Luke FrancoisLuke Francois was born in Madison, Wisconsin on July 4, 1971. He lived in Middleton with his parents, Tom and Beth, and siblings Sara and Mickey until moving to Baraboo, WI at the age of five. Upon the move, Francois began wrestling in the Baraboo Youth wrestling program competing at youth state and nationals under the direction of Coach Howie Hanson. At age 10, Francois returned with his family to Middleton and wrestled under the direction of Wisconsin Wrestling Hall of Fame coach Terry Shockley. In high school, Francois was a four-year letter winner wrestling for Coach Parker Vivoda, qualifying for the state tournament twice and in 1989 placing fifth as a senior. He was captain of the wrestling and football teams and started as a linebacker on the 1987 state championship football team and was the recipient of the wrestling sportsmanship award.

Following high school, Francois was a four-year letter winner and two-time captain at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Under the direction of Wisconsin Hall of Fame Coach Willie Meyers, Francois competed on the 1991 WSUC Conference Championship team. He was a Scholar All-American and qualified for the NCAA Division III National Tournament in 1994. Francois was the recipient of the Englund Sportsmanship Award in wrestling.

Francois began his coaching career in 1994 at Stoughton High School with Wisconsin Hall of Fame member Dan Spilde. In 1995 Francois moved to Waterford, WI. As head coach of Waterford, he coached three state champions, multiple state place winners, and his team to the State Runner-Up finish in 1997. Francois credits Coach Pat Jauch as his assistant. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) recognized the Waterford community with a Sportsmanship Award, and the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association (WWCA) recognized Francois as the District Coach of the Year. Francois returned to his alma mater in Middleton and was named head wrestling coach in 2000. Francois remained the head wrestling coach until being named Athletic Director of Middleton High School from 2003-2011. Francois remained a co-head coach with Division III All-American Kent Weiler through 2005. Throughout his tenure at Middleton, Francois is recognized for hosting Greco State, assisting Wisconsin Hall of Fame member Jill Brandl Gurtner with coaching the first girls-only wrestling team, and the first to host all-girls state wrestling tournaments in 2003 and 2004.

A servant leader, Francois was the Awards Chair and on the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for the WWCA. As President of the WWCA, he created the SAGE Committee charged with archiving the history of Wisconsin wrestling. As an athletic director, Francois served as President-Elect of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association. During his tenure as a school administrator, he served on the WIAA Coaches Advisory, WIAA 7% and Medical Advisory Committees, and the WIAA Board of Control from 2016 to 2018. At the national level, Francois represented Wisconsin as the state representative to the National Wrestling Coaches Association. As Superintendent of Schools in Mineral Point, WI, Francois was recognized as a Friend of Basketball and Wisconsin School Public Relations and the Rural Schools Administrator of the Year in 2017.

Coupled with the encouragement of Francois’s parents and siblings, his wife Tiffany and children Kennedy, Lucas, Jacob, and Matthew surrounded him with love and support. Kennedy managed the Middleton High School wrestling team and competed in golf and soccer, and all three boys competed in wrestling and were active in sports.