2001 Darrell Laschen  Loyal.gifAs of 2001 Darrel "Lash" Laschen is enteredi his 40th year of coaching high school wrestling, his 34th at Loyal High School.

Darrell was born in Milwaukee and is a 1956 graduate of Milwaukee Pulaski High School, where he wrestled for four years and was a state individual runner-up. He wrestled three years at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, majoring in English and physical education. After earning his college degree, he taught and was head wrestling coach at Peshtigo High School (starting the school's wrestling program from 1962-1964. He then taught and was head wrestling coach at Middleton High School from 1964-1967.

He found that small-town life suited him well after he accepted a job teaching physical education and being named head wrestling coach at Loyal High School in 1967. There, he coached the program to 25 Cloverbelt Conference championships, three Bi-State Classic team championships, 14 state regional championships, and three state sectional championships. He has coached more than 70 individual conference champions and more than 60 individual state qualifiers.

Under his direction, the program has rolled up well over 300 dual meet victories. His longevity in coaching has allowed him to have team competitive prior the creation of Wisconsin's class systems, and both in Division II and Division III.

Wins and losses aside, Darrel has become well-known throughout the state for his willingness to give young men the opportunity to compete. He has seen athletics as an opportunity for a creative outlet for the "unsettled" type of young person and has been known to take many troubled youth "under his wing." A motto of his program has been to "build young men first, and the records will follow." In naming his family, Darrell quickly names his wife, Mary, his dog, "Speckles", and the many, many wrestlers to whom I was a big brother to over the past 40 years.

He also has assured that young people in the neighboring school district of Greenwood have had the opportunities to wrestle, in recent years making them part of his program through a cooperative team.

Darrel has been modest in accepting credit for his success.

"Much of Loyal's success in wrestling has to be credited to dedicated wrestlers, the parents of many of those wrestlers who showed an interest in the program and the alumni wrestlers and fans who have helped develop the wrestlers and the program."

While serving as head wrestling coach, Darrell also has coached girls' softball, baseball and football at Loyal. He was named the WIAA girls' softball Coach of the Year in 1981 and coached three state championship and three state runner-up softball teams in eight state tournament appearances.

Darrell's personal athletic career also has continued with his participation in Senior Olympics programs and senior softball. He has been named All-American twice in senior softball play and this year was named "Most Valuable Player" at the USSSA World Senior Softball Tournament at Denver.