Bill Germann

Bill Germann was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. His parents, Hedwig and William Germann, were German immigrants who came to this country in search of a better life. Bill’s dad was drafted and served in the US Army during World War II from 1941-45 working as an interpreter. He was stationed first in Salinas, California, and later in Portland, Oregon where Bill’s older sister, Hedy was born in 1944. After the war, the family moved back to Brooklyn, where Bill’s younger sister Barbara was born in 1949. In Bill’s early elementary years, the family left the city and moved to Wantagh on Long Island. Bill attended a catholic grade school and then Wantagh High School.

Bill started soccer and wrestling in ninth grade and continued throughout high school, lettering in both. Bill attributes much of his success to his high school wrestling coaches Joe Marcino, Steve Babyak, and his great teammates. Some highlights of his high school wrestling career were being elected a Tri-captain and placing 2nd in the 1965 single-class New York State Tournament at 115 pounds.

Bill was recruited by Minnesota State University – Moorhead Hall of Fame coaches Bill Garland and Al Holmes. He graduated with a degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1969. While attending MSUM, he was a three-time NIC Conference Champion @ 130 lbs and a two-time NAIA All-American on powerhouse teams that included an NAIA team championship. Bill was also elected a team captain his senior year. Once again, much of Bill’s success can be credited to talented coaches and teammates, many of whom are in the NWHOF from their home states.

Upon graduating, Bill returned to Long Island to teach Physical Education and coach wrestling in the Valley Stream School District. At the completion of the school year, Bill was drafted into the US Army and served in Vietnam as an infantryman with the 1st Cavalry Division Co C 2nd Battalion from 1970-72. After his tour of duty, he married his college sweetheart Linda and they have been happily married for fifty years. Bill and Linda returned to Long Island, where both taught in the Hampton Bays School District from 1972-74. While there, Bill coached 9th-grade baseball, served as the head soccer coach, and started the first wrestling program at the school.

In 1974, he and his wife returned to Minnesota and took teaching positions in the Eden Prairie School District. Bill taught Physical Education and Health at the middle school and also coached junior high football and wrestling from 1974-77. He started the first soccer program at Eden Prairie in 1979 and was the head coach until 1982. He continued to coach JV soccer until his retirement in 2006. Bill was the head wrestling coach at Eden Prairie from 1977-98.

As much as he enjoyed coaching soccer, wrestling remained his true passion. He always said you can play a lot of other sports but you can’t “play” wrestling – it takes a unique combination of grit, tenacity, and skill.

During his tenure, his teams won five conference championships, one regional title, and many regional runners-up. Bill’s 1985-86 team won the region and took 3rd place in the MSHSL AA Dual Tournament. Bill coached Eden Prairie’s first State Wrestling Champion (Nick Ledin) in 1998. He stepped down from the head coaching position in 1998 but continued to coach the 9th-grade program until his retirement in 2006. Over 32 years at Eden Prairie High School, Bill had a career coaching record of 196-132-6.

Linda and Bill have two daughters and four granddaughters: Callie (Craig) Burris, daughters Emily and Isabella; and Lezlie (Rich) Tooley, daughters Finley and Signe.

Bill credits his coaching success to the excellent assistant coaches he has worked with over the years and the countless hours and sacrifices made by wrestlers, team managers, parents, and others – all of whom made this a most enjoyable time in his life.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

Our Mission: To honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary individual achievements, and inspiring future generations