Don Hartman new.jpgDon Hartman spent most of his childhood years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, growing up in the tiny lumbering town of Nahma, where he participated in athletics. He graduated from Nahma high school in 1960. Wrestling was not an interscholastic sport in Upper Michigan until the late 60's, so Don's first exposure to the sport was as a coach. After high school, Don attended Northern Michigan University where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1965 and his master's degree in 1971. He did his student teaching at Kingsford high school and then returned to Northern Michigan University where he taught physical education classes while working as a graduate assistant. In 1967 Don moved to Oconto, Wisconsin, where he taught biology and physical education and coached wrestling, football and track. Two years later he moved to Pulaski, Wisconsin where he was assistant coach under Hall of Fame Coach Jim Richie. At one point, the coaching staff at Pulaski consisted to Jim Richie, Don Hartman, Joe Kind and Emil Kuhn; all now members of the George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame. Don coached football as well as wrestling at Pulaski. It was at Pulaski Don met his wife Judy. Three years later the Hartman's moved to northwestern Wisconsin and settled in Osceola where Don served as wrestling coach for 20 years while teaching physical education and health. While Don coached at Osceola, the Chieftains won 7 conference championships, winning 107 conference matches, losing 20 and tying 1. Don's overall record at Osceola was 153-71-5. His teams won 25 various team titles, 4 regionals and 2 sectionals. During this era Osceola had 64 all-conference wrestlers. Twenty-nine Osceola wrestlers placed in the State Tournament and 2 individual state titles were earned. In 1985 Don was honored as WWCA Coach of the Year in District One.

Don was a member of the original group who created the George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame  and the original Selection Committee. Later Don would serve as chairman of the Hall for four years. During that time, it was his task to establish the George Martin Hall of Fame display in the UW fieldhouse. Wrestling was the first association to do so. He also served as area representative, vice-president and president of the Coaches Association. During Don's term as president, George Martin was posthumously inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Mrs. Martin requested Don represent the Wisconsin coaches and to make the presentation address. Don also served two terms on the WIAA Wrestling Rules Advisory Committee and worked at many camps in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin during his coaching career. Over the years Don has hosted "Mat Talk" on WIXK Radio along with Bob Olson and Walt Anderson. The program was aired every Sunday evening during the wrestling season for one hour. Since retiring from coaching, Don and Walt also do the play-by-play of the state tournament, as well as conference, regional and sectional meets. Don was Inducted in to the "George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame" in 1996 and received the "Lifetime Service Award" from the National Hall of Fame in 1999 and the "Northern Michigan University Sports Hall of Fame" in 2000.