Blugold superfans

Eau Claire couple provides support for athletic teams, students on campus


TRUE BLUGOLDS: Tim and Sue Rogge, center, pose with the UW-Eau Claire softball team earlier this season. The Rogges have been avid followers of the Blugold women’s basketball, volleyball and softball teams since 2002. Submitted

Story by Meghan Hosely, Staff Writer

For Tim and Sue Rogge, being fans of Blugold athletics means more than occasionally going to a sporting event.

Since 2002, the couple has followed the women’s basketball team, volleyball team and softball team to as many sporting events as possible ­— even most, if not all, of the away games. The couple has even travelled as far as Arizona and Florida, following the softball team on their annual spring break trip.

The support didn’t start until their three kids left for college in the late 1990s. To keep up a busy life, the couple started looking at campus sporting events and activities.

“(We) really had a hard time getting into men’s basketball,” Tim Rogge said. “So we started going to the women’s games and we found we really enjoyed it. So that’s kind of where we started, with women’s basketball.

From then on, the Rogges found themselves going to volleyball games as well, but it wasn’t until the NCAA Softball Championships came to Eau Claire in 2002 when Tim and Sue became involved with softball.

It was there when the couple met and became good friends with softball head coach, Leslie Huntington. The Rogges have been going on the spring break trip for about 10 years, and Huntington said they do a lot of things which saves the coaches a lot of time.

“It helps the coaches tremendously because when we’re on our spring break trip, the coaches are the ones that have to do the grocery shopping at one or two in the morning because that’s the only time we have,” Huntington said. “They go out and buy groceries, and we pay for it.”

Sue Rogge said planning meals for the spring break trip requires a time for her and Huntington to sit down and coordinate when the players have time to eat. If the couple is able to rent a house, meals are home-cooked. If the couple isn’t so lucky to have a house for the trip, they find alternative ways to give the players meals.

However, the Rogges don’t just make meals for the softball team. Since the women’s basketball team usually has to be in or around Eau Claire during winterim, the couple will host a brunch once every winterim. Junior forward Courtney Lewis said it’s the favorite memory she has of the couple and the time spent with them.

“They have a brunch over winter break since we’re usually … one of the few teams on campus,” Lewis said. “We don’t always get a home-cooked meal because we’re here, so they have us over for brunch. That’s just a great time.”

But the support and friendships  don’t stop after the girls graduate. Tim Rogge said one of his favorite aspects of building these friendships is they continue on, no matter where they go. Sue Rogge said she enjoys watching the players grow during their time here.

“Lots of times they grow in getting physically conditioned and doing all the weight lifting,” she said. “But they also grow not just in the knowledge that they have but the maturity level.”

Outside of sports, the Rogges are active in the Newman Parish located near campus. Sue Rogge said they support the arts and music scene at Eau Claire as well, and often go watch students perform or go to the art galleries around Eau Claire.

Tim Rogge said he values the friendships he has made through both Blugold sports and the non-student athletes he’s encountered.
Huntington said the work the Rogges do time and time again don’t go unnoticed.

“They’ve been really valued in our program, and we include them in pretty much everything we do,” Huntington said. “We want to make sure they know how valued they are.”