Wayne Bruno

Wayne Bruno came to UW-La Crosse in 1962 from Downers Grove, Illinois. He wrestled for La Crosse until 1966, when he graduated with a double major in Physical Education and History. He began his coaching career in 1967 as a volunteer graduate assistant at UW-L. In 1968, he began coaching in the Kickapoo School District, where he taught elementary physical education, coached junior varsity and junior high football, and was the varsity wrestling coach. While he was at Kickapoo, his teams recorded 100 dual meet victories, won the school's first Scenic Central Conference and Regional Championships, and qualified Kickapoo high schools first wrestlers to the State Tournament. During that same period of time, Coach Bruno also participated in state and international exchange programs and sponsored some of the first WWF and AAU takedown and freestyle spring and summer tournaments for youth and high school wrestlers in the southwestern area of the state. In 1979, Wayne moved his family, which included his wife, Kathy, daughter, Anne, and son, Tony, to the Sauk Prairie School District. He again coached football for five years and was the varsity wrestling coach, along with teaching social studies at Sauk Prairie High School. In his first 11 seasons with the Eagles, his teams brought Sauk Prairie its first Badger Conference, Regional, and Sectional Championships. After winning other Conference and Regional Championships, and producing a number of Conference, Regional, and Sectional individual champions, WIAA State qualifiers, place finishers, and a State Champion, Wayne "retired" in 1990. That year he was voted District 5 Coach of the Year and was chosen as the Baraboo Order of the Elks Coach of the Year. Although "retired," at the high school level, Wayne continued coaching as a volunteer at the youth level and with the Wisconsin Weigh-In Wrestling Club. In 1993, Wayne returned as head coach at Sauk Prairie. During his time there, his teams won numerous tournaments and recorded 225 dual meet victories. Wayne's teams were consistently recognized by Top Ten and Honorable Mention rankings in the "Crossface" newspaper. In addition, he remained involved with USA Wrestling at the youth and high school levels and sponsored another German Exchange Program. Wayne is active with the Wisconsin Weigh-In Wrestling Club and is currently serving as President. Under his leadership, the club has expanded its involvement to include the fast-growing sport of Women's Wrestling. For the last eight years, the club has sponsored a training site for Team Wisconsin at Middleton High School. Wayne retired from teaching in 2004. In 2005, he was inducted into the George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame. He has continued his coaching career as a volunteer coach at Wisconsin Heights, Mount Horeb, and Sauk Prairie High Schools. As of 2019, he will be entering his 52nd year of coaching, and his ninth year as an Assistant Coach under Head Coach, Kent Weiler, at Middleton High School. Outside of wrestling, Wayne helped implement and teach the first Advanced Placement U.S. and European History classes at Sauk Prairie High School. He has been a volunteer at the Good Neighbor Clinic and for the Harley Davidson MDA Ride. For 15 years, he has been a Reading Buddy for third graders and worked with students with physical disabilities. He and his wife, Kathy, also proctor Advanced Placement exams. Wayne's family has grown to include son-in-law, Aaron, daughter-in-law, