Vern Pieper

By TomM October 5, 2017 08:00

Vern Pieper

Vern Pieper

July 5, 1936 – October 1, 2017

Arrangements / Visitation / Service

Thursday, October 5 / 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cress Funeral Home, Stoughton 206 W. Prospect Street Stoughton, Wisconsin 53589

Friday, October 6 / 11:00 AM
Good Shepherd by the Lake Lutheran Church 1860 Highway 51 Stoughton, Wisconsin 53589


Stoughton remembers immense contribution of Hall of Fame coach LaVerne Pieper

JON MASSON Oct 3, 2017

Dan Spilde was a state champion wrestler and a member of Stoughton coach LaVerne Pieper’s final state championship team in 1988.

Then, after college, Spilde returned to serve as an assistant for Pieper.

The impact Pieper had on Spilde, the Vikings’ wrestling program and the Stoughton community was immense, said Spilde, co-coach with Bob Empey of the Stoughton wrestling program.

“Outside of my own father, he was as important a male figure as I’ve had to date in my life,” Spilde said Monday. “He had that effect on a lot of people. He was a positive role model and a great human being. He always did the right things and did the right things at the right time.”

Pieper, a member of the Wisconsin and national wrestling halls of fame and the architect of the successful Stoughton wrestling program, died Sunday in Stoughton at the age of 81.

“The memories are so powerful,” said Spilde, who won an individual state title at 132 pounds in 1987. “So, there are good feelings. But thinking about him not being with us anymore is so sad. He left such an impact on me. You can’t help but be proud of what he did for me and others.”

The Vikings claimed seven team titles during Pieper’s 33-year reign as coach: 1968, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1987 and 1988. Russ Hellickson and Andy Rein were among the multitude of wrestlers coached by Pieper, who earned state coach of the year honors and served as president of the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association.

Stoughton athletic director Mel Dow said Pieper was a not only a local legend, but a state and national legend in the sport of wrestling. Few individuals contributed to the sport with such capacity and passion as he did, Dow said.


Picture: Stoughton High School Wrestling Facebook Page


By TomM October 5, 2017 08:00
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