NEKOOSA — A month ago, on the weekend of June 16, retired Platteville boys’ golf coach Dick McKichan was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin Hall of Fame at the association’s summer clinic that was held at Lake Arrowhead Golf Course.
He was part of the four-person 2012 class that brings the total number of Hall of Fame coaches to 39.
This Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin states on its website that the Hall of Fame award is for any “retired coach that has gone above and beyond with athletes for a number of years.”
McKichan did just that during his coaching career that spanned nearly half a century.
McKichan is a retired history teacher, who coached golf for 44 years at both Platteville High School and Iowa–Grant High School. He stepped down as Platteville’s head coach after the 2010 season.
During his final 10 years at PHS McKichan led the Hillmen to six conference titles (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010) and eight regional titles, in a nine-year span from 2002–10.
His 2007 Platteville team finished second at the Madison Edgewood sectional to earn a berth in the ‘07 WIAA Division 2 state tournament, where the Hillmen finished sixth as a team.
McKichan also coached a number of individual standouts during his lengthy tenure at Platteville most recently Josh Udelhofen (2010 State Player of the Year, 2010 WIAA D2 runner-up, and three-time SWC Player of the Year), Jesse Udelhofen (2008 SWC Player of the year, 8th place at 2006 D2 state tournament) and Ray Graney (20th at 2003 state tournament), as well as Dirk Willis (1988 Class B state runner-up), a PGA Professional and the current Director of Golf at the famed Whistling Straits & Blackwolf Run near Kohler.
In 1988, McKichan organized the first Platteville High School Golf Tournament, an annual event which was renamed the Dick McKichan Invitational this spring.
He has also been a long-time board member and past president of the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin. Prior to his long tenure at Platteville High School, McKichan initiated the Iowa–Grant High School golf program in 1968.
Throughout his four-and-a-half decade coaching career McKichan introduced scores of students to the game of golf during his coaching career and always emphasized the importance of having fun.
He was known for his sayings like, “Release the Kraken” and his favorite word equanimity, which means mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.