Lewie Benitz ’65 and ’66 has had a highly successful career as a high school wrestling coach and teacher for 44 years. He is in the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, received the Lifetime Service Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and in 2007 became the second Wisconsin coach ever to be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame.
His career record at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids includes 689 wins, 17 state team championships, 31 regional titles, 29 sectional crowns and 31 Wisconsin Valley Conference championships, all state records.
Benitz, who wrestled in high school, chose UW-Stout in large part for its wrestling program and was a starter for four years.
UW-Stout became more than a school to Benitz when, in his junior year, both his parents were killed in a car accident. The university and especially Max Sparger, athletic director and wrestling coach, supported him and became his family during this crisis, he said.
Benitz’s favorite instructor was Bob Melrose — “a great teacher,” he said.
Benitz has been a mentor and role model to many, including his own sons, who are now wrestling coaches. His instruction isn’t just about wrestling but also about becoming contributing members of society, he said.

Summer Outlook 2012