The Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association will enshrine its fourth class of Hall of Famers on Feb. 9 during a ceremony at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee – fitting since all five of the inductees all made significant contributions to the Milwaukee soccer community.
Hayden Knight, Peter Knezic, Jerry Panek, Dave Scherer and the late Laura Moynihan make up the Class of 2013. Moynihan is the second memorial inductee and will be the first woman in the WSCA Hall of Fame, which will total 18 after the ceremony.
The Hall of Fame event starts at 5 p.m. with a social hour, followed by the induction ceremony at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 for WSCA members and $45 for non-members. Ticket order form (pdf)
Here's a look at the five inductees:
A native of Trinidad, Knight's family moved to Brooklyn when he was a child and he came to Wisconsin as a sophomore in high school through an educational program. After graduating from Appleton East in 1975, he starred at Marquette from 1976-79 – his scoring total of 52 goals in 48 matches is tied for first in program history and he is the only men's soccer player in the school's athletic Hall of Fame. Knight played with six teams in the North American Soccer League and three in the Major Indoor Soccer League, including the Milwaukee Wave, in a 10-year pro career and earned three caps for the U.S. national team in 1984. He was the boys and girls coach at Cedarburg High School, taking the Bulldogs boys teams to six WIAA state finals: They won all-division titles in 1989 and '91 and the Division 1 crown in 1996 and were the Division 1 runners-up in 1992, '94 and '95. He coached at Mequon SC and now is coaching at Sockers FC Wisconsin. Knight also was inducted into the Wisconsin Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2005.
Knezic, a Cudahy native, was an honorable mention All-American for UW-Milwaukee in 1979 and had brief stints with several pro teams before joining the Wave in 1985. He ended up being a legend for his hometown team, scoring 81 goals in 191 games over five seasons, being named to the inaugural 2009 class of the Wave Hall of Fame and having his No. 5 jersey retired by the team. Knezic, who was named to the WSA Hall of Fame in 2007, was the UWM women's coach in 1989 and '90 and has been the coaching director at FC Milwaukee since 1991. He also has coached prep boys and girls teams at Waukesha Catholic Memorial, Brookfield East and Brookfield Central and amateur teams at Milwaukee Serbian SC and the Milwaukee Kickers during his career.
A native of Poland, Panek was 25 when he emigrated to the U.S. in 1971. After claiming three caps with the U.S. national team in 1973 – all against Poland in a nine-day span – and playing for the NASL's Chicago Sting in 1975, he coached with Polonia and the Milwaukee Kickers. He joined the Marquette men's program in 1982 as an assistant and took over midway through the season when Joe Born resigned, and ended up staying through the 1991 season. Panek compiled a 97-80-20 record and ranks first among Marquette coaches in winning percentage and second in victories. He also coached the Milwaukee Thomas More High School boys program and was an assistant for the Milwaukee Rampage of the USISL and USL. Panek, a 1991 WSA Hall of Fame inductee, has been the coaching director for the Kickers since 2001.
Scherer played at Milwaukee Madison High School, Bavarian SC and Brewers SC, was a four-year starter at UW-Milwaukee and played on the Milwaukee Sport Club Majors team for 11 years. He coached high school boys and girls teams for nearly 30 years, first at Shorewood and then at Wauwatosa West – the Trojans won a combined 12 Woodland Conference titles in his tenure, which started in 1993. Scherer continues to serve as a coach and club president at Sport Club, and also coached at Elm Grove SC.
Tag(s): Coaches' Corner