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Nominations and Voting Information

2023 -2024


WWCA Elections

and Awards


Nominations & Voting



2023-2024 WWCA Nomination and Voting Procedures

Welcome to the WWCA 2023-2024 Nomination and Voting Page for WWCA Awards and Elections.  This page is designed to assist members with making nominations and casting votes. 

Statewide voting window is now open!

Below is a current list of nominations. Please review the list before before casting your votes during.

Please adhere to the following requirements when making voting:

  1. Statewide voting window closes on Saturday, April 13.
  2. Only WWCA members may cast a vote.
  3. WWCA members may only vote once.
  4. WWCA members may vote for any candidate, regardless of their district assignment.


WIAA District assignments and WWCA Membership lists are indicated below.

Winners of the State Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year will be nominated to the NWCA for National Coaches of the Year.

Please click the following link to cast your vote:


Please Note

After a thorough review of nominations, individuals not meeting the criteria for nomination were removed prior to the voting process.

District Coach of the Year Nominations


District 1 COY

Joe Raygor - Saint Croix Falls

Built up his program and took 2nd at Team State.

District 2 COY

Scott Benitz - Wi Rapids

State runner-up team. Conference champs

Jason Champagne - Coleman 

Jason has seamlessly taken the reins of a highly successful program and continued the proud Cougar Tradition. As an exceptional young leader, Jason is unwaveringly committed to the development of his athletes. And his impact extends beyond the scoreboard, encompassing mentorship, sportsmanship, and personal growth. Here are some highlights from the 2023-24 season that underscore his coaching abilities:

Team State Runner-Ups: Jason’s leadership propelled the team to an impressive performance at the state level.

State Qualifiers: Seven of his wrestlers, including Parker Owens, Micah Kuchta, and Kain Otto, showcased their talent and dedication by qualifying for the state championships.

Dual Meet Record: The team achieved an outstanding record of 16 wins out of 21 dual meets.

M&O Conference Dominance: Coleman High School remained undefeated in the M&O Conference, securing a perfect 4-0 record.

Beyond the accolades, Jason embodies qualities that make him stand out. He is not only a coach but also a mentor, guiding young athletes toward excellence both on and off the mat. His commitment to sportsmanship and fostering a positive team culture is commendable. Moreover, Jason’s faith and dedication as a husband and father exemplify the values he instills in his wrestlers. His impact extends beyond the wrestling room, shaping character and resilience.

In summary, Coach Champagne’s unwavering dedication, leadership, and genuine care for his athletes make him truly deserving of the District 2 Wrestling Coach of the Year recognition.

District 3 COY

Rylan Lubeck – Menomonie

Menomonie qualified for team state for the first time and won first round. They’ve made big improvements under coach Lubeck. Conference Champions.

Ernest Peterson – Whitehall

Ernest Peterson led Whitehall to its fourth conference title in the past five years. This season, he did so with a very inexperienced team. Of the fourteen varsity wrestlers, six were taking the mat as a first-year varsity member and three of those were freshman. It was enjoyable to watch Coach Peterson as he worked diligently to encourage and develop the young wrestlers, while fine tuning the skills of the few veterans he had in the wrestling room. The Whitehall wrestling program went from a team lacking experience, to a team with a lot of pride and determination in just a few short months. This happened because of the great leadership and work ethic of Coach Peterson. All the individual wrestlers in Whitehall’s program came together to become a very competitive team by season’s end.

One of the things we appreciate about Ernest is his willingness to listen to his staff and use the talents of his assistant coaches and the parent volunteers in the wrestling room. Ernest takes his role as caretaker of Whitehall wrestling seriously and he knows that answers to program challenges are all around him. Coach Peterson shows a lot of faith in his staff and not only asks them for opinions and input on decisions that affect the team, but uses that input to develop wrestlers, practices, and community support. Coach Peterson makes sure everyone in the wrestling room has an important role on the team. One final aspect we appreciate about Ernest Peterson is his interest in program history and area wrestling history in general. He does a lot of history research on wrestling and makes sure his wrestlers, staff, and fans know and appreciate those wrestlers and coaches that came before.

Rob Bautch - Reedsburg Area

Rob has slowly and consistently been improving Reedsburg wrestling over the past 10 years. The 2023 season they qualified for Team State for the first time in program history. They have won the Badger-Small Conference three years in a row, and have had multiple state qualifiers each season. One of the most impressive aspects of Rob's coaching is that so many of his wrestlers come out for the first time as Freshmen, and are sticking with the sport all four years. He does a fantastic job of making each student athlete AND wrestling manager know how much he cares about them and the effort they put forth.

District 4 COY

Brad Shefchik - Bay Port

Exceptional leader. Exceptional character. Better person!

