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Nemec inducted into Athletic Directors Hall of Fame

Former Somerset Athletic Director Brad Nemec is shown with his family following his induction into the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame. Shown (l-r) are Scott and Kaye Nemec and their children, Brayden and Lyla; Brad Nemec and his wife, Sandy; Amy (Nemec) and Jon Roslansky and their children, Finn and Royden. (Submitted photo)

Former Somerset High School Athletic Director Brad Nemec was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame (WADA) on Sunday, Nov. 9.

The induction took place at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Rapids as part of the annual WADA state convention.

Nemec, who served as Athletic Director in Somerset from 1986-2011, has now won every major award possible from WADA. He was twice named State Athletic Director of the Year, in 1996 and 2010. He served as the WADA President in 2000 and he was WADA's representative at the national level for several years.

This is the second Hall of Fame where Nemec was inducted. Nemec was enshrined in the Wisconsin High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000. He coached Glenwood City to its first state football championship in 1985. He moved to Somerset in 1986, serving in the dual role of athletic director and football coach. During the next 13 years, the Somerset Spartans compiled a list of accomplishments including the football team's first conference championship in 32 years, followed by two more conference titles, five playoff births, two undefeated seasons, and one state semifinal appearance. He finished his football coaching career with a 132-67 record.

Nemec said he learned early in his athletic career that rules had to be set, then strictly adhered to, without exception.

“You can't do it from your heart,” he said. “You have to do it with your head. You have to think of the implications, the precedents it sets.”

Nemec was a fixture at the high school, arriving early most mornings and staying late, until after every game was completed. As sports were added and more games were added to seasons, the demands on his time grew greater and greater.

“If I had a 50-hour week, that was unusual,” he said of the long days and nights. “My job was number one. When you commit to something, you make a commitment. There's a lot I missed with my kids.”

Nemec said he was glad that all of his family could attend this induction ceremony, because of all that they sacrificed while he was working.

Nemec has also served for 23 years as the Somerset Municipal Judge and he uses the same philosophy in court that he did in the schools.

“I always believed that you do the right thing, and how it affects everyone. Character isn't what you do when people are watching. It's what you do when people aren't watching,” he said.

Nemec said he was thankful for strong support from the school district board and administration. He said that appreciation also went toward the citizens of the school district.

“The last 30 years have been great. We've got great facilities and that's because of the support of the community,” he said.

Now that he's retired, Nemec remains busy, but not nearly at the pace he faced while as athletic director. His days now center mainly around family and golf. He and his wife, Sandy, are able to travel extensively.

“Every day is Saturday and Sunday is thick (news)paper day,” Nemec said of the pace of his life in retirement.

Nemec was one of five former athletic directors inducted by WADA this year. He was joined by former D.C. Everest Athletic Director Jack Overgaard, former West Bend Athletic Director Nellie Nelson, former Wisconsin Rapids Athletic Director Jack Cepak and former Madison Memorial Athletic Director Gary Kolpin. This is the third year that inductions have been made into the Hall of Fame.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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