School of Education News

Curt Mueller, founder of Mueller Sports Medicine and supporter of athletic training program, dies

October 29, 2019

UW-Madison alumnus Curt Mueller, who grew his Mueller Sports Medicine company into a global powerhouse, passed away in his sleep on Saturday, Oct., 19, according to this obituary.

Mueller, a longtime supporter of the Wisconsin Badgers and the athletic training program within the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, was 85 years old. He played basketball for the Badgers from 1954-56, and started Mueller Sports Medicine in the basement of his father's drugstore in Prairie du Sac in 1959.

“Curt was a tremendous supporter of the athletic training profession and went out of his way to support athletic trainers in Wisconsin and across the country,” says Andrew Winterstein, a distinguished clinical professor who directs UW-Madison’s athletic training program.

Curt Mueller
In 2006, Mueller pledged a $1 million gift to UW-Madison to support Badger athletics and the athletic training program. The multi-purpose nature of the gift — from the entire Mueller family of Sports Medicine (Curt Mueller, CEO; Brett Mueller, President; Ginger Mueller-Mann, V.P. Western Region and Jeff Mueller, Southeast Regional Sales) -- was a significant factor to Curt Mueller.

“Being a Wisconsin native and as a 'walk on' to the University of Wisconsin, it was a privilege to graduate in pharmacy and play Big Ten basketball in the 1950's,” Curt Mueller said in a news release at the time. “Our contribution to university athletics, the athletic training education program, and the sports medicine facilities is very important to me.”

As part of this support, the UW -Madison School of Education received $300,000 to establish the Mueller Sports Medicine Endowment Fund for Athletic Training to provide ongoing support for capital projects, student financial assistance, salary support, and research.

“His generous endowment that allowed us to create the Mueller Fund for Athletic Training Excellence at UW-Madison has had an enormous impact in our ability to maintain a quality program and support the needs of our students,” says Winterstein. “He truly loved UW-Madison.”

According to the obituary, a Celebration of Life will be held Nov. 30 at the Sauk Prairie River Arts Center located at Sauk Prairie High School, 105 9th St., Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.  Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Memories of Curt will be shared at 1 p.m., and a gathering will follow at Lake Wisconsin Country Club, N1076 Golf Road, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.

The obituary adds that in lieu of flowers, tributes in Curt's memory can be made to the UW-Madison Athletic Training Scholarship Fund.

To learn much more about Mueller and his remarkable life, check out the full obituary online.

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