Chas Treml - Luxemburg Casco

Coach Chas Treml 2023 & 2024 Team State Titles. 9 Individual State Placers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 4-6th) and 1 girl 4th place. One of the things that set Chas Treml apart from many head coaches is his willingness to listen to and use the talents of his assistants and volunteers in the wrestling room. Arrogance is never part of the wrestling room under his guidance. Coach Treml shows a lot of faith in his staff and not only asks them for opinions and input on decisions that affect the team, but uses that input. Coach Treml makes sure everyone in the wrestling room has an important role on the team. Chas has an amazing ability to bring out the best in his wrestlers and coaching staff and works extremely hard year round to look for ways to better the program and to promote the sport he loves. He has continually kept the program progressing, with his understanding of the history and his dedication to the Luxemburg Casco Community.

Jeff Matczak - Kaukauna

Jeff continues to build better young people through the sport of wrestling. Despite a large graduating class last season, he led the Kaukauna program to a fourth straight state title and eighth overall. Over the past four years Kaukauna has gone 59 - 0 in duals. Jeff's career record at Team State is 40-14 and he has more team state appearances (22) than any coach or program in the state. Jeff continues to have a passion for developing students to be the best version of themselves which has translated to unbelievable achievements in our sport.

Kyle Kleuskens - Neenah

There isn't another coach in the area that gets the most out of their athletes then he does. There also isn't another coach that is as passionate as he is. You will find him at multiple practices and events at all levels in his program. On top of what he does for his program, he is very involved in the WWCA and plays an important role in the growth of our sport with in the state.

District 5 COY

Ryan Allen - Iowa Grant / Highland

Iowa - Grant / Highland was the highest team sport scorer, regardless of division, at the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament. All 7 of their state qualifiers placed in the top 4 in their division. Outstanding season.

Pete Swenson - Sugar River-Belleville

Coach Swenson has been a part of the Raider wrestling program since 2006 when he moved to Belleville School District as a middle school science teacher. From the time of his arrival, he has been a huge part of the process of Sugar River becoming the team to be reckoned with the past two seasons in Southwest Wisconsin. Not only is he a strong coach in the high school program but he has played a big role in the Sugar River Youth Program which has come to fruition at the high school team. Things really came together for the Raider program when they saw much success both as a team as well as individually. The Raiders accomplished something that had never happened before, qualifying for a wrestling team sectional. The team had a season best 11-4 record, suffering a loss in the team sectional to the team who eventually represented their section at Team State. Individually Sugar River had 4 wrestlers qualify for the individual state tournament.

Coach Swenson is definitely a “wrestlers coach”. He builds strong relationships with his students that allows them to know that he believes in them on and off the mat.

Although the Sugar River Wrestling Program is not in the team sections every year I believe Coach Swenson is very deserving of the Head Coach of the Year award. He is in coaching for the student-athletes at all levels and does a great job promoting the sport of wrestling in the communities involved in the Sugar River program in a positive way. On top of his coaching duties at Sugar River he is an outstanding member of the Belleville School Staff, always advocating for students and helping them be successful. He will do what is best for wrestling and most importantly the students of the Sugar River schools at all times 12 months of the year.

Joel Steinmann – Parkview HS (Orfordville)

Joel Steinmann has server Parkview High School as the Varsity Head Coach for 21 years. He has coached 25 Conference Champions, 39 Regional Champions, 4 Sectional Champions, 22 State Qualifiers, 9 State Placers, 2 Team Conferences (Back to Back), 1 Regional Team Championship and 98 Team wins. Joel has been involved in the youth program and the wrestling alumni booster club. He has been the glue of our wrestling community. Always willing to be there and help.  

Joel has been the head coach for over 20 years, is retiring after this year, and has had an incredible impact on hundreds of lives over the years.

District 6 COY

Bob Logan – Watertown

Team 2024 Badger Conference Tournament Championship, Regional Championship, Sect. Runner-up, Team Sect. Runner-Up, 4 State Qualifiers, Best WIAA State Placewinners 'place over seed' score (11). 106lb. seeded 11th/place 5th, 190lb. seeded 8th/placed 3rd. 27th Year as Head Coach.

Corey McCauley - Hartford Union High School

Coach McCauley has brought a group together and encouraged them to be successful in and out of the wrestling room. The passion he has for the sport, as well as helping his athletes be successful individuals, is unmatched.

Ryan Gartner - Wilmot high school

Coach Gartner had a historic season at Wilmot this year. His team took 2nd in the SLC, won a Team Regional Championship, and qualified 4 boys and 2 girl wrestlers to the state tournament. Of the 6 wrestlers that qualified for state, 2 of them landed on the podium with 1 of them being a State Champion as a Freshman, the first State Champion in 17 years. With it only being his 3rd year as the head coach, Coach Gartner has turned Wilmot wrestling into one of the best programs in the region. We believe Coach Gartner is more than deserving of the Regional Coach of the year!

