2004_Bob_Thomas4 - Copy.jpgBob Thomas is a 1954 graduate of Clear Lake High School. In high school, Bob played baseball and served as manager for the football team. After high school, Bob enrolled in U.W. Superior where he played basketball and baseball. He graduated from UWS in 1960 and received his Master’s Degree from Winona State University in 1972.
Following his graduation from college, Bob accepted a job in the Kickapoo Area Schools. He taught English and Physical Education and coached football, basketball, baseball, and track. (Kickapoo did not have a wrestling team.)
In 1964, Bob moved to Spring Valley and coached football and baseball. While teaching Phy. Ed., Bob introduced wrestling as an activity. In 1965, Spring Valley authorized a wrestling program and Bob was the coach. One year later the Cardinal wrestling team joined the Middle Border Conference where they stayed until 1971 when they moved to the Dunn-St. Croix conference.
Bob compiled a 129-87-2 record at Spring Valley High School and qualified 29 wrestlers for the WIAA State tournament. Two of the, John Kusilek (1983) and Bill Hofacker (1985) won state championships. From 1973 to 1978, Spring Valley won six straight Dunn-St. Croix conference championships.
In 1988, Bob accepted a position at U.W. Stout where he was head wrestling coach and assistant football coach, as well as a Phy. Ed. Instructor.
Bob’s Stout teams won 40 duals (the most by any coach in UW Stout’s history). He coached seven WSIC conference champions, 17 Division III national qualifiers and one national champion (Corey McCauley, 1994).
He was one of the organizers of the Northern Bader Holiday Wrestling Tournament.
Bob and his wife Helen live in Menomonie. They have four grown children – Mark, Sarah, Robert, and Jane Ogerding.