2000 Vern Pieper  Lifetime Service  Stoughton.gifMr. Pieper became the Head Wrestling Coach at Stoughton High School during the 1961-62 school year. Prior to that he had coached for 4 years at Richland Center after his graduation from Winona state University in MN. Pieper's team made Wisconsin wrestling history when they won 3 consecutive State Championships in 1975-76-77. His teams have won 5 State Titles over a 10-year period and he has had 12 individual State High School Champions ... the most notable being Russ Hellickson (a 1976 Olympic Silver Medallist) and Badger standout Andy Rein.
In 1977 Pieper was honored as Wisconsin Wrestling Coach of the Year by the Amateur Wrestling News. Since becoming the head coach at Stoughton, Pieper has coached eleven teams to conference championships and has had 32 place winners in the State Tournaments.
In 1970 Pieper was President of the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association and in 1977 he received the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Service Award for 20 years of coaching

LaVerne Pieper 1936-2017

Stoughton - LaVerne Milton Pieper, age 81, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, October 1, 2017. He was born on July 5, 1936 in Caledonia, Minnesota, the son of Milton and Lorena (Krick) Pieper. He married Beverly J. Krieger on June 14, 1958.

Vern is survived by his wife Beverly Pieper; children, Pamela (Mark) Sosna of Signal Mountain, TN., Nancy (Gary) Dvorak of Stoughton, Shelley (Jim) Gerber of Stoughton, Dan Pieper of Columbia, MO., and Ron Pieper of Stoughton.; grandchildren, Josh, Jake, and Elizabeth Sosna, Chris, Nick and Rachel Dvorak, Sean (Melissa Carmody), Eric (Mackenzie), Ben and Michael Gerber, Emily (Jacoby Bell), Andrew and Claire Pieper, Cianna, Sam, Ty, and Sophie Pieper; great grandchild Jayce Bell. He is also survived by his brother, Bernhard Pieper; sister, Joanne (Ron) Jahns, and brother in-law Donald Strange.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Milton and Lorena Pieper; sisters, Linda Pieper and Dawn (John) Meyer; mother-in-law, Esther Boyer; sisters and brother in-law, Wanda Pieper, Marian Strange, Dorothy (Bob) Wade; granddaughter, Megan Dvorak.

Vern graduated from Winona State University where he earned four letters in football and two letters in wrestling and became a NAIA All-American. After college Vern was a teacher and the wrestling coach in Richland Center from 1958-1962 and in Stoughton from 1962-1995.

Vern coached 7 State Team championships along with 20 Badger Conference championships, 28 State Individual champions plus 53 other state place winners. Of those two individuals became silver medalists in the Olympics and both became Big Ten coaches. (Ohio State and Wisconsin)

In 1997-1998 his team scored 140 points in the State wrestling tournament; the highest point total in the 45-year history of state wrestling tournaments, still stands today.

Vern received many accolades throughout his career. Some of which are;
1968 Madison Area Sportsman Award
1975 Wisconsin High School Coach of the Year - Scholastic Wrestling News
1976 Wisconsin Coach of the Year
1977 Wrestlers of WI Award for Being President
1978 Twenty-five Year Coaching Award
1979 WI George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame
1988 Wrestling USA Man-of-the-Year
1994 Stoughton Sports Booster Club President's Recognition Award
1997 Officiated NCAA III Wrestling Championships
1997 Stoughton High School Honorary "S" Club Member
1999 Richland Center Wrestling and Athletic Hall of Fame
2000 Winona State University Athletic Hall of Fame

Vern was a good Christian man. He was a founding member of Good Shepherd by the Lake Lutheran Church. Vern loved his grandchildren, Cubs, Stoughton Wrestling, and gardening. Vern received the Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellowship award. Vern and Bev were King and Queen of Syttende Mai in 1999.

In Lieu of flowers memorials to: Good Shepherd By the Lake, LaVerne Pieper Achievement Award, or Agrace HospiceCare.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 6, 2017 at Good Shepherd By the Lake, 1860 US HWY 51, Stoughton. Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Cress Funeral Home 206 W. Prospect St., Stoughton. Additional visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of services on Friday at Church. Vern will be laid to rest at Lutheran Cemetery South in Stoughton. Following the services family and friends are invited to a meal in the Church Fellowship Hall.