District 7 COY

Sean Fortman and Dominic Schanen (co-Head )- Muskego

Sean and Dominic have built a consistent program including multiple trips to team state and plenty of individual qualifiers. Their program continues to grow and gets contributions from kids of all ages. They develops wrestlers who grow from Freshmen to senior year. Muskego has a well-rounded and complete program. A 24-8 record. Regional champs. Made state team semi-finals for 2nd year in a row. 2 individual state place winners. 7 individual state qualifiers. 14 sectional qualifiers. Classic 8 dual champs. 1st at Warrior Duals. 8th at On The Water. 4th at Duals in the Dells. 2nd at the Gunslinger Invite.

Ernie Millard - Homestead

Great year and great career! Took team to state in final year, 8 individual state qualifiers, conf champs in the rough North Shore conf. that had 4 state champs and 2 other finalists.

Julian Gladney - Brown Deer/Messmer/Shorewood

Coach Gladney has coached BD for 6 years, and this year Julian Gladney has set many records for the BD/Messmer/Shorewood Co-op Wrestling Team. For the first time in history the team: 1. Won the Woodland Conference East Division 2. Finished 2nd in the Woodland Conference 3. Finished 3rd in the Regional G Tournament 4. Finished 4th at Sectional G Tournament 5. Qualified 3 Boys for the WIAA State Tournament 6. Qualified 1 Girl for the WIAA State Tournament (first girl to do so in school history!) 7. 1 State Runner-Up (Maximus Hay 8. Hosted a dual meet at Messmer High School for the first time in over 45 years! Julian Gladney is more than deserving to win this award and he continues to lead his team and coaching staff with dignity and humility.


District 8 COY

Kevin Koch - Concordia University Wisconsin

Head Coach Kevin Koch led Concordia University to its highest finish in the CCIW Conference in 8 years, placing 3rd in one of the toughest conferences in the NCAA III. The Falcons claimed 2 individual champions and placed 8 wrestlers. Koch then led Concordia to their highest finish in 8 years in the NCAA III Regional, placing 8th out of 19 teams and placing five wrestlers.

Tim Fader - UW Eau Claire

Coach Fader guided the Eau Claire Blugolds to an historic run during the 2023-2024 season. His team finished the season with a 19-4 dual meet record, captured five tournament titles, including a WIAC Championship, and finished sixth at the NWCA National Duals. In the postseason, the Blugolds qualified six of ten wrestlers to the NCAA DIII tournament and capped off the postseason with a fifth-place finish at NCAA DIII Championships having four wrestlers earning all-American honors, including a National Champion!

State Girls Coach of the Year Nominations

Carl Deluca  - Holmen 

Carl has led the Holman girls wrestling team to National recognition over his time as head coach. Carl has continuously pushed the boundaries and the timeline for girls wrestling in the state of Wisconsin through his time at the Holmen program. Along the way, he has won numerous tournaments including the only Wisconsin girls dual tournament 2 years in a row, the Bi-State Girls tournament, and the Coaches Association Challenge finals girls tournament. Holman also had the most girls qualify for the individual state tournament this year and was in the top five with the number of qualifiers last year. Even though they did not have the most points at the individual state tournament this year, Carl has done more for women's wrestling in Holmen and all of WI in the last 3 years than many coaches have done for wrestling in the past 10 years. Carl is a very deserving candidate for the Girls Coach of the Year Award.

Chadwick Leviner – Mukwonago

Mukwonago is one of the best girl's teams in the state. They have good numbers, a couple hammers, and finished the year ranked #2. They nearly won the Challenge Series too.

Troy Mendez Muskego

4 state qualifiers. 2nd place in Classic 8 conference. 9th at the Badgers State Invitational out of 48 teams. Blackshirt Invite Champions. Has increased interest and enrollment in this emerging sport.

Kaleigh Herrick - Eau Claire North

Coached five Huskies to WIAA State with two State Placewinners. Presented at the WWCA Clinic Convention during Girls Wrestling Programs session.

Heather Clarke – Parkview

Heather went from signing up her son for youth wrestling to the Varsity Girls Coach in just 2 years. Heather started out her first year as a youth wrestling coach. In her second year she was asked to head our first girls team as the Girls Varsity Coach. She gladly accepted the opportunity even though it meant time away from her family. She rose to the occasion and was a perfect fit for the team. She was the perfect candidate being a high school wrestler herself. Heather & her family have been a big supporter of our wrestling program from bottom to top and top to bottom. We can never thank Heather enough for taking that leap to help start and grow our girls wrestling program.

Heather has helped out the girls’ program tremendously by dedicating her time and resources. She's grown the number of girls in the program, and has even taken multiple girls farther in the season than they've ever been before.

Jason Bousman - Badger

Jason has helped bring girls wrestling to the forefront at Badger High school. He is a pioneer in girls wrestling in the state of Wisconsin. His commitment to helping girls wrestling from kids club into college is going help girls wrestling explode going forward in the future.

Kyla Hensel - New Berlin United

Kyla has helped build the girls program at New Berlin from the ground up. Bringing in 10 girls the last two seasons. She is a role model for female athletes and works to ensure they feel supported and grow as wrestlers. She has coached two state medalists, and 6 state qualifiers the last 2 seasons.

