John Feldner has been the head coach at McFarland High School for over 40 years, in which time his teams have accumulated over 350 wins. He has won Regional Championships in each of the last three decades, and was an inaugural winner of the “Ethics in Coaching” award presented by the WBCA last winter. He has served the WBCA as a district representative for many years and is a consistent worker at the All-Star Classic.
Perhaps John’s greatest trait is his character. He brings honesty and integrity to both the game of baseball, and life. He is a great example to his athletes as he models these traits to his young men year after year, steering them to make good choices that will carry on into adulthood.
To many young men, John has been a boss, coach, counselor, friend, and mentor. This February he will add the title, member of the WBCA Hall of Fame.
After serving as the JV Coach at Bayport, Simoens took over the Varsity job in 1994. Success has followed as his teams have put together a record of 352-150 since his arrival.
His teams have won seven Conference Titles, 16 Regional Championships, and have appeared in ten WIAA State Tournaments. They won State Titles in 2009 and 2010 and finished runner-up in 2012. He was a State Coach of the Year in 2010.
He has been active in the area Little League and Legion programs, helping bring about one of the strongest baseball areas in Wisconsin.
He and his wife Beth have three children, Drew, Ryan, and Meghan.
Brian Gillogly has enjoyed one of the most successful collegiate coaching careers in the country. In 22 seasons as head coach at both Marian College and Luther College, Brian’s teams won 13 conference championships. He has been named “Coach of the Year” nine times. In his 12 years as head coach at Marian College, the Sabers won 11 conference championships. The Sabers had 11 seasons of 20 or more wins, including six straight seasons with 30 wins, never missing the postseason. Considered one of the top teachers of the game in the country, Brian has amassed over 550 victories during his tenures at Marian and Luther College. His honors include being named “NAIA National Coach of the Year” in 1995.
Photo Marian University
Jack Brooks has been the head coach at Rosholt High School for the past 26 years and counting. He has accumulated a career record of 418-113 (.787), putting him 11th on the list for career victories by active coaches. His teams have won several conference championships, including the last four years in a row, and have gone to the State Tournament in 2008, 2010, and 2011. They were State Runner-up in 2008. Brooks will continue to coach the Rosholt Hornets.
Jerry Raether successfully built and led the Campbellsport Cougars program for 21 years. He finished his career record with a 397-233. He guided his teams to the State Tournament in 1996, 1997, and 2000, finishing State Runner-up in 1997, which is impressive considering that Campbellsport has an enrollment under 500. Raether, one of the classiest men in Wisconsin baseball, served as a Conference Rep for the Eastern Wisconsin Conference for the past 20 years. Raether retired from coaching in 2012.
For 24 years, John Galewski has been the coach of the South Milwaukee Rockets. At the time of his induction, he had accumulated over 340 wins. His accomplishments include one Conference Championship, nine Sectional appearances, and in 1996, a State Championship. Galewski has coached over 70 seasons, including football and basketball, as well as baseball. He has run many clinics around the Milwaukee area, has twice coached in the Jim Gantner Classic, and the WBCA All-Star Classic. Galweski is South Milwaukee baseball. He continues to be the head coach at South Milwaukee as of 2014.
Over a 24 year coaching career at Racine Case High School, Brandon posted a 280-199 record. Under his leadership, the Eagles won six Conference Titles, five Regional titles, and made on State appearance. In addition to coaching baseball, he also coached football, basketball, and track. For several years, he was an instructor at UW-River Falls Hitting Camp. He also was also the coordinator of the Racine Youth Baseball Clinic for 15 years, as well as coaching Legion Baseball in Racine.
photo Journal Times
Waite is best known for his work with Baseball Wisconsin, which he continues to write and edit for 22 years and counting. He wrote and maintains baseballwisconsin.com and has written the WBCA All-Star Classic program since 1990. He was named WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2000 and WBCA Man of the Year in 1995. Every copy of Baseball Wisconsin was accepted into the MLB Hall of Fame library in 2012. A middle school social studies teacher, Waite at times was coaching three sports and was the Cumberland School District Webmaster and yet still managed to complete the projects that he does for the WBCA. He was Mark Fuller’s varsity assistant coach at Cumberland for 23 years, being part of eight Conference Championships and two State appearances. The Beavers had only one losing season during that time.
Iverson, entering his 31st year in 2014 as the head coach at Rib Lake High School has a current career record of 404-164, and was 356-129 at the time of his induction. During that time, Rib Lake had never had a losing season. His teams have won seven Conference Championships and made one State Tournament appearance. He has coached at every level in Rib Lake, tee-ball through Legion, a program that he started and is still running 20 years later. Four of his former players are head coaching at other schools in Wisconsin.
Lechnir is the winningest baseball coach in WIAC history. In the 19 seasons leading up to his induction, he had a career record of 594-194. His winning percentage of .753 ranked third among active NCAA DIII coaches. Prior to being the head coach at UW-Oshkosh, he played for the Titans for four seasons and was an assistant coach for six seasons. The Mosinee native had his hands in 21 WIAC Championships, 17 trips to the NCAA DIvision III World Series, and two NCAA Division III National titles. He was non-renewed by UW-Oshkosh following the 2013 season in a controversial and contested decision.
Swanson had posted a 161-128 record as the head coach at Viroqua at the time of his induction after serving many years as the junior varsity coach. His teams won three Coulee titles and two Regional titles during that time. However, he is best known for his work with the Viroqua Legion Program. In 33 years leading into 2009, they had won over 900 games (Swanson got his 1000th victory in 2013), and played in 15 State Legion Tournaments. Viroqua won State Legion Class A Championships in 1991, 2004, and 2005.
Photo Nate Beier/La Crosse Tribune
For 21 years, Lynn Held was the head coach at Whitewater High School. The Whippets posted a 308-132 mark during his reign. His teams won eight Conference Championships and 11 Regional titles. The high water mark during his career came when he led Whitewater to State Championships in 1993, 1995, and 1999. Very active in the WBCA, Held was a Conference Rep and the East representative to the All-Star Classic.
Gene Mand coached baseball for 33 years, with 23 of them being as the head coach at Manitowoc Lincoln High School. His career record is 223-199, which includes five conference championships, 11 appearances in sectionals, and a trip to the state in 1992. Gene is a two-time coach in the All-Star Classic, and was honored twice as the Fox River Valley Conference Coach of the year.
