Deichls carry on father’s tradition

Scout Springgate, Staff Writer

Consider what it would be like to attend your parent’s alma mater, have your father be in the hall of fame at that school and have your sibling along to help build upon it. That is what the Deichl family has going for them.

Jack Deichl plays tight-end for the football team, and Becky Deichl plays as the center for the women’s basketball team.  Both of them chose to attend UW-Whitewater for its academics and opportunity to continue playing the sports that they love at the collegiate level.

Jack will graduate after this semester, as he was granted a fifth year of eligibility via medical redshirt from the NCAA following an injury he sustained in his true junior season.  

“To have the chance to compete for a national championship every year, while getting a degree from one of the best business schools in the country, it was just the perfect fit,” Jack said.

Jack was part of the Warhawks’ 2014 National Championship team that defeated Mount Union by a score of 43-34 in the Division III National Championship game.

Becky is a junior and is a center on the women’s basketball team. She is also coming off labrum surgery from over the summer.

“For me, it was ‘the best of both worlds’ because I am able to get a degree from COBE, which is a nationally known business school, while being a part of a program that is in contention for a national championship every year,” Becky said.

Many UW-Whitewater students may not be very familiar with Jack and Becky or understand what the Deichl name means to the university’s athletic program. The Deichl name goes back 34 years to their father, Jack Deichl Sr.  

In 2001, Jack Deichl Sr. was inducted as a member of the UW-Whitewater Athletic Hall of Fame for both football and basketball. This is the legacy that Jack and Becky Deichl would like to add to and create a legacy of their own in the process.

As kids growing up in Libertyville, Illinois, the Deichl family enjoyed sports not only from the perspective of physical education, but also the camaraderie that came with it.

In high school, Becky won the 2015 recipient of “Newsom Award”, Libertyville High School’s most notable award for athletic achievement.

“When we were young, our parents put us into sports to make friends, be active, be outside and encouraged us at a young age,” Becky said. “Eventually both of us enjoyed what we were doing, and it carried on from there.”

Jack believes that each of their experiences with youth athletics prepared them well for their role as a UW-Whitewater student-athlete.  

“For most people, sports teach valuable lessons that transcend beyond just sports itself,” Jack said. “In life, and in sports, there are things that you have a game plan for, but the game plan rarely goes as scripted. Football, especially, has taught me that I need to battle and be able to grind. At the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to persevere through whatever happens.”

Even though it is challenging to share the burden of academics with that of a rigorous athletic training schedule, each Deichl agrees that their path has been rewarding.  

It’s a challenge,” Becky said. “I like that it prepares you. Being a student-athlete is one of the hardest things you can do as you have to juggle schoolwork with morning practices and games. I think it truly prepares you for a career after sports.”

Deichl Sr. noted how his storied career has influenced his children.

“Sports have always been a big part of Suzanne and my life,” Deichl Sr. said. “So, I think at an early age because they were around it a lot, they just naturally were drawn to athletics. I probably don’t have a lot of influence on them today. They just really enjoy the competition, the relationships they have with their teammates and coaches, and being able to represent the University.”

Jack Sr. also said that he and his wife Suzanne tried to instill humility early in each of their children. Additionally, he said that each of his children strived to be their best, while valuing the importance of being a good teammate.  

Jack Sr. knows that the relationships Jack and Becky form at UW-Whitewater will carry on through life.

“You are in the trenches with these people for four years and I am proud to say that I still maintain these relationships,” he said. “I also met Jack and Becky’s mother (Suzanne) at Whitewater.”

It could be said that growing up with two proud UW-Whitewater Alum, that embrace their school pride and interest in athletics greatly impacted who both Jack and Becky are today. Whether students realize it or not, the Deichl family have, in some fashion, all created an impact on the past, present and hopefully the future of UW-Whitewater athletics.