John "Weenie" Wilson

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John "Weenie" Wilson is a former football, basketball, and baseball coach, as well as teacher for the Dodgeville School District. He was a nationally ranked punter while at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and played for the Green Bay Packers before enlisting in the Navy prior to World War II. He is the only coach to be inducted into all three Wisconsin high school sports halls of fame, for football, basketball, and baseball.[1]

Early life[edit]

John "Weenie" Wilson graduated from Richland Center High School in 1933. He helped lead his basketball team to the "1933 WIAA State Basketball Tournament (WFCA)." During his college years, Wilson played football for the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1933 to 1935. He became a starter as a halfback in 1935. John Wilson was a "nationally ranked punter and also returned a punt for one of the longest returns of that era." John was also an accomplished baseball player and played one season of minor league ball for the Williamson Colts in 1937 prior to returning to his football career. [2] He "joined the Green Bay Packers in 1938," but decided to join and serve "in the U.S. Navy during WWII" from 1939 to 1943. After his honorable discharge, John "entered Spring Training with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team (WFCA)." John "Weenie" Wilson received his physical education degree in 1944 from the University of Dubuque.

Teaching career[edit]

Wilson taught physical education for Dodgeville High School, located in Dodgeville, WI. He became the head football coach for Dodgeville in 1944 until 1968. John was also the head basketball and baseball coach. After suffering two heart attacks in 1961, John Wilson "died of a heart attack during a physical education class in 1968[3]

Football Coaching[edit]

He coached the Dodgeville Dodger Football team to a record of 47–43–6 over his 17 years as head coach. The Dodger football teams achieved 4 Co-Conference Championships Titles during his terms as head coach. He, as a defensive coordinator in 1958, led a Dodger defense that only gave up 20 points over an 8-game season. He was inducted to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996.

Basketball Coaching[edit]

Wilson led the Dodgeville Dodgers to a record of 349–141, 7 Conference Champs, 2 state appearances, and 1 State Championship during his tenure as head coach. He coached the Dodgers from the 1945–46 season until the 1967–68 season. Dodgeville's state championship victory occurred in 1964, after previously being a runner-up in 1963. The 59–45 state championship victory over Milwaukee North in 1964 topped off a perfect 26–0 season for the Dodgeville Dodgers. The 1965 team, led by those who were in their junior year on the 1964 team, went 14-4. That team lost in the state regional finals to ultimate 1965 state champion, Monroe, ending an incredible coaching era for Wilson.

Baseball Coaching[edit]

John Wilson coached the Dodger Baseball Teams from 1947 to 1968. The teams amassed a record of 166–42, 10 Conference Championships, and 4 state appearances during that time.

State Appearances[edit]

  • 1949
  • 1962
  • 1963

Cross Country Coaching[edit]

Although John Wilson only coached Cross Country for one year, he was the very first Cross Country coach in Dodgeville history in 1965. The team took 5th place at the Sectional meet.

Legacy[edit]

Wilson was known for his willingness to go above and beyond his responsibilities as a teacher and coach. John always worked very hard for his players and "got several of them college opportunities they never would have gotten on their own (WFCA)." He worked in the community as the leader of the "summer recreation program for the city of Dodgeville (WFCA)." In 1961, Wilson "spent nine weeks in an oxygen tent at the Appleton Memorial hospital in critical condition after two heart attacks." [4] Wilson was back to teaching and coaching when the school year started, "proud of the fact that his brush with death never caused him to miss a day of work (Kirkby)."

Awards[edit]

  • All-Area Coach of the Year: 1962–1963, 1963–1964
  • Area Pen and Mike Sportsman of the Year: 1962–1963, 1963–1964
  • Coach of the Sountern All-State Football team: 1951–1952
  • Conference Coach of the Year: 1946–1947, 1951–1952, 1957–1958, 1958–1959, 1962–1963, 1963–1964

Notables[edit]

John "Weenie" Wilson is the "only coach in Wisconsin history to be inducted into all three Wisconsin Halls of Fame": Football, Basketball, and Baseball.

  • Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame: 1996
  • Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame: 1979
  • Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame: 1979[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, John Wilson Biography, accessed March 18, 2007
  2. ^ "BaseballReference.com
  3. ^ Christl, Cliff. "Dodgeville, a Magical Name is Back." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (need date)
  4. ^ Kirkby, E. "Heart Attack didn't stop coach of Cage Champs." Milwaukee Journal March 22, 1964.
  5. ^ Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, accessed March 18, 2007