CWU Athletics recognizes Steve Hertling for his commitment with field dedication

  • November 8, 2023
  • Robin Burck

Investing in the future of CWU football and the athletic training program, former student-athlete and alumnus Steve Hertling ('70) recently made a significant commitment to CWU Athletics.  

To honor his generosity, the athletic field in Tomlinson Stadium has been named Steve Hertling Field. The Board of Trustees approved the resolution earlier this year. 

"Steve has been a tremendous friend of Wildcat Athletics since he first arrived on our campus in 1966," Director of Athletics Dennis Francois said. "It is a privilege for us to name our field in his honor and secure his legacy at CWU."  

Hertling is a CWU Athletics Hall of Famer, and was a standout kick-returner, running back, and defensive back at Central, setting 14 school records and earning four letters from 1966-1969.   

"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame was really special," he said. "I stayed close to Central from the time that I stepped my first foot onto campus. I have known so many people that have been involved in athletics there for over 50 years, and to be selected into the hall of fame, knowing how many great players and people have been involved at that school, it was a very humbling honor."  

Hertling also was a three-time Evergreen Conference all-star, earning first-team honors at running back in 1967 and 1968 and at defensive back in 1969, returning four punts for touchdowns, and having eight interceptions during his senior season.   

"Central provided me with an opportunity to have an education and play football, and football was pretty big in my life at that time" said Hertling. "Just arriving and knowing I was going to have the opportunity to meet the challenge of college football was pretty exciting for me."   

Hertling says that one of the biggest highlights from his time at Central was meeting his wife Cheryal ('71), also a CWU alum. The couple has been married for 51 years and is excited to be leaving a permanent mark on CWU's campus. 

Hertling's legacy at Central has been ongoing since he graduated, making his first donation of $25 when he started his first teaching job out of college.  

"My original goal was to pay back the money they gave me to go to college," he said. "As I paid back the money, which meant everything to me, I was involved in the football program and wanted other kids to have the opportunities that I had, so I kept giving so they could help other kids. The practice field was a magnificent classroom, and the lessons I learned there were the lessons that helped me achieve what amount of success I've had in my lifetime."  

Hertling's most recent contribution will support both the football program and the athletic training program at CWU. His goal of paying back the scholarship money he received when he was a student-athlete is now going toward supporting Wildcats and enhancing the overall student experience for generations to come. 

"We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Steve Hertling and are honored for his name to have a permanent place in the stadium to cement his legacy as an outstanding football player and generous supporter at Central," CWU President Jim Wohlpart said. "His commitment will have a lasting impact on generations of Wildcats to come, and will enhance the futures of countless student-athletes." 

CWU News

Students fuel up for Finals Week with French toast feast

December 4, 2023


Wildcats finish successful season with playoff loss to nation’s top team

December 4, 2023


More News


Robin Burck