1994 Joseph Hegenbarth  Cumberland.gifJoe Hegenbarth was born and raised in Rice Lake, WI. He graduated in 1951 from Rice Lake High School, where he was a two-sport letter winner. Joe attended the Barron County Normal School and received a teaching diploma in 1953. He spent a stint in the Army from 1953 to 1955 where he was exposed to the sport of wrestling.

Upon his discharge from active service, Joe reentered college at River Falls and signed a contract to teach at Palmer Rural State Grade School, south of Cumberland, in 1956. During these years he attended summer school at River Falls and wrestling classes and clinics under the tutelage of George Martin, Ben Bersurd and Byron James. He received his B.S. in 1961 from UW-River Falls and his M.S. in 1970 from UW-Superior.

Joe started the Cumberland High School wrestling program in 1959. He coached in the Cumberland program 35 years, 25 as head coach.

Success is synonymous with Hegenbarth and his Cumberland program. His record as head coach was 213-75-5, which included seven Heart of the North Conference championships, eight WIAA regional titles and one section championship. Joe had a tremendous impact on the young men he coached as he sent 30 wrestlers to the WIAA State Tournament with 16 place winners, including 3 state champions. He has also coached 71 Heart of the North champions, 68 individual regional champions and 20 sectional champions. In the past 22 years, 17 of his Cumberland teams were ranked or received honorable mention in The Crossface rankings.

Joe has received many honors including recognition by the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association, Heart of the North Conference and Who's Who in American High School Wrestling Coaches Association. Joe had the honor or presenting Cumberland wrestlers John Peterson and Ben Peterson as charter members of the George Martin Hall of Fame in 1977.

A philosophy that Joe has adhered to is that "our greatest natural resource is the youth of our nation, and they should be able to grow and develop into outstanding leaders through our athletic programs." Joe retired from coaching and teaching in 1994, after 40 years in public education.