Jay Buckley was an assistant coach at La Crosse Central for 29 years, winning 18 Conference Championships, and making 15 trips to State Tournament, winning two State Championships. He also coached the La Crosse Juniors for 22 years,winning a National Title in 1986. He was the director of the Stars of Tomorrow Tournament for 16 years. Since 1982 he has run Jay Buckley Baseball Tours, the biggest baseball tour group in the United States.
Ernie Krogman began his head coaching career at Cazenovia High School, which later consolidated to become Weston High School. He also coached at St.Francis High School. During his 12 years at Cazenovia/Weston, his teams earned eight Conference Championships, including seven undefeated conference seasons. During that time his teams posted a 109-24 record. They made five sectional appearances, and went to the State Tournament in 1957 and 1962, a great accomplishment for a small school at that time.
Mark Gobler coached baseball for 26 years, with 20 of them being as a Head Coach. For 16 seasons he was the Head Coach at Amery High School. His career record is 341-170. His teams won seven Conference Championships, and went to sectionals ten times. He also coached in State Tournament three times, Mark also served as the Head Coach at Eau Claire Regis, and Moose Lake, Minnesota.
For the last 23 years Jim Strommen has been the Head Coach at Pecatonica High School. Entering the 2004 season, Jim has a record of 310 wins and only 107 losses. During that time Pecatonica has won seven Conference Championships, and played in Sectionals four times. Jim was the District V coach of the year in 1995, and coached in the WBCA All-Star game in 1990. In addition to coaching Pecatonica High School Jim has also coached Babe Ruth baseball for 16 years, Little League for 5 years. Jim is also a member of the MATC hall of fame where he played baseball in 1973-74. Strommen continues to coach Pecatonica, as of 2014. He has a current career record of 459-190.
At the time of his induction, Jim Miller had been coaching for over 30 years. He had been the Head Coach at UW-Whitewater for the past 16 years. The Warhawks had won 381 games during that stretch, a UW-Whitewater record. He had been named "College Coach of the Year" by the WBCA three times. His teams had received six NCAAd tournament bids. During the past 16 years, Coach Miller and his staff had turned UW-Whitewater into one of the top 25 NCAA Division III baseball schools in the country.
Cy Buker was a high school head coach for 23 years. He coached at Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Greenwood, Whitehall, Shullsburg, Eau Claire, Loyal, and Rib Lake. During that span. Cy's teams posted a record of 260-85. His teams won 11 Conference Championships and nine Regional Championships. Prior to Cy's coaching career, he was an outstanding player. He was a minor league teammate of Jackie Robinson's and his career culminated in a stint with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Buker died in 2011 at the age of 92. To see an outstanding writeup of Buker's full career, go to Gary Bedingfield's Baseball in Wartime by clicking here.
Jeff Beardsley was the head coach at Palmyra-Eagle High School for 26 years. During that time his teams compiled a 248-211 record, while seven Conference titles, and appearing in Sectionals three times. He was named “Conference Coach of the Year” six times. Jeff served the WBCA as District Representative and for the past 11 years he had been the Secretary of the WBCA.
Joe Vitcenda has been the Head Coach for the Royall High School for 32 years at the time of his induction. His teams at Royall have compiled a 364-186 record during that period. Joe’s teams have won 12 Conference titles, and made three appearances in Sectionals, culminating in a State Championship in 1998. In addition to coaching high school, Joe Vitcenda has also spent over 20 years coaching LIttle League Legion, and Senior League levels. Going into 2014, Vitcenda had 544 career victories entering his 45th season, putting him 2nd all-time.
John Ball had been the head baseball coach at New Richmond High School for 21 years at the time of his induction. His teams compiled 334 wins with six state appearances, 12 sectional appearances, and 10 conference titles. John was the District I “Coach of the Year” twice and coached in the first All-Star Classic in 1984. He is also currently the athletic director at New Richmond High School. He finished his career at New Richmond with 532 wins during mostly summer season coaching, putting him fourth all-time on that list. He served a two-year term as WBCA President.
Jim Glenn was the head baseball coach at Stratford High School for 25 years. His record is 261-128 with one state appearance, three sectional appearances and seven conference titles. He was a District II Representative for seven years, a District II Coach of the Year and has coached at the Midwest Baseball School in Plymouth, Indiana.
Ken Anderson had been a head baseball coach for 29 years, 28 of them at New Holstein at the time of his induction. He has compiled a 408-251 record with nine state appearances, 12 sectional appearances and 10 conference titles. He helped coach the 1994 North All-Star squad in the WBCA All-Star Classic and helped develop and design their current baseball diamond. Ken says, “I fell my greatest contribution to baseball is the impact that I may have had on approximately 450 young adults in the sport during the 20 years that I coached high school baseball.”
Don Green had coached 28 years at Random Lake at the time of his induction. He also served as Athletic Director, had coached football, and has also officiated basketball for 26 years seasons. In 1970, Don and his players built their own high school baseball field-- their “Field of Dreams.” He finished his career with a record of 506-279 in 35 years. He was District IV Coach of the Year in 1993 and coached in the All-Star Classic in 1994.
In 31 years of coaching, John had distinguished himself among his peers for his dedication to the game. During this span, his Bradford teams had won 309 games and won eight titles in the old South Shore and Big Nine Conference while advancing to the Sectional level on six occasions. Twice he was honored by his colleagues as conference Coach of the Year. Besides coaching at the high school level, Cibrario had also directed the Kenosha team in the Land ’o Lakes for ten years and been associated with Little League and Pony League on the local level. He had been actively involved in the WBCA as District VI Representative since 1985 and has been selected to coach in the All-Star Classic.
Before becoming the current Athletic Director at Ashwaubenon High School in Green Bay, Wendorf led his Pacelli teams a 205-114 record in his eighteen years of coaching at the high school. His charges won six Central Wisconsin Catholic Conference titles in that span advancing to the WISAA tournament ten times, winning it all in 1974. He was selected conference coach of the year five times and was chosen coach in the first WBCA All-Star Classic in 1983. After four years of high school baseball, Greg played at UW- Stevens Point where he was named MVP before being drafted and playing two years in the Twins organization. During his tenure at Pacelli, he was also actively involved with the operations of the WISAA tournament held each year in Point. From 1979-1987 he assisted in the running of the affair and served in the leadership role from 1988 until he moving to his current role in Ashwaubenon.
