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WIAA names Stoughton's Mel Dow as associate director

WIAA names Stoughton's Mel Dow as associate director

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The WIAA announced Thursday it has hired Stoughton athletics and activities director Mel Dow as its associate director.

Jim Polzin is announced as the Lee Sports Wisconsin Columnist, where he will write stories covering all levels of sports throughout the state.

Dow will replace deputy director Wade Labecki, whose retirement becomes effective Sept. 1.

The announcement was made in a release from WIAA communications director Todd Clark on Thursday.

New Mel Dow photo

Mel Dow 

“It is a humbling honor to have the opportunity to become a member of the executive team of the WIAA and serve the student-athletes and schools of Wisconsin,” Dow said in the release. “Educationally based athletics and providing valued experiences have been at the core of my career, and I am looking forward to growing with the WIAA.”

He will begin his job Aug. 2.

Dow’s responsibilities will include the administration, coordination of duties and tournament planning for the sports of baseball, wrestling and tennis.

Other administrative duties include eligibility, coaching contact, camps, out-of-season participation, foreign students, sanctioning requests, and leading respective sport responsibility coaches and 7% committees, according to the release.

Stephanie Hauser photo 4-17


“Mel’s passion, work ethic and vision for interscholastic athletics will enhance the service that our WIAA team provides to the member schools and student-athletes,” WIAA executive director Stephanie Hauser said. “I am confident that he will embrace this new challenge as an opportunity to make a positive difference, and we can’t wait to have him here on staff with us to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Dow has served as the athletics and activities director in the Stoughton school district since 2010.

In addition to coordinating and administering the athletic programs and activities for grades 6-12, he supervised extensive athletic facility renovations and was a member of the Stoughton Wellness Coalition.

He's credited with increasing sport participation and expanding programming during his tenure, according to the release.

He also was a member of committees for safety, additives, calendar and the selection of honors.

Wade Labecki photo


He has made contributions at the state and national level, serving on the WIAA Sports Advisory Council from 2018-21, the WIAA Sportsmanship Committee from 2014-19 and on the Strategic Plan Committee of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

Dow was the host and served as tournament director of the USA Wrestling World Team Trials in 2014 and 2015.

Prior to his position at Stoughton, Dow spent 11 years at Prairie du Chien High School as a physical education and adaptive physical education teacher.

He also served as head wrestling coach and as an assistant coach in football and track and field.

Other contributions included developing a student-athlete leadership group and serving as adviser of the Letter Winners Club, chairman of the athletic booster club and the project chairman and designer of the weight room project.

Other athletics-related experience includes founder and coach of Wisconsin’s first visually impaired national wrestling team in 1996-97, assistant wrestling coach at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1999-2000 and physical education teacher and assistant football, wrestling, and track & field coach from 1997-99 at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dow is 1992 graduate of Prairie du Chien High School, where he participated in football, track and field and wrestling.

He earned a master’s degree in education from UW-La Crosse in 2002 after receiving a bachelor of science degree in exercise and sports science from UW-La Crosse in 1997.

Dow and his wife, Kristen, have a son, Tyler, 21, and 17-year old twins, daughter Trista and son Trenton. Tyler Dow, a standout high school wrestler, is on the University of Wisconsin wrestling roster. 


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