John Quinlan – Nicolet

Inaugural year of having a girls team at Nicolet. All girls had at least twenty wins and made the sectional finals. 2 state qualifiers, 3 wins at state and a girl with over 30 wins. Great start from the new coach at Nicolet.

Madison Ruckdashel – Neenah

I'd like to nominate Coach Maddie Ruckdashel for her relentless commitment to growing the sport of Women's Wrestling along with her dedication to the Neenah Girls Wrestling program.

Coach Maddie is a recognized leader in the sport of Women's Wrestling as a coach, referee, clinician, and spokesperson for the sport.

In her first year as the Neenah High School Head Girls Coach, she led a roster of 12 girls to 6th place team finishes at the Badger State and Bi-State tourneys. Additionally, her team was the first ever Fox Valley Association Conference champions along with a runner-up finish in the Kimberly-B Sectional. More importantly, her leadership and mentorship for the young women of the Neenah wrestling team has been incredible. She is developing confident women that have learned to overcome adversity to achieve their goals in a typically male dominated sport. On top of her high school responsibilities, Coach Maddie is the head girls youth coach for the Neenah Wrestling Club.

In addition to leading the Neenah High School program, Coach Maddie is blazing the way for the overall growth of women's wrestling. She is an accomplished Freestyle referee, recently officiating the NCWWC National Championships. Coach Maddie serves on the WI Girls Coaches Advisory Committee along with leading girls technique clinics at various locations across the state. Most recently, Coach Maddie has been selected as a coach for the WI Girls 16U Duals Team.

I am proud to have Coach Maddie leading the young women of Neenah. She is truly a humble role model that is respected by all. Please consider my nomination of Madison Ruckdashel for the 2023-2024 Girls Coach of the Year.

District Assistant Coach of the Year Nominations

District 1 ACOY

Richard Dilcher - St. Croix Central

RJ is a total coach. The hours that he gives and the passion that he brings to our program are second to none. RJ runs our lifting program in the mornings at the high school, where he meets the kids at the door at 5:50 am each day. During our practices he has taken a larger role in showing technique and running practices. With his help and leadership SCC won their 1st Middle Border Conference Championship since joining the MBC, and first overall conference championship since '93.  Along with this, RJ also ran our pre K-K and 1st-2nd grade youth wrestling this season. Our program is better because of him.

Adam Kaufman – Hudson

Adam Kaufman has worked tirelessly for the Hudson program for 17 straight seasons! When you do not see him at a Varsity event, it is simply because he has either taken the JV team or the Girls team somewhere else. While every program has assistant coaches who stick to the "fun" parts of coaching, Kaufman takes an active role in the dirty work. Scouting, game-planning, supervision, organization, and all thing quality-control. Oh ya, his son also just qualified for his first trip to Youth State!  Adam Kaufman is an ideal candidate for Assistant Coach of the Year!

Jon Reker and Jon Bouvine – Superior

Great Assistant Coaches that helped guide Superior under new leadership this year. Both individuals played key Roles in helping Superior start with a school record of 62 Wrestlers and finished the season with 55. Of those 55 Wrestlers that finished the season, there were 11 Girls, another school record that was just 2 girls the season before. Of the 55 Wrestlers, 7 of them had more than 3 years of experience, and the team still finished with a 10-11 record. Without their help, Superior would not have had the student involvement and success that they did.

District 2 ACOY

Jimmy Peters and Austin Riehl - Shiocton High School

Jimmy and Austin have done an excellent job as assistant coaches at Shiocton High School. They are a big reason why Shiocton won 18 duals, won a 4th straight CWC Conference Championship, finished as Team Sectional Runner-Up, and qualified six individuals for state with 4 placing on the podium.

Tim Spray - WI Rapids

Team State runner-up

Matt Bronstaetter - Wausau West

Matt Bronstaetter has been an assistant coach for Wausau West wrestling for over 20 years. Throughout his 21 years of service, he has served many roles, ranging from Varsity assistant to freshman coach and everything in between as well as helping out at the Youth Level multiple times a week for many many years.

Coach Bronstaetter, is not a teacher and does not work in the public school system. Throughout his 21 years of coaching, he has had many jobs outside of wrestling but as anyone who has ever spent any time with him can tell you, wrestling is his true passion. No matter what job he has or what business he is currently running, he always makes wrestling a priority and finds time to be at every practice and every event. He is the type of assistant coach who will put in a 60+ hour work week around wrestling practices and tournaments. He truly believes that Wausau West wrestling is his family and treats all the wrestlers, boys and girls alike, like his own children. Over the 2 decades, numerous opportunities to help wrestlers outside of the wrestling room have arisen and Coach Bronstaetter has always come through for those wrestlers, no matter what they needed. He bleeds Warrior Blue and Gold and he is a very deserving candidate for the District 2 Asst. Coach of the Year

District 3 ACOY

Jason Chambers – Mauston

Jason has been an assistant coach and involved with all levels of Mauston Wrestling for over 20 years. His year round dedication to the sport of wrestling does not go unnoticed. His work with the upper weights at Mauston showed this year with 2 juniors making great runs at the state tournament.