A former secretary of the WBCA (from 1976-78), Perkins had become one of the winningest coaches in Wisconsin prep annals, compiling a 411-153 in his 23 years as the head coach at East. During this span, his team had won six conference titles, advanced to the WIAA Sectionals twelve times, and appeared in the State Summer Tournament seven times. His involvement in baseball spans over forty years, since 1952, when he marched in a parade to welcome the Milwaukee Braves to town. As a player, he lettered for four years at Milwaukee Rufus King H. S., was chosen to play in the Milwaukee Sentinel “Sliver Sluggers” All-Star game, and captained the UW-Milwaukee squad in 1965. At his final game as a coach last summer in Stevens Point after his team won the State Championship, he literally took off his spikes for good and laid them on home plate.
Counting football, basketball, track, softball and baseball, when Lund finally hung up his well-worn spikes, he spent an incredible 72 seasons as a head coach and 24 seasons as an assistant. Lund, who has also been inducted into both the football and basketball coaches Hall of Fames, began his career at Tomah where he spent two years coaching baseball. After a short stin there, he moved to Markesan, where he coached baseball for six years and started their track program. He complete his career at Gale-Etrick-Trempeauleau, where he coached another 22 years, 18 in baseball. His teams compiled a 343-108 record during his 25 year coaching career. His teams won 13 Conference titles and made seven trips to the State Tournament. The finished runner-up in 1984.
LARRY SOMMERVILLE, HAYWARD, began his 31st year at the controls of the Hurricanes the season of his induction. Over the last three decades, his teams have won 325 games while losing only 169 and capturing nine Heart O’North conference championships. In 1968, Sommerville guided his school to its only WIAA State Tournament appearance. Also the school’s basketball coach, he was chosen in the 1991 All-Star Classic in Appleton. He retired in 2000 with a career record of 384-230 that spanned a 38 year career.
Belich was the first professional scout to be inducted into the WBCA Hall of Fame. After graduating from West Allis High School in 1939, eh signed a pro contract and, with the exception of two combat stints during World War II and the Korean War, had been in pro baseball in some capacity. In 1952, he signed as a "bird dog" scout with the Milwaukee Braves and became a full-time scout in 1954. In 1958, when John Quinn, Braves GM went to Philadelphia, Belich went with him, spending 13 years there before returning to Milwaukee with the Brewers. In 1974, he joined the Major League Scouting Bureau and had been with them through 1986 at the time of his induction. During his long career as a scout, 16 of the players he drafted or signed made it to the Show, including Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. Belich died in 2003 at the age of 83.
At one time on of the most recognizable figures on the baseball scene in Wisconsin, Kirby was often quoted as saying, "When your an umpire you only have to know seven words: ball, strike, fair, foul, safe, out, and time. That's it." If only it were that easy to sum up his contributions to the game in Wisconsin. He had done it all. He umpired and refed high school and collegiate games in football, basketball, and baseball; he umpired in the minor leagues and even had a brief stint in the Big Leagues. It is estimated that Kirby had officiated or umpired in over 13,000 games at all levels during his half-century of involvement. He had worked in the WIAC and the Big Ten, numerous WIAA and WISSA State Championships, and even State Semi-Pro games. He is the only umpire ever enshrined into the WBCA Hall of Fame and was honored by having the State Umpire Year of the Award renamed the Ken Kirby Umpire of the Year Award after his death. In all his years as an umpire, there is one thing he never did...throw someone out of a game. More than anything else, that speaks to what made Ken special...his demeanor, control, and poise- and his ever present smile. Kirby, slowed by ill-health, came back to umpire for his 51st season in the summer of 1994.
Kreihbel retired from Westosha Central after putting together a 301-220 record. His teams there won five Conference Titles, 10 Regional Titles, and four Sectional Titles. His 2002 team won a WIAA State Championship.
He was a charter member of the Greater Kenosha Youth Baseball/SoftballAssociation, was twice a Coach of the East team in the WBCA All-Star Classic, and was a Lakeshore Conference Representative.
Kenosha Tremper Coach John Matera said, “Coach Kreibiels team were classy, well prepared, and competed with the highest integrity. He directly impacted the stature and respect of Southeastern Wisconsin baseball.
He has been married to Karla for 20 years.
Although a young coach, Vodenlich has put together an impressive resume that has put him into the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
An All- American Player at UW-Whitewater, where he played from 1989-1992, Vodenlich finished with a .397 career batting average, good for third all-time in school history. Following his collegiate career, Vodenlich went on to play professionally in Europe, winning the Slovenian National Championship in 1994.
Vodenlich joined Jim Miller’s UW-Whitewater coaching staff as an assistant coach in 1994 and stayed on the staff until 1998, when he was named the head coach at Edgewood College. Vodenlich needed just two seasons to change a losing program to a winning one, when Edgewood enjoyed its first winning season in the programs history.
Following the 1999 season, Vodenlich returned to Whitewater and rejoined Miller’s staff as an assistant coach. He was named Miller’s successor in 2004.
Since then Vodenlich has won the WIAC Coach of the Year six times, been named the Wisconsin College Coach of the Year four times, been named the NCAA Division III Coach of the Year three times, and led the Warhawks to two NCAA Division III National Championships.
Vodenlich has also been a great ambassador of baseball in Europe, where he has led International Coaching seminars in seven different countries.
Vodenlich as his wife Jen have a daughter Emma and a son Sammy.
Jeff Hogan has coached baseball at Milwaukee Hamilton High School for 26 years, including 23 seasons as head coach. During that stretch he has accumulated a record of 334-171. The Wildcats have won nine conference championships, and made 12 Sectional appearances. Hamilton has played in two State Tournaments during his reign. Jeff has been named Conference Coach of the Year eight times, and has also been named District Coach of the Year once. He has been actively involved in the WBCA during his career and twice coached in the All-Star Classic. A true model of strong character, Jeff is one of the most respected coaches in the Milwaukee area. Many Milwaukee baseball players, of all ages, have benefited from his commitment to baseball.
