A national champion and former hockey TV analyst, former Wisconsin defenseman Rob Andringa died on Friday at the age of 51. As a UW press release on Saturday stated, the Badger standout had been battling colon cancer.
Wisconsin noted in the release that Andringa scored the game-winning goal for the program during the 1990 NCAA championship contest, and he ended his Badger career as the men's hockey program's all-time leading in games played (179). He also tallied 104 total points with 16 goals.
Here is the full press release from Wisconsin about Andringa, who was also became a Big Ten Network hockey analyst:
MADISON, Wis. -- From his days growing up in Madison as neighbor to the Johnsons, time as a stick boy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, playing baseball and winning an NCAA title with Wisconsin hockey, his program support and inspiration, and his broadcasting work, Rob Andringa has long been the epitome of what it means to be a Badger.
Generosity and support are part of the family's DNA. From his parents Conrad and Phyllis' support of the program, Rob and his brother Jeff's contributions on and off the ice and through to his sisters and the current generation of the family, this legacy helps make the Andringa family special to Wisconsin athletics.
He was honored this past spring with the Gramps O'Sheridan Award, given for extraordinary service to the UW hockey program and awarded only when an appropriate recipient comes along.
Team co-captain in 1991, Andringa scored the game-winning goal in the Badgers' 1990 NCAA Championship and helped call UW's 2006 NCAA Championship on the radio. He also won the Dr. Joseph Coyne/Joe Pavelski Most Consistent and Fenton Kelsey, Jr./Mike Richter Most Competitive Player during his career. He finished playing for the Badgers with 16 goals, 104 points and as the program's all-time leader with 179 games played. Also a member of Wisconsin's baseball program, he was inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
One of the Wisconsin's most passionate fans, members, alums and supporters, Rob Andringa has passed away. He's been battling colon cancer.
He is survived by his wife, Christi, his son, Jack, and his daughters Carson and Dara.
Many associated with the men's hockey program, the university, and from the press shared fond memories of Andringa. From UW's press release:
Head Coach Tony Granato
"There's now pain and sadness in our family. There is nobody that I know who loves and embodies what Badger athletics and especially Badger hockey is all about than Rob Andringa. You can extend that to his entire family.
"He had such a big heart and was so full of energy that he made everybody in his life feel like a friend and feel special.
"His passion, love and loyalty has helped bridge the generations of Wisconsin hockey from the 1960s up through our current team. There is no one that has represented us in a more beautiful and positive way than Rob.
"His influence on Wisconsin hockey, the university, our community and his friends and family is one that will live on.
"I love the Andringas so much."
Associate Head Coach Mark Osiecki
"He was one of my best friends, teammates, roommate and a true Badger. He exemplified what it is to be a Badger hockey player. Leader, energetic, caring, selfless. He never cared who got credit, he just wanted Badger hockey to have success. A true family and community person. What a great example for us all on how to live our love. I will miss him every day."
Voice of Wisconsin Hockey Brian Posick
"We should all be so fortunate to have friends who make you feel good and bring out the best in you. Robbie did that every moment we spent together. From the first day I met him to the last day I saw him, he greeted me with that crooked smile and left me with a powerful hug. Every day was a great day to Rob Andringa. His positive energy was infectious. His heart of gold. His friendship I cherished. His passion for life will inspire me forever. Thank you Robbie and God bless you! You are beloved. Lynn and our family send our love and condolences to Christi, Jack, Carson, Dara, Phyllis, Doc and the Andringa family."
Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez
"Rob Andringa was a wonderful ambassador for the University of Wisconsin, our athletic department, the city of Madison and, in particular, Badger hockey. His enthusiasm for life was infectious. Rob will be greatly missed by all who knew him, especially the Badger hockey teammates with whom he won a national championship and forged lifelong friendships. The thoughts and prayers of all Badgers are with Rob's family and friends."
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