2001 Jerome Braun  Portage.gifJerry's 40-plus years of interest in and involvement with Wisconsin wrestling started in 1958 when he was recruited from a physical education class at UW-River Falls. Jerry wrestled from 1958 through 1962 for River Falls, lettering three seasons.

In 1961 Jerry did his intern teaching at Ellsworth, Wisconsin and had the opportunity to start a junior high wrestling program in Ellsworth with his mentor, Kriby Symes. Jerry accepted a teaching job at Portage in 1962, received his Masters Degree from Winona State in 1970, and remained in Portage until his retirement from teaching in 1998.

Jerry started the Junior High Wrestling program in Portage in 1962 and worked with the then head coach John Vovos, for the next ten years. IN 1972 Jerry assumed the position of head wrestling coach in Portage and when he left that position six years later, the varsity wrestling teams in Portage compiled a 75-11-1 dual meet record. In 1972, Jerry had the privilege to coach Portage's very first State Champion. His wrestling teams throughout these years held five conference championships, one sectional championship, and four regional championships. Also noteworthy is the fact that these teams had been ranked in the Sweet 16 for five of the six seasons and the 1977 and 1978 teams finished in State Top Ten. Jerry also started the Youth Wrestling Program in Portage, which is still one of the most enthusiastic and well-run sports programs in the City of Portage.

Jerry was a registered official with the WIAA for over 38 years and has officiated in every level of competition from Junior High through the Big 10. Although Jerry has officiated nine state tournaments, his personal highlight was being invited to officiate the 1997 state tournament (The first wrestling tournament at the Kohl Center and the last state wrestling tournament for Don Herman before Don's retirement in 1998). Jerry was an active member of the Officials' Assignments Committee and also worked with the WIAA as a wrestling rules interpreter from 1994 through 1998.