Steve Leistico retired as head coach of the Waterloo Pirates last spring. He continued the success that Art Westphal had started as head coach at Waterloo for the next 27 years. He finished his career with a record of 355-195 (.645). He was named WBCA Coach of the Year in 1999, after winning a DIII State Championship. He also led his team to State in 1985, 2003, and 2006, where they finished State Runner-up. Leistico served as a Conference Rep for 20 years.
Photo Karl Raymond/Daily Courier
Augie Schmidt has compiled a 781-321 record in 25 years at Carthage College, a .708 career winning percentage. Under his tenure, Carthage has claimed eight outright CCIW divisional titles, one divisional-title tie, nine conference crowns, 16 NCAA regional berths, including nine straight from 1992-2000, six regional titles, third-place finishes in both the 1993 and 1994 NCAA Division III Baseball Championships and fourth place in both 1995 and 1997. Schmidt continues to coach at Carthage.
photo Carthage College
When Terry Petrie retired in 2000, he held the record for career wins in the WSUC, with 537 victories. He began coaching at UW –Stout in 1971. During that time, he was named the College Coach of the Year twice by the WBCA. He also earned two WSUC Coach of the Year awards, as well as being named by the NAIA as their Coach of the Year in 1989. He coached the Stout Blue Devils to seven Northern Championships, and two WSUC Championships. Fifteen of Coach Petrie’s players were named All-American, and four reached the professional ranks.
Photo UW-Stout Sports Information
Drexler has been the head coach at Lomira since 1980. He had accumulated 302 wins at the time of his induction. His teams had won six Flyway Championships, made five Sectional appearances, and won a State Championship in 1991. A coaching career that began when he was still in school at Oshkosh High School, Drexler continues to be involved with the development of young baseball players in the Lomira-Theresa area by running free baseball clinics. His father-in-law, Harlan Quandt, was a charter member of the WBCA Hall of Fame.
Darwin "Dip" Dade has coached at various levels since the late 1950's. He coached at Tomah High School for nearly 40 years, as both a head coach and assistant coach. He followed that with 10 seasons at Sevastopol. A veteran of the Korean War, and a member of the Milton College Hall of Fame, Dip also spent three season pitching in the Cubs organization. His influence is still being felt by the students he taught and coached. Did Dade truly left a mark on baseball in Wisconsin.
"Jack" Paulin began his coaching career at Gays Mills High School, (now known as North Crawford). His was an era when baseball was not only played in the spring but in the fall as well. After four seasons, Paulin became Lancaster's head coach, leading them on an impressive run, including six conference titles and three State Tournament appearances. All told, his teams won 12 Conference Championships and played in five State Tournaments, going 254-112 in the process. Beyond wins, he also impacted the lives of the many young men he coached.
In 20 seasons as the head coach at Greendale, Schrank's teams posted a record of 375-226, averaging over 18 wins per season. Under his leadership, the Panthers won six Conference Titles, made eight Sectionals, and made five trips to the State Tournament. In those five State Tournament appearances, Schrank's teams were silver medalists once and won State Titles in 1980, 1987, and 1995. He also coached in the All-Star Classic and was a speaker at the WBCA State Clinic. 1995 was Greendale's last appearance at State.
Bennett was head coach at Madison Memorial for 30 years. His teams posted 392 wins in the tough Big Eight Conference, which included five Conference Championships. Under Bennett's leadership, Memorial won State Championships in 1990 and 1992. He was named the Big Eight Coach of the Year five times and the WBCA Coach of the Year twice. Bennett was a team captain for the Wisconsin Badgers during his collegiate career. He retired in 2008.
Photo Adam Mertz/Wisconsin State Journal
Hofeditz was the head coach at the light Turner high school for 20 years. During that time, the Trojans won 313 games while losing only 93. They won 10 Conference Championships, three Sectional Championships, and one State Championship. He was named Conference Coach of the Year eight times and was the WBCA Coach of the Year in 2001. He retired in 2008.
Photo Beloit Daily News
Pat Neary enters the 2007 season with over 300 wins under his belt. His coaching career began in 1970 as Oconomowoc's freshman coach.He has been Oconcomowc's head coach since1984. In addition to nine conference championships, Pat's teams have advanced to sectionals 10 times, and reached the state level six times. Three times his teams placed second at state. Pat has also coached twice in the All-Star Classic. Neary retired in 2010 with 339 career victories. Photo livinglakecountry.com
Mike Dee was the head coach at La Crosse Aquinas for 7 years, posting a record of 100-26. They won five Conference Championships, appeared at State six times, and won three State Championship. In 1987 Mike was the WBCA Coach of the Year. For several years he was an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, before becoming the head coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has led UIC to five conference titles, and two NCAA berths. He continues to lead UIC as of 2014.
Thomas Armstrong, SR., was a head coach for 28 years, 27 of them at Park Falls High School. During that time he posted a 404-260 record. His teams won none Conference Championships, and reached State four times, including a runner-up in 1987. He was named Conference Coach of the Year nine times. Park Falls renamed their baseball field after Thomas Armstrong, Sr., and his wife Ann.
Larry Villard was the head coach at Weston High School for 16 years. For the past ten years he has been the Head Coach at Bruce High School. His teams have posted 314-141 mark, which includes 14 Conference Championships, eight Sectional appearances, and two trips to State Tournament, including a 2nd place finish in 1982. Larry began his coaching career as a 17 year old Legion Coach in Bruce.
Dennis Murphy was the Head Coach at Black Hawk High School for 36 years. During the summers, he also helped coach the Darlington baseball team, a job he held for 15 years. While at Black Hawk High School, Dennis recored a record of 405 wins and 214 losses. He won 11 Conference Championships during that time. in 2000, Dennis served as an All- Star coach for the WBCA All- Star Classic. Dennis is also a member of the Wisconsin State Football Coaches Hall of Fame. Black Hawk School's football field is named "Dennis Murphy Field."
Dennis Overby has been involved with baseball his entire life. After high school he played several years of professional baseball in the Milwaukee Braves organizations. Upon the conclusion of his playing career, Dennis became Head Coach at Chetek High School. He has remained in that capacity for 32 years. For his career, Dennis has compiled a 318-254 record, which includes two Conference titles, six Sectional apperances, and one trip to State Tournament. He retired in 2005 with 348 wins.
