There is an old adage where coaches will stress that success in their profession is measured in more than just wins and losses. While that is true, no one can argue that 600 wins for any high school coach is a tremendously successful accomplishment.
Wisner-Pilger head boys basketball coach Duane Mendlik hit that milestone this week as his team defeated Stanton, joining just three other high school coaches to hit this historic win plateau.
Mendlik joins the likes of Hampton’s Jerry Eickhoff, 670 wins; Spalding Academy’s Ed Colleran, 648 wins; and Madison’s Fred Letheby, 612 wins.
“I’ve kind of left the counting up to my family. After I thought about it Tuesday, though, it’s not too bad of an accomplishment,” said Mendlik.
In his 42nd year as a head coach, Mendlik had to average around 15 wins per season to hit this plateau. He attributes his 600-318 record to his good fortune.
“I’ve been real fortunate to have good kids all along the way. Kids that did what I wanted them to do,” said Mendlik.
There’s no hiding the fact that Mendlik’s philosophies about the game of basketball start on the defensive end of the floor. He is known all around the area for the 1-3-1 pressure defense his teams put on their opponent.
“Over the years, I wouldn’t say we’ve played great defense, but we’ve played pretty good defense. You have to score some too, but I just believe defense can keep you in every game,” said Mendlik.
For the full story, pick up the January 15 Wisner News-Chronicle, or call 402-529-3228 to subscribe.