2015 Paul Cudd2.jpgPaul Cudd Jr. (Pauly) is a graduate of River Falls High School, Class of '71, and UWRF in 1999. Pauly was a champion on the gridiron and on the wrestling mat, earning fourteen letters during high school and college in these sports.
Playing football for the Wildcats throughout high school, Pauly was an all-conference linebacker, making the 2nd team All Northwest in 1969 as a junior. As team co-captain his senior year, he made 1st team all-conference offense, 2nd team all-conference defense, 1st team All Northwest, and was awarded the Berger-Kolberg award for leadership.
Pauly first became involved in wrestling in 1967 during his freshman year, gaining immense knowledge and experience that would benefit him in the years to come. He placed at regionals and sectionals his sophomore and junior years and was a 185# state entrant in '69-70. After mending from a broken leg incurred during a football game his senior year, Pauly came into the '70-71 wrestling season late and wrestled powerfully well. The culmination of several years of hard work paid off. The team placed third at state and brought Pauly a first place finish in the 1971 Wisconsin State Wrestling Tournament, the first state championship title for River Falls. This feat would be repeated by his son Joe in 1997 and 1998, making them one of three father-son state wrestling champions in Wisconsin history at that time. Pauly was inducted into the inaugural class of the RFHS Wildcat Hall of Fame in 2011.
Athletic success followed Pauly into the collegiate arena, lettering four years in football, named twice to All-Conference and twice awarded the Offensive Player of the Year and the Best Blocker designation as a UWRF Falcon. Pauly also lettered three times in wrestling. He was a conference runner-up as a freshman, conference champ at 190# in 1973, a three time national qualifier (190# and Heavyweight), and a member of the conference championship team in 1981-82. For his athletic prowess and achievements, Pauly was an inductee in the 1999 UWRF Athletic Hall of Fame.
The end of his active participation in sports as a player gave birth to new roles, that of organizer, coach, school bus driver (transporting the high school team), and commentator. In 1977 high school coach Dave Amdahl enlisted Pauly’s help in expanding local wrestling involvement, creating the River Falls Youth Wrestling Club, an organization still active today. Pauly also served as the assistant wrestling coach at RFHS from 1987-90. He began commentating high school wrestling events for local cable in 1991.
Pauly has been a volunteer firefighter for the River Falls Fire Department since 1981, and was named the 1996 Fireman of the Year. He owned and operated the RF Corner Youth Center from 1989-2000.
A lifetime resident of River Falls, Pauly and his wife, Debbie, his high school sweetheart, have three children and seven grandchildren. He is a property manager for family businesses and in 2009 Pauly opened his own glassblowing studio (glassbypauly.com).