Greg JentzGreg Jentz accepted a teaching job at Fennimore High School in the fall of 1980. He served as the boy’s physical education instructor, was the driver’s ed instructor and assistant track coach, but more importantly accepted the head wrestling coach position, a role he held for 33 years.

In those years he coached 3 state champions, 8 state finalists and 23 state place winners. He had 44 state qualifiers, 15 individual sectional champions and 71 sectional place winners. He coached 4 regional champion teams, spanning from 1989 to 2015.

In 2000, the team placed second at sectionals to the state champions, Riverdale. They had 5 state qualifiers and 3 that made it to finals, with one coming away as a state champion.

In 2015, the team won the team sectional and made its first appearance at team state. That team had 7 state qualifiers, and 4 place winners with one state champion. That year, coach Jentz’ last year – they had a dual record of 19-3.

And, the program kept building, even after coach Jentz officially retired from coaching in 2015. He continues serving as a volunteer coach and was part of the continued success of the Fennimore wrestling program. With 4 more trips to the team state meet and Championships in 2016 and 2019 and runner-up finishes in 2017 and 2018.

Coach Jentz also remains active in the Fennimore Wrestling Association, where he served as president for three years. He started the first Fennimore Wrestling Club in 1982 to start a youth program in the community.

Greg was no stranger to wrestling. He was introduced to the sport in junior high. He loved all sports, but his size made wrestling a sport he could be very competitive in from the start. Greg was a four-year starter at Platteville High School from 1971-1975, under head coach Dick Headington who instilled a love of wrestling in Greg.

At Platteville, Greg compiled a 79-18 record and won two Southern 8 Conference titles. He was also a 4-time sectional qualifier, but a trip to state always eluded him. In his senior year, he came back from a shoulder injury and held a 19-0 record going into the sectional final where he lost in overtime. Then, in his wrestle-back, he lost again – in overtime – by referee decision to end up third, keeping him out of state for his fourth and final year. The two individuals who beat him ended up going on to place 2nd and 3rd at state, but his loss to them didn’t stop him. He still had a desire to keep wrestling.

In the fall of 1975, Greg entered the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse under Dr. Alan Freeman where he became a four-year starter for the program. He graduated in December 1979 with his teaching degree and continued to graduate school, becoming the graduate assistant wrestling coach, and eventually earning his master’s degree.

Perhaps the biggest event in his college career was marrying his wife, the late Kim Jentz, who he met in high school. No surprise, she was a wrestling cheerleader from another conference school. Greg and Kim raised their three children, Craig, Casey and Courtney, on a farm in Fennimore. They grew up with a love of sports and showing Angus cattle. Today, Greg holds the proud title of ‘grandpa’ to 5 granddaughters, with one more on the way.

Greg credits his wife, children, parents – Mervin and Helen Jentz, siblings, teammates, coaches, officials, peers, colleagues and great kids and families for his success. He is forever grateful to each and every one of them.

Greg says, “I want to thank my mother and father for their support and the opportunities they gave to me. I want to thank my peers for being friends on and off the mat. And, I want to thank Bob Miller and Jamie Nutter for their continued support of wrestling and for thinking of me for this incredible honor. And, finally, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for selecting me.”

Greg has given over 40 years of service to wrestling community. He coached many wins and losses but most of all tried to do it the right way. Always with class and respect and at the end of the day it was about helping others become great and teaching them about having values and integrity and the reward of hard work.

Greg has been, and will always be, an ambassador for the sport of wrestling – especially in a place that means so much to him – southwest Wisconsin.

Gregory W. Jentz Career Milestones

Fennimore Head Wrestling Coach for 33 years 1980-2001, 2004-2015
Started the Fennimore Wrestling Club 1982
3 State Champions, 8 State Finalists
23 State Place Winners, 44 State Qualifiers
(7 Qualifiers & 4 Place Winners in 2015)
15 Individual Sectional Champions,
71 Sectional Place Winners
4 Time Regional Team Champions,
1989, 1999, 2000, 2015
SWC/SWAL Clash Champions 2015
Team Sectional 2nd place, 2000
Team Sectional Champions 2015
First Team State Appearance in School History
213-235-3 Career Dual Record
(19-3 Dual Record in 2014-2015)