Coltin Brehm - Menomonie

Colton played a huge role in helping get Menomonie to the team state semis.

Tim McMillan – Reedsburg

Tim has announced his retirement from coaching. Tim was a #126 State Champion, and wrestled for the Badgers and for UW-Platteville. Tim has been coaching at some capacity, youth to high school, for over 30 years. Tim has been a catalyst for the kids who are wanting to do more, wrestle more, learn more. Tim has truly been a hero for Reedsburg wrestling, and will continue to be so even if he's not in the room on a daily basis.

District 4 ACOY

Trevor Potratz - Weyauwega-Fremont

He is the best young coach in the state. His practice pace, energy, detail, and teaching progression are incredible. His work with the kids propelled W-F to the State Team Tournament this year.

Lance Fabry - Luxemburg Casco

Coach Lance Fabry has helped to lead the program to back-to-back Team State Titles. He also helped to guide 9 Individual State Placers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 4-6th) He has continually kept the program progressing, with his understanding of the history and his dedication to the practice room. During the season Fabry runs every practice, spends countless hours preparing for upcoming practices. He is prepared with numerous scenarios for match situations. He utilizes the other assistants skills to help each wrestler grow. There are so many facets that make a coach a great one, Coach Fabry may be the assistant in title, but he is a future great head coach.

Tony Kazik – Freedom

Tony has multiple roles in our program and most are the ones that go unnoticed to those outside of the Freedom program. He will run JV/Reserve practices when varsity is away, he became our unofficial girls coach by volunteering to attend most of the girls events, and most importantly he runs a wrestling physical education course that helps promote our program and by result our youth registration numbers are higher than they have ever been. There is not a wrestler on our team that doesn't like Tony. His positive attitude is contagious. He is a huge asset to our program.

Steve Engelland – Kimberly

Steve Engelland is not just an assistant coach; he is the heartbeat of our middle school wrestling program. His dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to the sport and its athletes make him the epitome of what a coach should be.

Beyond his coaching duties, Steve invests extensive time and effort into the administration and coordination of our middle school program. His meticulous planning and attention to detail ensure that every aspect, from training sessions to logistical arrangements, operates seamlessly and effectively.

What truly distinguishes Steve is his ability to forge deep connections with the wrestlers on a personal level. He transcends the conventional boundaries of coaching, becoming a mentor and confidant to each individual under his guidance no matter their skill level. His approachable demeanor and genuine concern for their well-being foster a supportive atmosphere where athletes feel valued and empowered to strive for excellence not only in wrestling but the classroom and in life.

Steve's coaching style creates a balance between enjoyment and intensity and has helped Kimberly’s lone middle school consistently have 50+ wrestlers between its 7 & 8 graders. He motivates his athletes to push their limits while infusing practices with energy, enjoyment and an occasional joke. Whether through innovative drills, inspiring pep talks, or his infectious enthusiasm, he ignites a passion for the sport within our wrestlers and drives them towards success.

His extensive knowledge of wrestling is a testament to his 30 plus years of coaching experience at all levels, and an enduring love for the sport. The wealth of knowledge he possesses allows him to truly help ALL wrestlers improve.  Above all, Steve Engelland's impact extends far beyond the confines of the wrestling mat. He instills invaluable life lessons of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication in his athletes, shaping them into well-rounded individuals poised for success in all aspects of life.

Joe Murphy – Freedom

Coach Joe Murphy has been a fundamental part of building the Freedom wrestling program over many years. Joe has been coaching for a total of 34 years which started by helping develop a strong youth program and now spending the last 20 years at the high school level. During his time at the high school level Freedom has had 12 conference, 11 regional, and 2 sectional & state championship teams. Those that have attempted to build programs know that it takes years of focused effort; Joe’s experience and program success are a result of that dedicated effort at the varying levels of the sport and should be recognized.

Accomplishments/wins and losses are one thing but what really makes Joe a coach worthy of recognition is his experience that allows him to have great perspective. Joe takes special pride in working with a less gifted athlete and developing them over time into a successful varsity wrestler. Joe has a way of connecting with each kid that comes through the program. Taking the time to get to know the wrestlers as individuals, regardless of their talent or interest level allows 

Corey Knudsen – Neenah

Corey Knudsen has been an integral part of Neenah Wrestling for the past 5 seasons. Coach Knudsen has been incredibly dedicated to all levels of the program as he works consistently with our Youth, Middle, and High School programs and supports the Girls High School/feeder program. Corey is excellent at connecting with kids and understands how to work differently to interact with and motivate each age group. He is absolutely loved by our wrestlers. Corey is a team player amongst a large coaching staff and has been able to use his strengths as a coach to best impact the student athletes in Neenah. We are incredibly fortunate to have so many dedicated assistants in our program and this year Coach Knudsen's efforts are deserving of this recognition.