Wilmot High School was blessed to have Joe O'Neill as a coach for 27 years, with 24 of them being as head coach. Wilmot posted a 284-94 record during O'Neill's tenure. His teams won 13 Conference Titles, made Sectional appearances 14 times, and played in the State Tournament four times. Wilmot's succuss resulted in O'Neill being named Southern Lakes Conference Coach of the Year numerous times as well as All-Area Coach of the Year several times.
Steve Block was the Head Coach at Prescott High School for 14 years, winning eight Conference titles, with 10 Sectional appearances, and three trips to the State Tournament, including winning a State Championship. His overall record at Prescott was 226-60 at the time of his 2001 induction. Steve was named “District Coach of the Year” twice. He served as District Representative and then was named head coach at UW-River Falls. After UWRF dropped their program, Block rejoined the high school coaching ranks by taking the head coaching position at Ellsworth. He had 359 career victories going into the 2014 season, after leading the Panthers to State-Runner-Up in 2013. Going strong into 2014, he taken seven trips to the State Tournament--five with Prescott and two with Ellsworth, including one Gold Trophy and two Silvers.
Lee Hlavka had been coaching baseball for 31 years at the time of his induction. For 10 years he was the Head Coach at Kenosha St.Joseph’s, and for the past 19 he has been the Head Coach at Kenosha Tremper. He has accumulated 376 wins during that span. Lee’s teams have won 14 conference titles, reached Sectionals 10 times, and made State Tournament eight times. Lee was named “Milwaukee Area Conference Coach of the Year” in 1981 and 1984, coached in the first All Star Classic in 1984, and was District VII Coach of the Year in 1990. In 1993 Lee conducted three baseball clinics in Hungary. He had finished his career with 429 wins in 2003.
Jack Friess had coached baseball for 22 years at the time of his induction, the last 20 as head coach at Cedarburg High School. His teams have won 316 games, appeared in 6 state tournaments and were state runners-up in 1997 and 1998. He took 9 teams to the sectionals and had 3 conference titles. Jack was the 1998 District VI “Coach of the Year”, was a WBCA clinic speaker in 1990 and coached in the 1992 WBCA All-Star Classic. Going into 2014, he had 514 wins, putting him fifth all-time among summer coaches. He currently chairs the Summer All-State Committee.
photo Tom Lynn/Journal-Sentinel
Ralph Sobota had coached for 37 years, 28 of them as head baseball coach of Alma Center Lincoln High School. His teams compiled a 312-180 record with three state appearances, seven sectional appearances and 10 conference championships. He was instrumental in starting Little League baseball at Alma Center, umpired baseball for 10 years and played professional baseball for one year at Omaha in the S.Louis Cardinals farm system.
Earl Lochner had been head baseball coach at Middleton High School for 22 years at the time of his induction. His record is 251-125 with one State appearance, nine Sectional appearances and 10 Conference titles. In 1989 he was the District V Coach of the Year and he had coached in the WBCA All-Star Classic. Earl siad, “ I have given directions to and coached youth and high school baseball for 24 years spanning three decades at a school and community that considers baseball a major sport. I am also very proud of the fact that presently three of the head coaches in the Badger Conference are products of the Middleton High School baseball tradition.”
Ed Krcmar, Ashwaubenon: Although Ed Krcmar had been coaching football for the past 30 years, he has also been busy coaching baseball for 23 years, the last 18 seasons as Ashwaubenon’s head coach. His teams had won 222 games, seven Conference titles, and had eight Sectional appearances. In 1985 he helped coach the North All-Stars. Ed had been a WBCA member for 23 years, serving as district rep, secretary, 1st & 2nd Vice President, Assistant Clinic Director, Awards Chairman, and Clinic Coordinator. He had coached numerous teams in the Ashwaubenon Little League, as well as JV and Varsity Legion; some summers coaching as many as three or four teams.
Mark Fuller retired from Cumberland High School as one of the most successful coaches in the State. He won 10 Conference Championships and made four State Appearances during his 34 year tenure. He is perhaps even better known for his role with the WBCA. For the past 20+ years, he has put together the Annual WBCA State Clinic, was a founding member and continues to work with the WBCA All-Star Classic, worked with State Rankings and helped found Baseball Wisconsin along with his long time assistant coach Joe Waite. His contributions to Wisconsin Baseball are immeasurable.
A man of many hats, Jim is also currently the Athletic Director at Milwaukee Washington H.S. where he also began his baseball coaching career twenty-two years ago. In fact, he is one of the few coaches in Wisconsin who coached a spring league and a summer team during the same season, splitting duties between Washington and Franklin in the late 80’s. In seven years at Franklin, his squads have compiled a 196-46 record (.807) while winning 5 conference crowns and making it to the state on 3 occasions. Jim coached in the Classic in 1989 and has been very active as a member of the Board of the Franklin Little League. Formerly a basketball assistant at Washington, he played his prep ball at Milwaukee West. Going into 2014, Hughes was the all time leader in high school coaching victories with a record of 818-414.
In 34 years of coaching, twenty of those in baseball, Joe has become a familiar figure in the Milwaukee Area and has distinguished himself among his colleagues. A member of the WBCA since its formative years, he began the baseball program at Thomas More when the school, a merging of two small all-boys schools, Pio Nono and Don Bosco, was opened in the 70’s. Originally the head football coach at Pio Nono and a collegiate star himself, Joe was left without a gridiron job after the merger and snatched the opportunity to build a baseball team from scratch. His teams reached the WISAA tourney thirteen times since, finishing as runners up in 1980, 1990, and 19393 and winning it all in 1991. His teams have also wind six Metro Conference Crowns while amassing 270 wins. In the summer of 1983, Joe joined his fellow “double-dippe” Jim Hughes and took over another struggling program, this one South Milwaukee H.S., taking a team hat had not one a title in 17 years and building a highly respectful program that eventually won a crown in 1987.
In 15 years at Xavier, Nygaard distinguished himself as one of the hardest working coaches in the state. As a coach, he led his teams to the WISSA Tourney 11 times, twice capturing State titles. Nygaard was also very active with the WBCA. Chosen as Man of the Year in 1996 for his work in starting the All-Star Classic, he also served as President of the WBCA and later on as Treasurer. He authored two articles for Scholastic Coach and three times has been published in the ABCA Coaching Digest.
