EmpeyBobGMHoF2018Honoree2.JPGRobert "Bob" Empey grew up in Athens, Wisconsin with parents George and Mary Empey, younger sister Sarah (Bittner) and younger brother Nick. Bob's wrestling career began in fifth grade in the Athens elementary program under the guidance of Hall of Fame Coach Jerry Wagner. In high school Bob competed in cross country, wrestling, and track. As a graduate of Athens High School in 1989, he had advanced to the sectionals in both cross country and wrestling and was a part of two Marawood Conference Wrestling Championship teams.

Bob attended the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and began his college career under the leadership of Hall of Fame Coach Marty Loy. As the demands of school and work increased, he turned his focus to school and coaching in the Stevens Point Area Wrestling youth programs. In 1994, Hall of Fame Coach Dave Amdahl hired Bob as his assistant coach at Stevens Point Area Senior High. Bob served in that position until 1996.

In the fall of 1996, Bob was hired as a Physical Education teacher in the Stoughton Area School district and served as the assistant coach under Dan Spilde. In 1999, Dan provided the opportunity to serve in the Co-Head Coaching position. Since that time, the Vikings have won 14 Badger Conference Championships, 17 WIAA Division 1 Regional Championships, 12 WIAA Division 1 Sectional Championships and State Team Berths, 5 WIAA Division 1 State Runner-up finishes, and the 2018 Division 1 State Team Championship. Bob has coached 16 Individual State Champions, 52 Individual State Placewinners, and 93 Individual State Qualifiers. In addition, Stoughton was awarded the 2009 Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award presented by the WIAA. Bob has been WWCA District Coach of the Year seven times, and Wisconsin State Journal Coach of the Year three times. He has compiled a current record of 338-82 during that time. Today, Bob and Dan continue work side by side to lead the great Stoughton tradition as it was passed on from the legendary Hall of Fame Coach Vern Pieper.

Bob began coaching with the Junior Greco Roman wrestling level with the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation in 1999 and continues to coach today. Bob has coached 110 Junior Greco All-Americans, 11 Junior Greco National Champions, multiple Novice Goodwill Dual teams, multiple Junior Greco Dual teams with two teams receiving the Rolle Hoover Sportsmanship Award. He was the 2005 USA Cadet World Team Coach, and the 2016 USA Schoolboy Pan Am Greco Team coach that won both Freestyle and Greco titles. He also served as team leader and lead clinician during that time as well with the WWF.

Bob began his involvement with the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association in 2000 as treasurer and served two terms as President of the association. Bob served on the WIAA Wrestling Coaches Advisory Committee multiple times and has been a member of the WIAA Minimum Weight Project Committee since 2004. Currently he is serving as treasurer of the Coaches Association and is the Representative of the WWCA to the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation. As a member of the WWF board, he has served as the Representative since 2008 and has served as a board member and the treasurer during that time.

Bob is grateful and humbled by the great opportunities and experiences the Stoughton Wrestling Community, WWCA, and the WWF have provided. He is thankful for the athletes and coaches friendships that have developed over the years. In addition, he is fortunate and honored to have had great assistant coaches and been part of many great coaching staffs that have promoted student/athlete excellence. Bob is especially thankful for his family. Bob and his wife of 20 years, Lyn, have three great sons; Brooks, Griffin, and Gatlin. The boys have been a solid foundation to an active coaching career. He can not thank Lyn enough for understanding all the time away from home and unconditional support throughout the years. Bob thanks the members of the committee of the George Martin Hall of Fame for selecting him for this great honor.