Henry (Joe) Niebauer - Hortonville

I believe every head coach will tell you the actual on the mat coaching is the easy and fun part. It is all the behind-the-scenes duties, paper work, videos, accurate record keeping, updating trackwrestling, etc. etc. etc., that are not much fun, exhausting and take up a lot of your time! This is why I nominate Assistant Coach Henry (Joe) Niebauer, for Assistant Coach of the Year. Joe handles all of these off the mat tasks for me. He is my go-to guy for match video down loading, accurate win/loss record keeping, all paper work duties, and most importantly, in this era of State Tournament Seeding, updating trackwrestling. Joe works countless hours behind the scenes to make sure all of these tasks are complete. Grinding away late at night after meets and tournaments, and long after practice has been over. Working in the background out of the spot light and fanfare. Freeing up my time to concentrate on preparing nightly practice plans, conducting practices, developing individual game plans, dual meet strategy, film breakdown to name a few.  It is safe to say without Joe as an assistant coach, Hortonville wrestling would not enjoy the success we have. I would not be able to enjoy coaching as much as I do, nor would my longevity as a head coach be what it is today! They say Champions work and toil in the early morning or late-night hours, in the shadows, far away from the spotlight and gleaming eyes in order to win in front of the cheering crowds. This is what Henry (Joe) Niebauer does for Hortonville Wrestling, this is why I nominate him for Assistant Coach of the Year, he is our Champion!!

District 5 ACOY

Pete Eckhart – Oregon

Has been in the program for more than 8 years. Has created and developed the girls program. This year officially the girls head coach. Continues to have double digit numbers after losing multiple seniors each year. Brought the first ever dual in school history to life. Won the badger conference tournament.

Byron Brown and Gavon Brown - Parkview/Albany

Byron and Gavon have been an instrumental part of the success of the wrestling program. With their coaching we have won back-to-back trailways south conference championships. They guided four wrestlers to state with two on the podium. As well as having three conference champions and finished the past two years with a 12-0 dual conference record. As a small program they have dedicated a lot of time to building the program and are very worthy for assistant coaches of the year.

Josh Wanek – Riverdale

Josh has been a volunteer in the Riverdale Wrestling program for the past 15 years. He is also an alumni of the program. Josh started coaching in the youth program before moving to the position of head middle school coach and then the last five years as a volunteer assistant at the high school level. At every level that Josh coached the program saw success. He helped build large numbers in both the youth and junior high programs. Those wrestlers then continued into the high school program because of the influence and relationships Josh built with the kids. For the past five years Riverdale has been successful on the mat and produced large numbers at the high school level. Josh has been an instrumental part in making the Riverdale high school program a success.

District 6 ACOY

Mark Bardenwerper and Steve Best – Watertown

Both are integral to Watertown success working with programs at all levels. Badger Conf. Tourn. Championship, Reg. Championship, Sect. Runner-up, Team Sect. 2nd, 4 State Qualifiers, Best WIAA State Placewinners 'place over seed' score (11). 106lb. seeded 11th/place 5th, 190lb. seeded 8th/placed 3rd.

Paul Majors – Whitewater

I am nominating Paul Majors from Whitewater for ACoY. Coach Majors has been a part of the Whippet program since 2004 in some capacity. Until just recently Coach Majors had spent many of those years volunteering as a coach in the room yet he was well above a volunteer coach with the program as he rarely missed a practice nor competition unless school related meetings had come up.

Coach Majors is a huge part of the Whitewater community as he has been an Ag teacher at the high school for over 20 years and has been an integral part of students’ lives being the advisor of the FFA program that is well respected not only in the area but the state of Wisconsin. Each year he has the undertaking of the Farm and Toy Show hosted at WHS and a week after the season had Donkey Basketball come to the school which brings smiles to the faces in the community! All of this takes place during our state tournament series preparation yet he never misses a beat in the classroom, wrestling, nor FFA arenas!

The impact of Coach Majors has had a huge impact not only on the students he interacts with but has been a huge part of my growth as a coach, teacher, father and husband! He consistently has words of encouragement and wisdom that he shares during difficult times. From the time I met him he always expresses the ideas of opportunities not obstacles.

Coach Majors is very much deserving of our Assistant Coach of the Year as he touches the lives of so many, both within our program but also outside the sport of wrestling through the lessons he teaches about life that our students and even coaches carry with them forever.

Getasew Shumet - Hartford Union

Coach Shumet has taken on a variety of roles throughout the season. He takes time after practice to help not only the athletes but coaches who are new to the sport as well.