TIM O’DRISCOLL - ARROWHEAD: O’Driscoll is 2nd amongst summer coaches in career victories with a record of 742-334 in a career that spanned from 1979 to 2009. O’Driscoll continues to be the official scorer for the Milwaukee Brewers.
photo Russ Pulvermacher/living lake country
After an illustrious career as a high school athlete in La Crosse where he was picked as MVP in the 1951 Legion State Tournament and was named Athlete of the Year at Central High School in 1952, Mason attended UW-La Crosse where he won eight varsity letters in football and baseball. After college, he began teaching and coaching in Viroqua where he compiled a 223-136 record in 30 years at the time of his induction. His teams won six Coulee Championships and were State Runners-Up twice. In 1957 as coach of the La Crosse Legion team, he led his players to a 2nd place finish in the State Finals. He coached in the WHSBCA All-Star series in 1975. He also served as Commissioner of the Southwest Athletic League and as an associate scout for the Royals. Mason died in 2011 at the age of 77.
Harlan Quandt was Oshkosh baseball for over three decades. Quandt, who had 324 career victories at Oshkosh High School from 1950 to 1972, and then at Oshkosh North from 1972 to 1987, had teams appear in six State Tournaments, two of which they won in 1954 and 1956. He was the founding member of the Snitz Club, the main fundraising machine for Oshkosh baseball, was instrumental in building Peppler Field and EJ Schneider Field. He organized the Babe Ruth program in Oshkosh and directed 13 junior baseball clinics for three different age groups. A pitcher and letter winner at the University of Wisconsin, Quandt was a member of the Badgers 1950 Big Ten Championship team, a team that finished fourth nationally. Quandt served in the 85th Regiment during the Korean War and was a retired Colonel in the US Army Reserve. Quandt passed away in 2011 at the age of 82.
The Head Coach of Denmark High School, Bill has led them to 339 wins and only 169 losses during his 23-years at the helm. He has been involved at all levels of baseball in the community, coaching Little League and being very involved in their youth board of directors.
His teams have won seven Conference Titles, seven Regional Titles, and have two WIAA State appearances. He was a District Coach of the Year in 2005.
Miller and his wife Kristin have three children, Hannah, Brennen, and Lucas.
Kip Nordstrom is one of the few coaches in Wisconsin history to win State Championships with two teams, winning in 1994 at Spencer High School, and in 2013 at Lodi High School. He has been a Varsity Head Coach for 28 years, posting a 396-183 record. His teams have won seven conference championships, nine Regional championships, and three Sectional championships. His lone State Tournament appearance that did not result in a State Championship was a runner-up finish. Kip has also worked baseball clinics throughout both Wisconsin and Minnesota. His knowledge and passion for baseball has resulted in success wherever he has coached. Being named as both “Coach of the Year”, and to the “Hall of Fame” only verify Kip’s value as a coach.
Joe Loizzo is best known for his work as Beaver Dam Legion coach, compiling a record of 591-185 (.761). His Legion teams won State Championships in 1982, 1984, and 2001. They were State Runners-up in 2004 and 2011. Beaver Dam Legion has made a total of 13 State Tournament appearances. He took over as head coach at Beaver Dam High School ten years ago from Charlie McDonald. His career record as a high school coach is 138-98 (.584). He continues to coach both Beaver Dam High School and the Beaver Dam Legion team.
Photo James Wold/Beaver Dam Daily Citizen
Bill Dettman spent 33 years coaching the Sauk Prairie Eagles, racking up over 330 wins. One of the classiest coaches around, Bill had been a proud member of the WBCA for years and served as a conference representative for many seasons. Although Sauk Prairie is smaller than many schools in the Badger North Conference, Dettman’s teams had managed to win their share of Conference Championships. In 1995, Bill led the Eagles to a State Runner– Up, followed by a Division II State Championship in 1996. Truly one of the good guys in baseball, Dettman’s contributions to Sauk Prairie and the WBCA were immeasurable. Dettman retired in 2011.
Tom Wilson, coaching the Seymour Thunder, was not only one of the top coaches in Wisconsin, but is also one the most involved coaches in the WBCA. As a coach, Wilson’s team had won six Conference Championships and made 11 Sectional appearances. During the 2011 campaign, Wilson earned his 300th career victory. He has coached Team Wisconsin in the Midwest Classic, twice coached in the Jim Gantner Classic, and in the WBCA All-Star Classic. Wilson served two years as WBCA President and has been the WBCA Treasurer since 2003. Wilson retired from Seymour in 2014 with 330 career victories in 31 years. He became an assistant coach at Saint Norbert in 2014.
For 37 seasons, Sabol had been the head coach at Johnson Creek. He earned his 400th career victory in 2010, and retired in 2011 with 420 career victories. His Blue Jays won the State Championship in 2007. He ranks 17th in career coaching victories and won Coach of the Year Awards in both the Eastern Suburban Conference and the Trailways Conference. He had helped hundreds of players develop a love of the game, some of whom have become coaches themselves.
photo Kevin Wilson/Daily Times
Heinritz had been the head coach at Appleton East for over 20 years. One of the most successful programs in Wisconsin, in one of the toughest conferences in Wisconsin, he logged over 300 career victories with the Patriots. His resume included a DI State Championship in 1996. He also served as the Appleton South Side Little League commissioner, coached in the All-Star Classic, and is a member of the UW-La Crosse Hall of Fame.
Schmitz coached for 37 years, 19 of them at the now closed Milwaukee Juneau High School. Despite being a small school competing against other city schools with much higher enrollments, Schmitz's teams posted a 238-132 record during his career. Juneau won six City Titles and made five Sectional appearances. They made the State Tournament once, the only time in Juneau history. Six times Schmitz was named "City Coach of the Year." He also served with the Milwaukee Brewers' youth camps for 13 years. Schmitz passed away in 2009.
Following a brief career in the Twins organization, Simon began his teaching career at DC Everest High School in Schofield. He spent 19 years as the junior varsity coach before spending the next 19 years as the varsity head coach. In those 19 years, DC Everest compiled a mark of 268 wins and only 92 losses. They made three trips to State under Simon's guidance. In addition to coaching at both the junior varsity and varsity level, he spent many years coaching the Everest Adult semi-pro team and Legion team.
