Wally Akervik

2022 Inductee
Wally Akervik was born in Duluth, Minn., and was a four-sport athlete at Duluth Central High School, helping his Trojan team reach the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament.

Ann Ninnemann

2022 Inductee
Ann Ninnemann was born in St. Paul, Minn., and began playing ringette at the age of four.  By her own admission, she played ringette through the sixth game and then hesitantly transitioned to ice hockey in the seventh grade.

Pat "Duffy" Dyer

2022 Inductee
Pat “Duffy” Dyer was born in Virginia, Minn., and played youth hockey in that Iron Range community.  After high school, he graduated from UW-Superior with a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology and would go on to a long career at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

Rebecca Hamilton-Hildebrandt

2022 Inductee
Rebecca Hamilton-Hildebrandt (or “Coach Becky” as she is better known locally) was born and raised in Sauk Prairie and began playing hockey in 1982, the first year that Sauk Prairie had a hockey association.
  • Don Bradford - 2009

Don was born in Rhinelander and raised in Eagle River, where he played youth and high school hockey in a storied hockey town.  In 1964 he lived out a “Hoosiers” moment when his high school team traveled to Madison and claimed the then unofficial Wisconsin high school state title. Don attended UW-Superior and continued his playing career with UWS and later the Eagle River Northernaires Senior Men’s team.  In 1969 Don moved to Wausau and after spending two years in the military, taught Business and Accounting at Wausau West High School from 1974-1980.  Don took over the hockey coaching duties at West in 1975.  From 1975 through 1978 Don compiled a record of 13-42 with a new and very inexperienced group of kids.  Few of his players had youth hockey experience, so in 1978 Don turned his efforts to that youth program.  Don focused on the “learn to skate” program, working to attract, and hook, more kids in hockey. 

Over the next 30 years Don coached all levels of youth hockey, including stints as head coach for his three sons.  He unselfishly served the Marathon County Youth Hockey Association as a head coach and board member for many years earning the President’s award for service to the Association three times.  Don’s vision and work were key factors in the efforts of the MCYHA to partner with the Marathon County Park Department and the city of Wausau to successfully construct the second sheet of ice at Marathon Park in  1985.  Don literally helped build the rink with his two hands.  He and many others volunteered their time, talents, and materials to build the rink.  Long after his kids were finished in youth hockey, Don has continued to coach at the squirt and pee wee levels.  During his years of coaching youth hockey, he has positively touched the lives of hundreds of youth hockey players and their families, always with the message of skills first and fun a close second.  Winning has never been a goal or even a priority for Don, a certified level 4 Advanced coach, while coaching youth hockey.  Yet his teams have been successful because of his dedication and ability to improve the skill level of all of his players.
Don also served the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association as an active and innovative Region 2 Board of Director from 1985 to 2007 and again from 2010 to the present. During this time he designed the current WAHA logo, directed the mite state tournament, coordinated player development, revised tournament seeding and guidelines and compiled the WAHA booklet.  Don has continued to schedule the state play downs for Region 2 annually.  Don also served as the Bantam Elite Player Development Camp Director from 1991 through 2006.  This development camp was a model for USA Hockey.  Don also served as team leader for the USA Hockey Central District team that participated in the USA Hockey National Select 15 Festival from 1994-1997.  For his service to the hockey community, Don was awarded the George Bauman Friends of Hockey Award presented each year by the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association.