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Jerry Wagner

Jerry Wagner

Jerry Wagner started the wrestling program at Athens High School in 1962 after being approached by the superintendent of schools requesting he initiate the program.

Prior to 1975, many of the records were destroyed. Since 1975, Jerry has a dual meet record of 105-10-0. Jerry did not compete in wrestling as a student. Jerry learned wrestling as many coaches did who started coaching in the 50's and 60's. He stated, "I have attended wrestling clinics and one-week wrestling camps from the early 1960's with George Martin and Jim Douglas (Coleman) as clinicians, to 1970's and 80's with Squaw Valley, California (Vaughn Hitchcock) and Iowa State (Harold Nickols) plus many more at Madison and River Falls.

Athens High School is a small school. With an enrollment of 240 students and under the control of Jerry Wagner, an impressive record of accomplishments is worth recognition. Athens has won ten consecutive conference championships (1977-86), with 67 individual conference champions. Jerry's teams have won seven regional championships and one sectional championship. His teams have sent 29 qualifiers to the state tournament. Of these, 14 became state place winners and eight became individual state champions. In 1984, Athens won the WIAA State Tournament. Athens placed second in 1980 and 1986, and placed third in 1985. The Badger State Tournament team championship was won by Athens in 1983 and 1985.

Jerry was a member of the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association's executive committee from 1980 to 1985. He was selected conference coach of the year eight times and in 1984, he was selected District Two Coach of the Year.