Photo by WAOW.com
A graduate of Algoma High School, Braun played football and baseball UW – River Falls. In 1934, he started the baseball program at Frederic High School, where he coached until 1941. In 1949, he started the baseball program at Neenah High School, where he coached until 1966. During that 17 year stretch, Neenah compiled a record of 115 – 88, including five FVA Conference Titles, and a second-place finish in the 1966 State Tournament. Beloved by his former players, Braun passed away in 2014 at the age of 101.
A former All-State player, as well as a former player at UW-Parkside, Sykes had coached at Bay View and Nicolet High Schools for over 30 years, accumulating 563 career victories at his retirement in 2013. While at Nicolet, Sykes led the Knights to five Conference Championships and reached the State Tournament three times. Nicolet won the Summer State title in 1998. He is third all-time in career victories amongst summer coaches.
Photo Mark Stewart/Journal-Sentinel
Pat Reilly has coached baseball at various levels in Dodgeville for 47 years. He has worked at the high school level for over 25 years, including nine as head coach, winning two conference championships. He was the WBCA Amateur Baseball Coach of the Year in 1996. In a community ceremony five years ago, the local baseball field was renamed "Reilly Field."
Bruce Erickson is one of the most successful high school baseball coaches in Wisconsin High School history.In 2005 he reached the 500 win mark, posting a 500-119 mark while coaching at Appleton West and Appleton North. His teams won 20 conference titles, appeared in sectionals 20 times, made 12 trips to the State Tournament, and came home with for State Championships. Bruce has been named the WBCA Coach of the year two times. He is a former Big Ten All-Conference shortstop. He retired in 2005.
Gordie Gillespie is the winningest baseball coach in NCAA history, entering the 2005 season with over 1,600 wins. In nine years at Ripon College his teams have made five NCAA Tournament appearances, and won five Midwest Conference Championships. Four times he has been named MWC Coach of the Year. He is considered one of the top baseball clinicians in the country.
Whitey Steinagel served as Mosinee's Head Coach for 21 years. His team won four Conference Championships, and made one appearance at State Tournament. During his 21 years at Mosinee, his team compiled a 218-123 record. Whitey was twice named District II Coach of the year, and was also an All-Star Classic Coach in 1992. Whitey was also very active in the WBCA. He served for several years as a District Rep., and was also a member of the WIAA Coaches Advisory Committee. Whitney has also presented several coaching clinics to Little League organizations.
Jerry Toubl has been coaching baseball for 23 years, 22 of them as Head Coach of Wauwatosa East High School. During his reign, Tosa East had won three Conference Titles and advanced to Sectionals six times. His teams made two State Tournament appearances and won the WIAA State Title in 1997, resulting in Jerry being named the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Coach of the Year". Jerry is a three time Conference Coach of the Year, and has accumulated a career record of 350-264. He retired in 2008 with 440 career victories.
Brad Sauve had been actively involved with the WBCA for many years. He has served as a District Representative, a term as President, and resided over the All-State Committee. Sauve had been coaching baseball for 22 years at the time of his induction. For the past 21 years he had been the head coach at Spring Valley. Spring Valley had posted a 210-153 record during that time, winning two Conference Championships, and making Sectionals once. He remained active as a player, playing on one of Spring Valley's WBA teams.
Tom Lawrence was the head coach at Stoughton for 25 years.During that span his teams posted a 272-202 record. He coached Stoughton to six Conference titles, three Sectional appearances, and one trip to the State Tournament. Tom has also coached the Stoughton Legion Team to two State Championships and was in charge of State Ranking for Division 1 teams.
Ron Kading had been the Head Coach at Potosi High School for the past 22 years at the time of his induction. Prior to that he served four years at Oshkosh North as a Freshman Coach, and three years as the Head Coach of the Oshkosh Legion team. While at Potosi his teams have won 295 games, won 13 conference titles, reached Sectionals 9 times, and played in the State tournament twice, winning the State Championship in 1993. Ron has served the WBCA as a District Rep, served a term as President, and is currently in charge of the WBCA awards. In 1988 he was a coach in the All Star Classic. In 1993 Ron was named Wisconsin’s “Coach of the Year.” Going into 2014, Kading had 507 wins in 37 years, putting him fifth all time among spring coaches.
Ted Evans had been the head baseball coach at Mineral Point High School for 23 years from 1972-1995. His teams compiled 250 wins with two conference titles, five sectional appearances, and one state appearance in 1974. Ted was a coach in the 1987 All-Star Classic played in Milwaukee County Stadium and is currently the Principal of Mineral Point High School.
photo Rob Hernandez/State Journal
Don Williams has coached for 23 years, 18 of them as head baseball coach at Hortonville High School at the time of his induction. His record is 288-65 with seven state appearances (state runner-up in 1980 and Champions 1987 and 1997), nine sectional appearances and 12 conference championships. He was an All-Star Classic coach in 1989, District IV Coach of the Year in 1987 and is the current 1997 WBCA State Coach of the Year. Going into 2014, Williams had 563 victories, putting him 1st all-time amongst spring coaches.
Leon Piddington had been coaching for 32 years, 27 of these years as a head baseball coach. He spent 30 years coaching in Sun Prairie and accumulated over 300 victories during that span. His teams made State appearances in 1966, 1974 and 1974 and 1981. His 1974 team was State champs and Piddington was then named 1974 State Coach of the Year for his efforts. He was twice Big Eight Coach of the Year and received the UW-Platteville Distinguished Alumnus plaque. Leon was a WBCA member for 25 years.
Fred Yagodinski, Luxemburg-Casco: In his 29 years of coaching at Luxemburg-Casco, Yagodinski had helped develop their baseball program from the ground up. He helped set up Little League, Babe Ruth, and Legion baseball at L-C and Kewaunee County. During that time, his Spartan teams have won 278 games and seven conference titles, and they have appeared in five Sectionals and one State Tournament. He coached in the WBCA All-Star Classic and has had three of his players sign professional contracts. He retired in 2011 after 38 years, with a career record of 348-222.
