EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Regis Press Release) Bill Uelmen has been a fixture within the Regis Boys Basketball program for decades. During that time, he has made an impact in the lives of countless players who hit the court under his watch. However, this past season will go down as his last as head coach of the team.
Uelmen took over as head coach at Regis High School in 1977 after playing basketball and coaching at Northern Michigan University. He stepped down as head coach of the Ramblers after the 1997 season after the school board at the time made a decision not to allow the school’s principal to coach. In 2000-2001, he returned to coaching, becoming the head basketball coach at Cadott High School for one year and then from 2001-2003, taking over the basketball program at Mondovi High School for two years. Uelmen’s second stint at Regis began in 2003-2004 and went through the 2017-2018 season. During that time, Uelmen’s teams won eight Western Cloverbelt Conference Championships and qualified for the WIAA State Tournament in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2015.
During his coaching career, Uelmen lead ten teams to a WIAA Regional Championship and seven teams to a WISAA Regional Championship. His teams also made eleven appearances at the state tournament; four with the WIAA and seven with the WISAA.
Uelmen had the pleasure of coaching some of the best players to come out of the city of Eau Claire. They included Eau Claire City All-Time career scoring leaders Andy Fisher (1989-1993 - 1,786 points), followed by Billy Wampler (2011-2015 - 1,966 points), and currently held by Logan Rohrscheib (2012-2016 - 2,014 points).
“I will miss the players, assistant coaches, and managers, as well as the relationships I made through coaching over the years,” Uelmen said. “I will miss preparing for the season, being in the gym for practice, and the fans who supported the teams over the years.”
Uelmen finishes his coaching career with 590 wins and 307 losses. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015.
Uelmen will continue his work as the Advancement Director for Regis Catholic Schools.
Coach Uelmen’s Highlights & Memories
• 10 WIAA Regional Championships & 7 WISAA Regional Championships
• 11 State Tournament Appearances; 7 WISAA & 4 WIAA
• 1979 | Defeating Aquinas and securing his first coaching trip to the WISAA State Tournament.
• 1982 | Winning his first CWCC conference championship, led by Rich Bourget.
• Winning five Central Wisconsin Catholic Conference Championships and being selected CWCC “Coach of the Year” seven times.
• 1987 | Defeating Eau Claire Memorial on Darin Blang’s last second shot.
• 1995 | The Regional Championship game at Marshfield when Jeff Uelmen hit a 25’ shot to tie the game to go into overtime against Pacelli. The team eventually won to qualify for the WISAA State Tournament.
• 1995 & 1997 | Ending the season as WISAA State Runner Up, losing in the championship game both times to Milwaukee Messmer.
• Coaching his son, Jeff, in the WISAA State Tournament in 1994, 1995, and 1997. Not many coaches have the experience of coaching their son!
• 2001 | Coaching against his son, Brian, when he played for Regis and Uelmen coached at Cadott. He was happy for him because he had a very good game against Cadott!
• 2007 | Defeating Webster and securing the school’s first trip ever to the WIAA State Basketball Tournament in Madison.
• 2010 | Defeating Brillion in the WIAA State Tournament semi-finals and finishing State Runner Up, losing to Racine St. Catherine’s in the championship game. Connor Miller was a special player on that team and it felt like having another coach on the floor!
• Defeating Thorp to reach his 500th career coaching win. Uelmen appreciated all the people who came to support the team on that night. Special thanks to Emi Uelmen, Mike Andrews, and Terry Allen for all they did to make that night special. Having Billy Wampler and Logan Rohrschieb also helped.
• Seeing his mother at many of the games. She was a big supporter of Regis basketball!
• He will miss coaching the rivalry games. The games he always looked forward to were the La Crosse Aquinas games, Fall Creek (it seemed the team always had to play them in the tournament), Altoona, and early on in his career, Eau Claire Memorial.
The games Coach Uelmen lost that stuck with him include…
• 1982 | Regional Championship Game to Go to State Against Madison Edgewood
• 1992 | WISAA Regional Championship Game Against Columbus at Marshfield
• 1997 | WISAA State Championship Game Against Milwaukee Messmer
• 2006 | Sectional Championship Game Against Glennwood City at Osseo
• 2008 | WIAA State Semi-Final Game Against Iola-Scandinavia
• 2011 | Regional Final Game Against Colfax at Eau Claire Memorial
• 2018 | Game Against Altoona
"I thank Regis for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach for 34 years," Uelmen said. "I feel it is time for someone else to have the opportunity to coach the team. Another person deserves the chance to coach at such a great school with a great tradition that was in place long before I arrived."