2008 Bob Olson  Lifetime Service  New Richmond.jpgRobert Olson, born in Baldwin, Wisconsin in 1945, graduated from Baldwin-Woodville High School in 1963. He went to the University of Wisconsin - River Falls and earned a Bachelors degree majoring in mathematics education in 1967. In 1976, Bob earned his Masters of Education degree with emphasis in mathematics.

The two school systems consolidated in the fall of 1961 and became Baldwin-Woodville high school. Neither school had wrestling and a new team was formed. Bob started wrestling as a junior that year and became a captain both his junior and senior years. The new coach had no wrestling background, but he had boxed in college and he knew how to get his wrestlers in shape. Bob said he checked books out of the library and while practicing on the stage in the gym, we would go through the moves by the pictures.

Bob wrestled at UW - River Falls for four years under the direction of Byron James. Bob qualified three times for the national tournament. In 1966 Bob was a quarter finalist and received All-American honors. Bob was a regional champion for the 1968 Olympic trials.

In the fall of 1967, Somerset High School was looking for a mathematics teacher and coach. Bob got the position as the only mathematics teacher, head wrestling coach, and head track coach. Somerset had started a program the previous year. Bob stated they started virtually the same way as he had --- an introduction to wrestling with a coach, who had no previous experience.

A mathematics position and head wrestling position became available at New Richmond High School in the fall of 1972. Bob applied and was awarded the positions. He coached until 1992 and retired from teaching in 1998.

During Bob's 25 years of coaching, his teams earned a dual meet record of 196 - 139 - 4 record with one conference championship. There have been 36 conference champions, 24 state qualifiers, 11 place winners, three state champions and two runners-up.

For 26 years Bob was co-host of the MatTalk program broadcast over WIXK Radio in New Richmond. In its infancy the show was a half hour taped program. It developed into an hour long, live program featuring wrestling in northwestern Wisconsin. Its intent was to promote the wrestling programs of local teams. Bob, along with Don Hartman, developed the program in 1973. In the later years Walt Anderson was added as a third host. The trio later broadcasted from various conference tournaments and continued with the many regional, sectional, and state tournaments in all WIAA divisions. Mat Talk is no longer on the air as the radio station has since been sold. Bob said that we have continued to cover the tournaments through other stations in northwestern Wisconsin.

Bob has represented the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association in many aspects. He was District I representative for six years, Hall Of Fame Chairman for ten years, and on the WIAA Wrestling Rules Advisory Committee for two years. Also, Bob helped develop the portable display to feature the Hall of Fame inductees.

Bob and his wife, Hendrena, have three daughters: Lynnelle (Eric) Gabriel lives in The Woodlands, Texas; Heather (Tim) Droel lives in Dickinson, North Dakota; and Cherie (Dave) Birch lives in New Richmond, Wisconsin.

Bob is currently serving in his thirtieth year as a firefighter for the New Richmond Volunteer Fire Department. Bob serves as a volunteer for the American Red Cross with the local DAT team and volunteers time with Habitat For Humanity. He is active in his church and various local functions.