Since 1965, Bob had been coaching Babe Ruth, Legion and high school ball in Janesville. His Craig teams had compiled a 323-139 record over that span, winning nine conference crowns and traveling to the State Tournament eight times where they captured back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984. He had been selected Coach of the Year eight times in his league and won the WBCA honor in 1984. For the past quarter-century, Bob had also coached football and basketball. His baseball teams have never finished lower than 4th place in their league. In 1968, he coached the Post 205 team to the State Championship and advanced to the Missouri regional before losing. He retired in 2004 with a career record of 468-215 during a 37 year span.
photo Eric Schmoldt, GazetteXtra.com
After two years at Mellen High School. “Doc” moved to Reedsburg where he’s spent the past twenty-eight years. During this span his teams have won almost three hundred games and six Conference Championships and advancing to the WIAA Sectionals thirteen times. “Docs” charges have also been to State once. In 1987, he was given the honor of coaching the South team in the annual All-Star Classic. He has also served as a District Rep and as a volunteer at the Classic. He has been very helpful with the little league programs in his area, running clinics and donating time for tournaments. “Doc” had been also named as past recipient of District Coach of the Year award. Koehler died in 2006 at the age of 64.
An original officer of the WBCA, Gengler began his career as an assistant coach to fellow Hall of Famer Murray Denemark of Milwaukee Custer before moving to Brown Deer in 1969. As a player, Gengler was a four-year starter, letterwinner, and co-captain at UWM where he was enshrined in to the UWM Hall of Fame in 1980. At Brown Deer, his squads have won 349 games, including two WIAA State Titles in 1975 and 1977, and runners-up in 1982. He coached the East Squad in the first All-Star Classic in 1984 and also assisted with Wisconsin’s National AAU Championship team in 1988.
Paulsen had been the head coach at Fond du Lac for 24 seaons at the time of his induction. His teams had made four WIAA Tournament appeareances up to that point and won nine Regional titles. His Cardinals won the FVA seven times in the first 12 years in the conference. Paulsen has been active in the WBCA and currently serves as facilities director. He at times had chaired the All-State selection committee. He, along with his good friend Mark Fuller, have traveled across the United States and Canada presenting at baseball clinics. As of 2014, he entered his 46th year as head coach with a record of 533-341, putting him 3rd on the All-Time list for career victories, spring coaches.
photo Kate Vosswinkel/The Reporter
GEORGE ROMAN, STEVENS POINT: During his time at SPASH as head baseball coach, he amassed a 420-110 record with several conference and tournament championships; including the state baseball title in 1979, 1987, and 1989, as well as state runner-up in 1984. Overall career-wise his teams won 60 championships: 17 conference, 29 regional, 11 sectional, and the above mentioned SPASH state baseball championships. His teams made eleven trips to the Wisconsin State Baseball Tournament. He served as a West All- Star Summer Classic baseball coach in 1988 and again in 2003. George was a five-time nominee for Wisconsin Coach of the Year, named District 2 Coach of the year in 1987, 1988, 1989 and was named Wisconsin State High School Coach of the Year in 1989. He was also involved with Legion and Stevens Point Youth Baseball (SPYBA) teams. George is considered the “dean” of Wisconsin baseball coaches with 526 wins and 180 losses; which until the spring of 2013, was the highest number of career wins for spring baseball in the state of Wisconsin.
Tom was an outstanding player at Milwaukee Don Bosco H. S. (now Thomas More) and UW-La Crosse. He was an extremely successful coach at St. Francis High School and Whitnall High School. We are unsure of his career record but it would probably rank in the top five all time. His teams - before they joined the WIAA tournament - usually played 50 + games per year and won most of them.
Most importantly, he was one of the founding fathers of the WHSBCA along with Jim Martin, Tom Meyer, and Tex Belich. He was the first clinic director of our organization, conducting the clinic from 1970 until 1975.
photo Dan Powers/Appleton Post Crescent
McReynolds died in 2007 at the age of 85.
TOM O’CONNELL - MILWAUKEE PULASKI / CATHOLIC CENTRAL: Going into the 2014 season, O’Connell was just four victories short of 500. He has a career record of 496-244 for a career that started in 1974. O’Connell, one of just 24 high school coaches to be inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame, is a former WBCA President. He has traveled the world promoting baseball and is considered one of Wisconsin’s greatest baseball ambassadors. His Burlington Catholic Central teams won DIV State titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2011.
Bill Terry began his coaching career at Maxwell, Iowa before moving to Westby High School where he spent eight years. In 1968, he became the head coach at UW-La Crosse. During the next eleven seasons, his teams compiled a 113-39 record in WSUC games and were 199-146 overall. In 1979, his final season as coach, Terry guided the Indians to a fifth place finish in the NAIA World Series after winning the WSUC with a 12-1 mark. In all, his teams won seven WSUC titles. Terry was also known as a top clinician, appearing several times at WHSBCA clinics. He led a spirited effort that successfully saved UW-La Crosse baseball in 2010 and was named the La Crosse Tribune Sportsman of the Year that same year. photo Joel Badzinski/La Crosse Tribune
Dick Hrlevich was Milwaukee Hamilton's first varsity baseball coach from 1967 through 1990.
During Dick’s 24 years of coaching he had 356 wins, 143 losses, 9 ties with a .713 winning percentage.
Hamilton teams won 9 conference titles (3 of them in the big nine conference with the Racine and Kenosha schools) five division titles, six second-place finishes, and one state appearance.
He was the head coach of the East team All-Star classic in 1985. Three players ((Paul Wagner (Germantown) Lance Painter (Nicolet) and Beaver Bruett (Oconomowoc)) on this team later went on to play in the major leagues. (Wisconsin does produce great baseball players)
He served as W.H.S.B.C.A. Secretary for one term.
He played Baseball, Football, Basketball and ran track at West Allis - Nathan Hale high school graduating in 1953. He also played American legion ball and in the Milwaukee Classic league (The Highway Beer Depot). He was a three-year lettermen at the University Wisconsin - Madison earning all Big Ten 3rd team selection at third-base in 1956.
In 1954, Smith, a Wausau native and UW graduate, fielded Kenosha High School’s first baseball team and success was instantaneous. The inaugural KHS team finished second at State. Eight years later, Smith guided KHS to another runner-up finish. A year later, KHS and Smith finally reached the top and captured the State championship, a feat he would repeat in 1969 after moving to Tremper. During a 10-year span, Smith, who died in 2003, won 82 percent of his games. In his 21 years as a baseball coach in Kenosha, Smith put together 18 winning seasons. Smith guided Kenosha High School and Tremper to six State Tournament appearances between 1953 and 1973. Kenosha High won its first title under Smith in 1963 and Tremper won its lone state championship under Smith in 1969. Smith also coached three state runner-up squads.