Ryan Jacobs - Winnebago Lutheran Academy

Ryan graduated from Winnebago Lutheran Academy in 2019 and has remained a major supporter of the school as well as of the wrestling program. For the past three years he has gone above and beyond to make our program the best it can be. We went from 12 wrestlers in 2021 to 20 wrestlers in 2023 due to his ability to work with athletes and show them the benefits of wrestling. Ryan runs our school’s morning strength and conditioning program three times a week. He also is a key director of our summer weights program. His dedication to the program shows in many ways. I appreciate him for being willing and able to take care of all of the Track Wrestling and Hudl activities. He is always the first one in the wrestling room each practice getting things ready. He has taken on the responsibility of getting singlets and warm-ups to each wrestler as well as collecting them at the end of the season. By taking charge of these areas, Ryan has allowed me to focus on other areas of the program. In the wrestling room he shows the dedication, work ethic, and attitude that it takes to be successful. The wrestlers respect him and look to him for advice and encouragement. Most importantly, Ryan understands that wrestling is not just about performance on the mat. One of his biggest assets is that he works hard to mold high school wrestlers into respectful, hardworking young men and women. He realizes that this important aspect of high school athletics does not only take place in the wrestling room but outside of it as well. This is the area in which he shines the most. Finally, it is Ryan’s selfless, servant attitude that makes him an amazing man to work with.


District 7 ACOY

Anthony Senner – Pewaukee

Coach Senner has lead Pewaukee to recapturing the conference dual meet and tournament titles. He has somehow enhanced his daily practice plans to ensure that each day efficiently moves through regular fundamental drilling, live situations and his demonstrations of new techniques. He has also taken video review and scouting to a new level for individual and team analysis. Coach Senner's knowledge of each opponent's strengths and weaknesses, as well as our own, has given us an edge in many match-ups. Moreover, his wrestling skills make him an extremely formidable opponent in the room.  This was Coach Senner's 15th season of coaching in Pewaukee and his reception of this award is long overdue. Thank you for your consideration.

Mark Strakbein - Waukesha West

Mark is the spark plug for the Waukesha West wrestling program that has gotten to new heights over the past few seasons. Shattering school records each year, in the last two years alone he helped produce a Team State Tournament qualifying team, 25 dual wins, and 15 individual state qualifiers. Amongst many other accolades, he has helped change the culture of wrestling in our community. We have hit the 50 student-athlete threshold and have a strong tie to our local community to have sustained success. He is a man of high character that continues to do things the right way to help grow the sport of wrestling.

Jeremie Ott – Nicolet

Has been the backbone of the program for more than 15 years. 5 state qualifiers and a state finalist. 19-9 dual record. Greatly respected throughout the state.

Sedrick Hay - Brown Deer/Messmer/Shorewood

He has worked tirelessly as an assistant coach in the development of our kids and the overall program. His involvement in the youth program has given Brown Deer the chance to be competitive at the high school level for many years to come. We wouldn’t have achieved the many goals and made team history this past season if it hadn’t been for Coach Hay and his family. In my humble opinion he should be DCOY hands down.

District 8 ACOY

Val Kochiu - Concordia University Wisconsin

Assistant Coach Val Kochiu has been instrumental in the development of the team throughout the season, with the team peaking at Conference and post-season. Coach Val has been a valuable asset in the wrestling room as well as recruiting. The late season success could not have been done without him.

Justin Karkula - UW Eau Claire

Coach Karkula helped guide the Blugolds to an historic year for wrestling at UW Eau Claire. He helped the Blugolds place 5th at the NCAA Championships and capture a WIAC Championship. He was part of a coaching staff which produced a national champion, four All-Americans and six national qualifiers. With his assistance, the Blugolds achieved their highest ever ranking in the National Wrestling Coaches Association rankings.

State Assistant Girls Coach of the Year Nominations

Taylor Foltz – Watertown

Dedicated to Watertown girls program. Coached Watertown girls at numerous events including WWCA Girls Challenge in Wausau. Coached two Gosling freshmen to the WIAA State Tournament.

Josh King - Badger

Josh has the energy and attitude to keep the girls hungry to work hard and fight through adversity, getting the girls team together working hard learning as much ad possibly in such a short period of time. Taking beginner high school girls and making them contenders.

Al Stark - Parkview/Albany

Al has been a tremendous advocate for the girls wrestling program. He brings many years of knowledge and experience with to help the girls achieve success and want to do better.

Brooke Harstvedt – Nicolet

1st year assistant girls coach did a great job with a brand-new girl’s team.

Other Awards Nominations


Wrestler (Male) of the Year

(Must be a Senior)


Connor Mirasola - West Bend West

Connor won his fourth state title and ended with a 51-0 season record. He finished his senior season with a career record of 174-4. He is a 3 time WWCA Academic All-State 1st Team. He qualified for Olympic Trials at age 17 and is a two-time Fargo Junior National Champ.

Koy Hopke – Amery

Four time state champion.  Koy is not only a great wrestler on the mat, he is the example of how a true champion should hold themselves off the mat. He is humble and very approachable by the youth of the area.

