Monthly Archives: October 2013


The source I decided to use was a secondary source. The article is called Mr. Enthusiasm by Zachary Ryan, a form student of Eau Claire. The reason I chose this source was for a few reasons. Firstly, I wanted to gain some knowledge about Mr. Zorn. Ryan also had posted his works cited, which was very creditable and that shows he did his research. Lastly, he wrote the essay for his History 489 class, which means it is accurate and a professor has also looked over the work before publication. Ryan’s audience includes well-educated individuals looking for knowledge and other college students looking to also gain some knowledge on Zorn. The purpose was to mainly state who Zorn was and what he accomplished while at Eau Claire. Ryan states, “the purpose of my paper is to inform readers on an aspect of institutional history at UW-Eau Claire by giving an overview of a man who shaped the university into what it is today. Not only as a coach, but as a man who at one time held five positions on campus” (Ryan 1). The article was published in 2009 so the relevance and accuracy is up-to-date.

The article based on the argument that Bill Zorn was a successful and well-liked man on the Eau Claire campus and he was a man who changed the university in a positive manner. For example, the start of the essay begins by putting Zorn in a category of fame. “John Wooden, Dean Smith, Bill Zorn” (1). This was a big statement right away because John Wooden and Dean Smith are very well known within the sports world and to put Zorn in the mix with these names had large implications on what Ryan thought of Zorn. Ryan also gives a brief history of Wooden and Smith and how Zorn related to them and can be put in the same category as these legendary figures. Ryan also mentions the beginning of colligate sports and how they began which was a nice transition into talking about Zorn and how he got involved with athletics. The last part of the article that stood out to me was one of his sources. Ryan used the Bill Zorn Papers in his essay, which is located in the archives here at UW-Eau Claire. This shows Ryan creditability because he did the research necessary and the Bill Zorn Papers are what I will be using in my essay as well.

The overall essay was very well-written and states a ton of factual information on Zorn. I was impressed with the set up and execution of Ryan. With that being said, I was still a bit skeptical and hesitate at first. I understood that Ryan was only a student and he had absolutely no situated ethos, therefore I knew nothing about him. The paper was also based around Ryan’s opinion which is okay, however, it led me to be weary. In the end, Ryan showed his knowledge and showed he did extensive research and that showed his invented ethos. He also supported his opinion with factual and reliable information from his sources.

After reading this article I gave gained a lot of information about Zorn. I learned he held five positions while at Eau Claire: football and basketball coach, Dean of Men, athletic director and teacher. Zorn was married and had children plus at one time he coached the football, basketball, and track team (16). Ryan also included Zorn’s success and amiability which led to university naming the basketball and event building after Zorn. There was a lot of information thrown in to the essay and the only thing missing was directness of the paper. Once you can read through the informational history of Ryan’s paper it is easier to comprehend and this is due in large part to his history class in which he was writing this essay for. In closing, I would like to further indulge in Ryan’s paper and completely digest all the material presented. I would also like to further my research by traveling to the archives to do my research on the Bill Zorn Papers as well. I still have a long way to go in discovering exactly who Zorn was and why he was significant to Eau Claire but through Ryan’s paper, I received a good taste of what Zorn was all about.

Works Cited

Ryan, Zachary. Mr. Enthusiasm . Diss. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 2009. Print.

Bill Zorn, a man of mystery…for now.

My topic for my research paper/exploratory essay is UW-Eau Claire’s Bill Zorn. Some background information on Zorn is he was the basketball coach at EC for almost 40 years and also contributed as football coach for a few years as well. The Zorn Arena, the basketball arena on campus, was even named after Bill Zorn (Zorn Papers, Box 12, Folder 1).

My research question is “Why was Bill Zorn so significant to UW-Eau Claire?” The reason I ask this question is because as a student at EC, I had no idea who Bill Zorn was and had no clue why the university named a building after him. All I really knew was that he had to be important in order to have a building named after him. Lastly, my question is quite broad because I do not know much about Zorn, yet. I have a lot of research to do in order to get a good grasp on my topic and possibly formulate a more solid research question moving forward.

Works Cited

Zorn, B. (1925). Bill Zorn papers.