Jilek to be inducted into UW-EC Hall of Fame

September 2, 2011

Former Eau Claire Cavaliers standout Craig Jilek is one of seven UW-Eau Claire alumni who will be inducted into the university's athletic Hall of Fame next month.

Wisconsin State League

Former Hudson Raider baseball and football coach Craig Jilek is one of seven UW-Eau Claire alumni who will be inducted into the university’s athletic Hall of Fame next month.

Jilek, a two-sport athlete at UW-Eau Claire and current physical education teacher at Hudson High School, will be inducted with the 2011 class Sept. 24. The class will be recognized at halftime of the football game vs. UW-River Falls Saturday afternoon and inducted that night during a banquet in the Council Fire Room of the W.R. Davies Center on campus.

The rest of the class includes baseball and football player John Furrer, diver Jim Brennan, swimmer Sara (Shimanski) Drozdowicz, track athlete Shelly Roth, basketball player Bob Coenen and tennis player Scott Nesbit.

This group represents the 35th class of men’s inductees and the 22nd class of women’s inductees and brings the number of athletes, coaches and administrators who have been honored to 187.

Jilek played three years as a linebacker with the Blugold football team. He ranks among the school leaders in most offensive categories.

Jilek, who prepped at Glenwood City High School where he was All-State in football, basketball and baseball, set most of the Blugold career offensive records while playing baseball for Craig Walter in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994. He owns the marks for career home runs (28), RBI (135), hits (177) and runs (104) while sporting the second best batting average at .388. His .462 average in 1993 is second best in school history and was also seventh in NCAA Division III nationally that year.

Jilek also played on the two winningest teams in Blugold history as the 1992 squad was 28-17 and the 1994 team was 28-11. During his career, the Blugolds fashioned an 88-69 mark and were 45-16 in conference play, twice winning the Northern Division title and finishing second once.

Jilek was a two-time All-Conference selection as well as a two-time NAIA All-District 14 pick. He was the District 14 player of the year in 1993 and the WSUC Northern Division player of the year in 1994. He was named to the NAIA All-Area IV team in 1993 and the NCAA All-Region first team in 1994. Twice he was the Blugold team MVP and once the team Rookie of the Year.

Jilek continued his career with the Eau Claire Cavaliers, earning team Rookie of the Year honors in 1992 and team MVP in 1995 when he set a club single season home run record with 36. He was founder and instructor of the Cavaliers’ Youth Baseball Camps from 1993-96 and was named the Eau Claire Male Athlete of the Year in 1996 by the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

After graduating from UW-EC with a kinesiology degree in 1995, Jilek spent two years in the Eau Claire School district. He was the Eau Claire Memorial High School JV baseball coach both years.

He has been in the Hudson school district since 1997 as a physical education teacher. He also served four years as the varsity baseball coach after one year as an assistant. He was the varsity football head coach for three years after three years as an assistant.

Jilek spent the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons as an assistant coach to Dale Varsho with the Eau Claire Express baseball team of the Northwoods League.

Jilek and his wife Carrie, a National Account Manager, have three children: Will, 12; Nick, 8; and Delanie, 6.

Tickets for the UW-EC Hall of Fame banquet, which will also include presentation of the 2010-11 Blugold Super Six Salute award winners and several other recognitions, are $25 and can be obtained by contacting the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association at (715) 836-3266 or larsojan@uwec.edu.

A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7:30 p.m. WQOW TV 18 sports director Bob Bradovich will present the 2011 Hall of Fame inductees.

Story by: The Hudson Star-Observer

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