No one had to tell Shane Kieler what he needed to do to be successful in athletics and his career. The former Monona Grove High School athlete often depended upon himself to achieve his goals.
He has started his own wealth management practice called Monona Partners, which soon will be moving into a new building at 1502 West Broadway in Madison
He is happily married with two children. Life is good for the former Silver Eagles’ basketball star, who played on the 2006 state tournament team.
“I never could have imagined it,” Kieler said. “Every single day I give thanks and feel blessed to have the family that I have.”
An inborn mission
Like all other successful athletes and businessmen, Kieler had mentors and coaches that showed him how to conduct himself as an athlete and an adult. He called his parents two of the hardest working people he knows, and they were his best role models.
But he always had this inborn mission to be the best at everything and to find ways to improve.
“No one really had to encourage me to have a drive. And I’m still very driven to this day; it’s just not directed towards sports anymore. I was so obsessive towards getting better that it was difficult for me to accept the way I played,” Kieler said. “I always left the game thinking of things that I should’ve done better, and that’s why I spent so much time in the gym.”
That extra time in the gym paid off during the 2005-06 boys’ basketball season, when Kieler was a senior. The Silver Eagles started the season 10-6, but reeled off 10 wins in a row to qualify for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 2 state tournament at Kohl Center.
Competing for state crown
In the regional round, MG pounded Jefferson 77-18, took care of Portage 52-37, and then took a close 69-65 win over Lakeside Lutheran in Watertown. In the sectionals at Janesville Craig, MG topped Elkhorn 56-52 and then earned its trip to state by beating Mount Horeb 56-35 at Sun Prairie.
The Silver Eagles’ state semifinal opponent on March 17, 2006 was Altoona, which won both of its sectional games over Rice Lake and Holmen in overtime.
Kieler said the Silver Eagles felt good about their chances against Altoona.
“I was confident because of the teammates I knew we had. Every single one of them,” Kieler said. “We had guys that knew how to win and were ready to make sacrifices to win. That’s what I loved most about our team.”
Kieler and teammate Derrick Rice both made 3-point shots and Alex Zwart scored eight points in the first quarter, but Altoona led 15-14. Kieler scored eight points in the final 3:09 of the second quarter as MG took a 32-24 lead into the locker room. The Silver Eagles led 36-30 after three quarters, and Kieler opened the advantage to 39-30 with a 3-point shot in the first 16 seconds of the fourth quarter. Kieler and Zwart each hit four free throws in the final 1:22 to help Monona Grove hang on for a 52-46 win.
“They went to a 1-3-1 zone that caught us off guard initially, and they had some good size out on the perimeter and inside,” said Kieler, who scored a team-high 17 points. “Fortunately, we were able to keep the ball moving, and we were able to hit some shots.”
The Silver Eagles would play for the state championship against Seymour, which won its two regional games by margins of 42 and 32 points, and then knocked off Sturgeon Bay and Ripon in the West De Pere sectional.
Seymour led 21-12 at the half, but led by two threes by Rice, Monona Grove scored the first 12 points of the third quarter to take a 24-21 lead with 4:25 remaining. An 8-2 run put Seymour on top 29-26 entering the fourth quarter.
Kieler nailed a shot from the arc to tie the game in the first 28 seconds and later converted a 3-point play to give MG a 34-33 lead with 2:24 remaining. But Seymour took over by scoring seven straight points for a 40-34 advantage.
A 3-point shot by MG’s Tom Anderson reduced the deficit to three with 17 seconds remaining, but Seymour connected on six free throws to win 46-37. Kieler finished with 16 points, and the Silver Eagles walked off the court with the second-place silver ball.
“Seymour was an excellent defensive team. They cut off a lot of our driving lanes and rotated well to limit penetration,” Kieler said. “If someone had told us on our first day of practice that we would be competing for a state championship, I think we would’ve felt fortunate. Like most things, it’s all about perspective.”
Kieler also admired the work of head coach Dan Zwiefel, who was able to solidify the team chemistry needed for a deep playoff run.
“Our team was already very close, but we also had some extremely competitive guys, so our practices were very physical at times, for a high school team,” he said. “Guys didn’t want to lose, and that attitude of toughness carried over to the games. Z (Zweifel) was always able to gauge where we were at.”
Off to Augustana
After graduating from Monona Grove in 2006, Kieler enrolled at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. and played on the men’s basketball team for three seasons.
In 2007-08, he played in 18 games, hit 9-of-15 3-point attempts and averaged 2.5 points.
That would be his best year on the Vikings, but Kieler has fond memories of the experience.
“They had a great reputation for academics, they had offered me a full-ride scholarship, and they had great guys on the team. Many of those teammates have become lifelong friends,” he said.
After a back injury brought his basketball career to a close, Kieler transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he completed his degree in accounting.
He said he backed into the world of finance by accident.
“I was someone who never stopped thinking about what I wanted to do, and not knowing was even stressful at times,” he said. “After an internship, I realized that that was what I had wanted to do. I enjoyed the client interaction, the problem solving and the teaching aspects of the job. I knew I enjoyed helping people and enjoyed a challenge.”
Aside from getting Madison Partners off the ground, Kieler enjoys being a husband and father.
His wife Shiro is originally from Kenya and works as a radiologist at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. They have two children: 3-year-old Winston and 1-year-old Zara.
“Those two are an absolute blast to be around. Seeing them laugh and play together is priceless,” Kieler said. “They bring a joy to us that we never knew existed.”