Nick Erickson, Editor In Chief

He’s never taken a game-winning shot or delivered a halftime speech.

But for more than a decade, Kevin Meinholz has been as vital a component of the UW-Eau Claire athletics department as anyone by serving as the sports information director.

Meinholz has spent the last six years running around on Blugold gamedays making sure all the live video, live stats, write ups on and hospitality to local media are perfect. He’s stayed way past game time and arrived hours before the stands filled up.

While the football team’s 20-17 victory over UW-Stout last Saturday marked the end of the a seven-game losing streak for the team, it also marked the end of an era for Blugold athletics. That was the last day Meinholz served as SID, as the father of a son born this summer took a job in the College of Business to free up his nights and weekends to spend more time with his family.

“Kevin is a very thorough person, not only about Blugold athletics, but a lot of things as a husband, father, consumer and citizen,” his predecessor, longtime SID Tim Petermann, said. “Athletics’ loss will be the College of Business’ gain, so the university will continue to benefit from Kevin’s abilities.”

Meinholz, a May 2007 graduate, worked under Petermann from 2003 until his graduation. Petermann retired in July 2007 from the SID post, and Meinholz served as the interim before being hired full time in August 2008.

Right away, Meinholz saw just how much behind the scenes work needed to be done in order to fill Petermann’s shoes.

“You don’t really appreciate the amount of work until you have done it,” he said. “I was a student for worker for four years but you only see bits and pieces of what happens. I have a lot of respect for people that enjoy and can succeed in the profession.”

Meinholz certainly had a tall task replacing what former Director of Athletics Scott Kilgallon called” arguably the best sports information professional in the business” in Petermann. But right away, he put his own stamp on the athletics department.

He made technology a priority for Blugold sports, as he revamped the live streams of games, live stats, and twice during his duration, the official athletics website got a facelift.

“The computer and the Web are powerful instruments if you know how to use all of the features that are added on a regular basis,” Petermann said. “Kevin kept up and took full advantage of new software and ways of transmitting and sharing information.”

Aside from being a whiz with technology, Meinholz’s laid-back personality made him a very easy person to get along and work with.

Petermann said other university’s without the technical expertise of Meinholz, and also people within Eau Claire, would go to him for help with various issues.

Meinholz employed students to run stat computers for him as well as help him write his press releases at the end of events.

Monica Weltzien worked for him since 2012, and she said he made her feel like the work she did was truly meaningful to Blugold athletics.

“Kevin is a good boss because he truly cares about each one of his employees,” she said. “He took an actual interest in our lives and cheered us on in all of our other extra curricular activities.”

Meinholz, who said his best memory as the sports information director came during the men’s hockey team’s national championship run ending in Lake Placid, N. York, said the friendships will be hardest to say goodbye to.

“I’m going to miss the people the most,” he said. “I know that’s probably what a lot of people say but I’ve developed some good relationships and will miss not working with them on a daily basis.”

The athletics department still has to determine a new SID.