MADISON — Former Platteville High School assistant football coach Wayne Jentz was inducted into the Wisconsin High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame on Saturday at the 38th annual WFCA Hall of Fame Awards Banquet.
Jentz joins a number of others from Platteville High School to be enshrined in the WFCA Hall of Fame, including former Hillmen coaches Willford Hill, Vern Vradenburg, Ray Heim, Mark Berg, and Dennis Kueter.
Jentz was joined at the induction ceremony with his parents Mervin and Helen Jentz, his wife Chris, their children Danna, Brett, and Jessica, as well as grandchildren. Also in attendance were Heim, Kueter, former Platteville coaches Wally Trouten and Greg Quam, and current Platteville assistant coach and former Hillmen head coach Scott Statz.
“I would like to thank the many great athletes who made my years of coaching so enjoyable and rewarding and I am very thankful for their effort and commitment to being the best they could be,” said Jentz. “Thank you to my fellow coaches who share this honor with me, especially Mark Berg, Dennis Kueter, and Scott Statz. A special thank you to my wife, Chris, and our children, Danna, Brett, and Jessica for their support and encouragement over the years.”
Jentz graduated from Platteville High School in 1973, where he participated in cross country, basketball, track and field, and baseball. During his senior year, he was captain of the cross country team, the track team and the baseball team.
In 1973, Jentz qualified for the state track meet and played in the state baseball tournament. After high school he attended Winona State University, where he earned his BS degree in physical education in 1978. He went on to earn his Masters degree in 1989, also in physical education. While at Winona State, he participated in track and field for two years.
Jentz began his teaching and coaching career at Platteville High School in 1979. He served Platteville public schools for 34 years, teaching drivers education and physical education and was an assistant football coach for all 34 years.
Over those three-plus decades he coached running backs, receivers, defensive ends, cornerbacks, and safeties, and was the defensive coordinator from 2002–12. During his coaching career, Platteville had 259 wins and 113 losses, won 16 conference championships, and qualified for the WIAA playoffs 25 times. The Hillmen made it to the WIAA state finals twice during Jentz’s coaching tenure, winning the 1983 Division 4 state title, and 30 years later were the D4 runner-up in 2013, Jentz’s final season.
He was named District XIV Assistant Coach of the Year in 2006. He also received the 25 and 30 year WFCA service awards.
Jentz also coached basketball for 28 years (20 years as an assistant boys coach and eight years as the girls’ head coach) at Platteville High School, and track and field for 25 years, 16 years as the head girls track coach.
As the head girls’ track coach, his teams won nine conference championships and was the Division 2 state runner-up in 1992. His girls’ basketball team won the school’s first conference championship in the 2012–13 season. He was named the conference Coach of the Year, in the 2010 and 2013.