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Wisconsin Football Coaches Association unveils Hall of Fame inductees

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Milton head coach, Bill O'Leary, talks to defensive lineman Phil Smecko during a timeout as Milton takes on Stoughton Sept. 26, 2014, at Stoughton High School. O'Leary was one of the football coaches selected for induction in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association's 2023 Hall of Fame class. 

Former Janesville Craig and Milton football coach Bill O’Leary was named as one of the 11 inductees into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

The 44th enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for April 1, 2023, at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton, according to a release from the WFCA.

There will be two National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductees, the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award recipient and the Positive Influence of Coaching award recipient.

O’Leary led successful football and wrestling programs at Janesville Craig, including leading the Cougars to seven consecutive WIAA Division 1 playoff appearances in football prior to resigning in 2008. He retired in 2009 after 35 years in teaching.

He then returned to coaching football in 2013 in Milton, coaching there until 2015. He led the Red Hawks to the WIAA postseason in all three seasons and they shared Badger South Conference championships with Monona Grove in 2014 and 2015.

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Milton coach Bill O'Leary adjusts his headset during a Sept. 26, 2014 game at Stoughton.

The inductees and award recipients:

2023 WFCA Hall of Fame inductees

Mike Beck, Racine Park/Franklin High Schools; Louis Brown, Franklin High School; Bob DeKeyser, Niagara/Lena High Schools and St. Norbert College; Scott Erickson, Hurley High School; Kevin Grundy, Marshfield Columbus Catholic/Wausau Newman Catholic/Antigo/Wausau West/Wausau East/Eagle River Northland Pines High Schools; Ken Krause, Muskego High School; Bruce Larson, Somerset High School; Brian Leair, Cedarburg High School; Rick Muellenberg, Bangor High School; Bill O’Leary, Milton/Janesville Craig High Schools; and Jon Steffenhagen, G-E-T High School.

National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame

Dan Juedes, Sheboygan Falls High School, and Jerry Golembiewski, Racine St. Catherine’s/Milwaukee West/Hartland Arrowhead/Milwaukee Marshall High Schools and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award

Jerry Hannack, Elmwood High School.

Marge and Dick Rundle Positive Influence of Coaching Award

Andrew Troxel, Richland Center High School.

The event’s reception is set for 4:30-5:30 p.m. April 1, 2023, with dinner at 5:30 p.m.

The Hall of Fame banquet is open to the public.

Tickets cost $45 each.

Checks are to be made payable to the WFCA — either paid in care of a local WFCA contact person or sent to the WFCA office, P.O. Box 8, Poynette, WI 53955, according to the release. One thousand tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

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