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Howard Matthias

Coach Howard Matthias

The Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association is grateful to many individuals. Howard Matthias brings back for us some of the history of wrestling in the state of Wisconsin. Howard was among the initial organizers of the association. Howard, along with others, had the foresight to recognize the need for a coaches association to provide unity and an avenue to express the needs of coaches. Some of the first organizational meetings were held in the living room of his home in Waukesha, WI. Wrestling was not widespread in the state and so they formed areas which included the Madison area, Milwaukee area, Wisconsin Rapids area and the Amery area. Howard held several offices in the new coaches association and became president in 1962-63.

Because boxing was dropped as a sport at Stoughton High School, wrestling was a logical replacement. Howard was given the task to develop and coach wrestling. His knowledge of wrestling was limited to what he had learned in physical education classes in college. Determined, Howard built the program at Stoughton and the captain of his first team was Duane Kleven. The first team competed during the 1954-55 school year.

In 1956, Howard moved to Brookfield. It was during this year that major strides were made in organizing the coaches association. Brookfield did not have wrestling so Howard took on the task of again building a program. Brookfield later divided into Brookfield Central and East. While coaching, Howard's teams have had only two losing seasons. His teams have won three Braveland Conference Championships (1959, 1960, 1968). Although none of his wrestlers won an individual state championship, three placed second, four placed third and five placed fourth.

Within the 14th year Howard coached, he grew to love the sport. He became very knowledgeable and a leader. Howard attended many wrestling coaches clinics and was a clinician himself for the Indiana Wrestling Coaches Association and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Howard has been on the staff of St. Cloud College, St. Cloud Minnesota and then retired.