Figi, Jacobson efforts honored
JANESVILLE Dave Figi and Diane Jacobson make high school athletics better, and both have received state recognition for their unselfish efforts.
Figi was honored with the Wisconsin Track Coaches Association’s 29th MERIT Award, and Jacobson was one of seven to receive the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
Figi taught mathematics and computer science at Janesville Parker and retired in 2004. He is a former Vikings head boys basketball coach and was a volunteer freshman basketball coach at Janesville Craig from 1988 to 2002 and a Parker sophomore football volunteer coach for the past 29 years.
Jacobson has handled the official score keeping duties for Parker boys and girls home varsity basketball games for more than 20 years. She has been the Parker Booster Club president for the past six years and has performed athletic and non-athletic volunteer work at Parker for 30 years.
The WTCA honored Figi for establishing a girls track state honor roll online in 1996. Figi’s project grew to its present-day wisconsintrackonline.com, which features state high school and college track athletes, statistics and results from state track meets large and small.
“I try to get to a variety of meets,” said Figi, who also takes photos to post on his website. “I’m not just going to see the big shots. My favorite is Division 3. They have good kids. (South Wayne) Blackhawk does a terrific job with a low budget.’’
Figi said it’s the cooperation of coaches, parents and track fans that makes the website a success.
“It’s much too involved for one person,” Figi said. “I try to develop sources.’’
Figi said he was humbled when he accepted the MERIT Award on Feb. 4 in Milwaukee.
“It’s an incredible honor,” Figi said. “There are people it’s an honor to be on the same list with.’’
Jacobson has been a fixture at Parker for 30 years.
She kept the scorebook for freshman basketball games for 12 years. She took over the girls varsity scoring in 1990 and the boys varsity scoring in 1993. Since 1988, Jacobson has directed sales of Parker apparel at parent-teacher conferences and football games.
Jacobson is also the chair for the Casino Night athletic department fundraiser, and she solicits advertising for Parker’s fall, winter and spring athletic programs. Jacobson owns a sewing business and volunteers her work on costumes and design for the musical theater and vocal choir programs.
Looking back on her service, Jacobson said the best part of her huge commitment has been getting to see her grandchildren participate and getting to know their teammates.
“I get to know them all,” Jacobson said. “There are so many nice kids out there, and people don’t know that.’’
Parker will honor Jacobson at halftime of the Parker-Craig girls basketball game Friday, Feb. 24.