The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Conlin receives Merten Award

    UW-Eau Claire track and field assistant coach Paul Conlin said he does not coach to earn awards or get praise. But he does appreciate people taking notice of his contributions to the team.

    “It’s always nice to be recognized for your work and your efforts,” Conlin said.

    Conlin was this year’s recipient of the Joe Merten Coaching Award, created in 2008 and available to part-time assistant, graduate assistant, community or student coaches at the university. The award was presented to Conlin at the Hall of Fame Banquet Saturday at W.R. Davies Center and comes with a
    monetary stipend.

    Head Track and Field coach Chip Schneider, who nominated Conlin for the award, said recognition of Conlin’s work was
    long overdue.

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    “It’s easy to forget an assistant coach is as important as the head coach,” Schneider said. “A lot of the credit that goes to the team or his group sometimes I end up getting instead of him.”

    Conlin works specifically with the throwers on the track and field team. In fact, Schneider said he has almost nothing to do with the throwers on the team, making Conlin the de facto head coach of that part of the team.

    Conlin, entering his 18th season as an assistant at Eau Claire, has an impressive throwing résumé of his own. He was a three-time Division III
    national champion and a five-time All-American during his career at

    Schneider said the throwers have been the most consistent part of the program during Conlin’s tenure. Last year, national champion and All-American Tyler Genovese headed what Conlin called “the best men’s team, as far as a thrower’s group, to ever walk the halls at UW-Eau Claire.”

    Sophomore Dillon Pariseau said Conlin was very important to his growth as a thrower. Pariseau said Conlin entirely changed the way Pariseau threw, but did so with a calm style that made the transition smooth.

    “He’s really good at explaining the how’s and why’s of what he’s asking you and making it so you understand it,” Pariseau said.

    Conlin, who has a full-time job away from the team, said he considers it part of his job to help his athletes grow as people as well. Pariseau said Conlin creates a close-knit group each year by having the team members get together outside of practice and events and makes sure they work hard in the classroom.

    Conlin said fostering these kinds of personal relationships is important to him because of his experiences at Platteville.

    “My coach had a huge influence on my life and still does to this day,” Conlin said. “I only hope that I can contribute to some of these kids’ successes.”

    Despite the loss of Genevese and other talented throwers, Schneider said Conlin’s charges should continue to find success.

    “Expect some big things again,” Schneider said. “Every time we think we’re going to lose some guys, he’s going to have another bunch of kids that I think are going to do some amazing things.”

    Pariseau said the team will start practicing in early November, with the season beginning next January with the Blugold Alumni Open.

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    Conlin receives Merten Award