The Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association has announced its 2020 Hall of Fame class.
Platteville native and former Hillmen softball and girls basketball coach Jim “Louie” Lawinger will be among the five person class, that will be officially inducted Feb. 8.
Lawinger coached varsity softball for 37 years, 35 at Sussex Hamilton near Milwaukee and his final two here in Platteville from 2014–15.
Lawinger, a standout athlete in his youth first at Platteville High School and later at UW–Platteville, coached in 717 varsity softball games during his 37-year career, posting an overall record of 424–292. His teams won nine conference championships, 15 regional championships, eight sectional championships and competed in eight WIAA state tournaments.
Lawinger, a 1967 graduate of Platteville High School, moved back to his home town in the spring of 2014 to take over the PHS softball. Lawinger promptly led the Hillmen to a 16–6 record in his first season and to a share of the program’s first conference title since 2001. Platteville went 7–13 in 2015, his final season with the program.
Lawinger will be inducted with Dan Bayreuther (Fort Atkinson and Janesville Craig), Joel Claassen (Milwaukee Pius XI), Gary Haus (Rice Lake), and John Peterson (WIAA master umpire from Madison).
The Hall of Fame banquet will take place at the WFSCA coach’s clinic Feb. 8 at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Lawinger, who is also a member of the UW–Platteville athletic Hall of Fame as a three-sport athlete, is currently an assistant men’s basketball coach at UW–Platteville. The Pioneers are currently 13–1 overall, 3–0 in the WIAC and ranked #9 in the nation by D3hoops.com.
Lawinger is married to his wife Donna, since 1970, and they have one sonJess (Jessica) and one daughter Jaime Chmielewski (Jon) five grandchildren Jacob, Joshua, Rowan, Miller and Evelyn.