Aeoden Sinclair – Milton

Aeoden is the best male wrestler in the state, #1 in the country, and finished his career as a 3x state champ. His dominate performance, off season approach, great attitude on and off the mat. 

Ryan Bergman - Watertown

True leader/role model for all Watertown students. Qualified for 2023 WIAA State. Volunteer kids and junior high coach. Numerous high school teachers have described Ryan as the 'nicest student at the school'. Will attend UW Oshkosh in fall for Engineering with plans to wrestle.

Caleb Delebreau - Luxemburg Casco

Caleb dedicated himself to wrestling and his team. He went on to win the 138lb individual state championship beating the top ranked kids in his bracket. He also led his team to back-to-back Team State championships.

Sam Schwengels - Parkview

I nominate Sam Schwengels for wrestler of the year. Sam is an outstanding athlete and student. A natural leader. Sam started wrestling as a young boy in our local youth wrestling program. He is the youngest of the Schwengels boys who all wrestled. Sam is very responsible, patient, respectful, caring, among many other qualities. He has led his teammates to many successes this season. All while being so humble. If anyone deserves this award I feel Sam is a perfect candidate.

Sam has been a role model over the years. His persistence and dedication to not only the sport, but to what it means to show true sportsmanship, win or lose, has been a beacon for our program.

Conner Melton - Spooner High School

50 wins, 4th at State, 37 pins this season, Team Caption, Road Out Owen Wasley for 4 mins at sectionals and was one of his closest matches of the year.

Jake Stoffel - Appleton North High School

2X State Champion - 152, 175 Career record 145-5

Mason Waters - Hartford Union

Mason works hard inside and outside of the wrestling room. He participates in multiple sports. He sets a good example of responsibility and hard work to the other wrestlers.



Wrestler (Female) of the Year

(Must be a Senior)


Rachel Schauer - Fennimore 

Undefeated senior year and finished season as a state champion.

Josie Stachowski – Mukwonago

3x state qualifier, placing 4th and 3rd. First girl to qualify for boys state in division 1. Although never won state but really represents the girls division in the state of Wisconsin.

Kennedy Gruzynski - Hartford Union

Kennedy chose to try a new sport her senior year. She worked hard and set a good example for the other girl wrestlers.

Savannah Danielson - Wausau West

Savannah is a two-time Wisconsin State Finalist (2nd both years) and a WI State freestyle Champion. During her freshman year (BEFORE girls wrestling was recognized) she was a Varsity starter at Wausau West and she had a varsity record of 8-3 (COVID year) and was a Sectional Qualifier with the boys. Since then, she has compiled a 58-4 career record against the girls including 45 pins { 10-0, 13-2, & 35-2 }. 3 of her 4 losses were to MN or WI state champions. Despite the injuries that cut her sophomore season short and took away most of her junior year, she continued to excel in the sport off the mat by becoming a coach, supporter, and recruiter for her teammates, all while undergoing physical therapy and recovery. Savannah has blazed the trail for girls wrestling in Wausau and much of central WI. Not only is she a leader for all of the girls wrestling, but she is a 4-year letter winner and a senior captain of the boys and girls wrestling team this season. She currently continues to train for freestyle state and will be continuing her wrestling career as a trailblazer helping to get the first ever Women’s Wrestling team established at UW-Oshkosh.



WWCA Elected Positions


District 1 Representative Nominations

Joe Raygor - St. Croix Falls

Joe has just spent the past year as the interim District 1 Rep and it is now time for him to officially become elected.  Joe is 100% invested in the sport of wrestling 24/7 - 365. I believe he will do a great job representing the Northwest for the next term.


District 2 Representative Nominations

Dom Gunderson - Shiocton High School

I believe I could increase the engagement and membership numbers in District 2. I also believe that I can offer insights and ideas when it comes to improving the WWCA and Wisconsin Wrestling. These ideas include coaching development and promotion of wrestling.

Dallas Moe - Wausau West

Dallas has been an excellent advocate for the growth of Varsity, sub-Varsity, and women's wrestling in the state of WI through his role as tournament director of the WWCA Challenge Series Finals, Asst. Varsity coach and Head Girls coach at Wausau West. Dallas is also involved with the youth wrestling program in Wausau and teaches Freestyle and Greco in the spring. Throughout his time at Wausau, he has pushed to grow opportunities for all wrestlers, along with coaches, and even parents. He has presented at the WWCA clinic for the growth of women's wrestling and currently sits on the advisory council as a coach for the growth of women's wrestling in WI in cooperation with the WWCA, WIAA, and WWF. As a District 2 Representative, Dallas would continue to push for the growth and betterment of WI wrestling as a whole (D1, D2, D3, & Girls). Dallas is a good communicator, a good listener, a problem solver, and a creative, outside-the-box thinker. He is passionate about the sport as a whole and he has visions on how to improve and grow HS wrestling, MS wrestling, and Girls wrestling at both the MS and HS level.