UAA Executive Director Dick Rasmussen, a 1968 graduate of Sheboygan North High in Wisconsin, was inducted into North High’s athletic Wall of Fame on Friday night. He joined classmates Pat Matzdorf and John Koehn on the Wall of Fame at the induction at halftime of the boys’ basketball game.
In 1967 Rasmussen earned All Fox River Valley First Team recognition as a defensive end and All-State Honorable Mention. Rasmussen was an effective offense threat as a receiver and as a placekicker, winning two games his senior season with field goals in 3-0 victories. He was also one of the team’s captains on the 1967 team, which had a record of 7-1 and placed second in the Fox River Valley Conference.
Rasmussen earned seven letters while at North, earning three in track & field, two in football, and one each in basketball and wrestling.
Rasmussen’s best sport was baseball. Since North did not offer baseball, he showcased his talents playing American Legion Baseball. Rasmussen was on the Sheboygan Legion team for six seasons after bypassing Stars of Tomorrow in the Sheboygan Recreation Department summer baseball program. Primarily a catcher, but also an infielder, Rasmussen earned American Legion Baseball All Star status in 1967 and 1968.
Rasmussen being honored at Sheboygan North High
Following Legion ball, Rasmussen played with the Sheboygan A’s for seven seasons. In 1969 he earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Land O' Lake League. In 1970 he was the Wisconsin State League’s first batting champion and he was voted Sheboygan A’s Most Valuable Player. In 2010 the versatile Rasmussen was inducted into the Sheboygan A’s Hall of Fame.
Rasmussen attended the University of Rochester where he was a standout football and baseball player who also excelled in the classroom. In 1972 he received the Louis A. Alexander Award, which is awarded to the senior athlete contributing most to athletics and student life.
Rasmussen played football at UR from 1968-1971. In 1971 Rasmussen was named New York State Sports Writers College All-Star First Team on defense. He was also ECAC Player of the Week twice, once in 1969 and again in 1971. Rasmussen, as he did at North, also served as the team’s placekicker and set records for most points after touchdown in a season and seven points after touchdown in one game, a record that still stands.
Rasmussen played baseball at UR from 1969-1972. Rasmussen played shortstop on the freshman team and catcher and outfield on the varsity. He was noted for his long ball potential and for his ability to handle pitchers while catching. He earned the team award for Greatest Contribution to Baseball in 1972.
Rasmussen holds three degrees from Rochester. In 1972 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. In 1987 Rasmussen completed his master’s program with a Master of Science in Education. Ultimately in 1997 Rasmussen earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration.
Rasmussen’s coaching resume is extensive. He coached Sheboygan’s Legion team for two seasons following his playing career. At UR, he served as an assistant football coach for nine seasons and was head baseball coach for 14 seasons. Rasmussen helped to establish the Rochester Amateur Summer Baseball Congress league and earned the league’s Coach of the Year honor in 1979.
Rasmussen with his wife Cathy and his Wall of Fame plaque
Rasmussen currently serves as Executive Director of the University Athletic Association, a position he has held since its inception in 1987. He was instrumental in the formation of the UAA, a group of eight major research universities, and is the most expansive conference in NCAA Division III.
During his tenure, he has facilitated the development of the UAA into one of the premiere conferences in the NCAA. In addition, he co-founded the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) in 1994 and currently serves as its Executive Director. He is also a Past President of the Division III Commissioners Association and continues to serve as its secretary/treasurer. At the 2002 NCAA Convention, he was honored by his fellow commissioners with the Association’s inaugural Meritorious Service Award, recognizing significant, sustained achievement, and contributions to college athletics at the national level.
Nationally, Rasmussen has served on a number of NCAA committees, including but not limited to the NCAA Council, the NCAA Division III Management Council and chairing the Division III Membership Committee. He also was a member of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics and served on a focus group that developed the initial NCAA Diversity Education Program with the Minority Interests and Opportunities Committee.
At its Summer Forum in June of 2017, the NADIIIAA Executive Committee announced the creation of a new award, the NADIIIAA Lifetime Achievement Award, and named Rasmussen as the inaugural recipient of the prestigious award. In addition, they also chose to name the award the Richard A. Rasmussen Lifetime Achievement Award.
Outside the Division III world, Rasmussen is active within the community, volunteering in leadership roles with the Seneca Waterways Boy Scout Council, Psi Upsilon International Fraternity, and as a past trustee of the Newman Community Catholic Parish just to name a few. In 2007, he was presented the National Award of Distinction by the North-American Interfraternity Conference for his volunteer service to Psi Upsilon Fraternity and the University of Rochester. He also served four terms on the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District Board of Education, including service as vice president of the board for four years and president for six years. During that time, he also served a term as president of the Monroe County School Boards Association.
Rasmussen is married to Cathy and has three children, Bill, Jennifer, and Jessica and a stepdaughter, Leigh.