Three UW-Superior Greats to Enter WIAC HOF

By KBJR News 1

August 3, 2012 Updated Aug 3, 2012 at 10:28 PM CDT

Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Former UW-Superior standout and Minnesota Vikings star Doug Sutherland is set to enter the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Hall of Fame, along with former Yellowjackets David Graichen and Americo "Mertz" Mortorelli.

Those three, along with 27 others, are part of the WIAC's inagural Hall of Fame class which comes as part of the conference's 100th anniversary celebration.

Better known for football, Sutherland was also a track and field standout while at UW-Superior. In fact, he still holds the school-record in the shot put.

Following graduation, though, Sutherland chose football. He was drafted by New Orleans in the 1970 NFL Draft, marking the start of a 12-year professional career.

Sutherland played 10 of those 12 years with the Minnesota Vikings, becoming part of the famed "Puple People Eaters" in the mid-1970s.

"There's a lot of good athletes that come out of Wisconsin, and that's a tremendous conference," Sutherland said of the WIAC. "UW-Superior is a great school. I had a lot of fun and got a good education there."

Graichen, meanwhile, was one of the greatest hockey players in the history of UW-Superior. He was twice given first-team All-American honors by the American Hockey Coaches Association (ACHA) and twice helped the Yellowjackets to a runner-up finish in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Mortorelli never played at UW-Superior, but there may not have been a single individual with a larger impact. He coached a combined 109 seasons for the Yellowjackets, collecting an overall record of (862-534-26) while coaching baseball, basketball, football, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.

Mortorelli also spent 31 years as athletics director at UW-Superior, helping grow the school from four varsity sports to 16.

The inaugural WIAC Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for August 4 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.

Posted by Zach Schneider
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