2006 William R Verbeten  Wrightstown.jpgWilliam R. Verbeten, son of William J. and Coletta Verbeten, the youngest of 10, was raised on a dairy farm in Greenleaf, WI. He attended Wrightstown High School and was a member of the wrestling, football and baseball teams. After graduating in 1970, Bill was employed at Ariens Co. in Brillion for 3 years, and then at Giddings and Lewis in Kaukauna, as a machinist for 15 years. In 1971, he married Shari and they have 6 children: 4 sons, Matt, Keith, Don and Billy; and 2 daughters, Christine and Stephanie. Three of the children are married, adding three daughters-in-law, Michelle, Tabitha and Alicia and six grandchildren Cole, Kaden, Kyler, Hayley, Cierra and Wyatt to the family. Bill and Shari took over the family farm in 1977. A 420 head veal calf barn was added in 1996. Having retired from the dairy business in 2006, Bill and Shari still operate the veal calf business along with raising beef and cash crops.

In 1972, Bill began the Jr. Tiger Elementary wrestling program in Wrightstown where he is presently coaching. He started the elementary wrestling tournaments in 1975, which were first sponsored by the FFA Club. A few years later, Bill organized the Wrightstown Wrestling Club, which sponsors the Elementary Tournaments, a Wrestling/Raffle Fun-Nite as well as other fundraisers. These club fundraisers benefit the K-12 Wrightstown wrestlers and the club programs.

Bill became involved in the Wrightstown High School wrestling program when hired as an assistant coach in 1979. In 1986, Bill was named head coach, a position he still holds.

The year he became assistant coach, Wrightstown qualified its first state tournament wrestler. At least one Wrightstown wrestler has qualified every year since. The Wrightstown wrestling team won the state Championship in 2005. Bill has coached over 100 conference individual champions, 11 Conference Champion Teams, 15 Regional Champion Teams, 10 Sectional Champion Teams, 82 individual State qualifiers, with 6 Individual State Champions, 3 State Champion Teams and 1 State Runner-Up Team. He has been selected District Coach of the Year five times, The Post Crescent Coach of the Year in 2005, the State Coach of the Year as well as the Press Gazette Coach of the Year in 2006. Bill's coaching career record consists of 280 wins with only 40 losses. In 2002, The Wrightstown High School wrestling team, school and community received the WIAA/Rural Insurance Sportsmanship Award at the Team State Tournament.

Bill also coached the first girl, his daughter Stephanie, to wrestle in the state tournament. This was at the 1999 State Team Tournament, which Wrightstown won, claiming their first Team State Championship.

Dennis Hall summer wrestling camps at Wrightstown began in 1996, when Bill decided it would be a great addition to the program. Dennis was a Silver medallist in the Olympic Games and a Gold medallist in World Cup competition.

Bill introduced out-of-state tournament wrestling to the Wrightstown team in 2003. That year, they entered the KSA National tournament in Orlando, FL. The team placed second in the tourney. In 2004, they traveled to the Dawg Pound Classic in Pensacola, FL., winning the championship. In 2005, Bill took his team to the Richmond invitational in Richmond, VA. Bringing home another championship trophy. In 2006, the Wrightstown team will again participate in the Richmond tournament.

Bill has coached and mentored many athletes. Several were inspired to become coaches themselves. His 4 sons entered the coaching staff at the elementary level as well as the high school level. Son Matt was named State Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005. Son Don has accepted the head wrestling position at Reedsburg High School for the 2006-07 season. Other notables include Mike Buechler who now coaches at Freedom and Steve Leurquin, the head coach at Cambridge. Several other grads are coaching in the Wrightstown elementary program.

Bill is also active in the Wrightstown community. He has been the Town of Wrightstown Town Chairman since 1985, President of the Town Planning Commission and Zoning Board for several years and serves as an usher at St. Patrick's church in Askeaton.

Bill has been involved in other sports over the years. He played touch football for 18 years, and softball for 36 years. He stopped playing to take up officiating the game for the past 2 years. Bill has coached the 7th and 8th grade football teams for the past 10 years. Bill also enjoys deer hunting during that season.

Bill would like to thank the Wrightstown School Board for giving him the opportunity to coach the wrestling team. He extends a special; thank you to the other coaches he has had the pleasure of working with. He follows with a thank you to the parents of the Wrightstown wrestlers as well as the fans who are so supportive of the team. Thank you to the wrestlers themselves for making his career so memorable and for making this award possible.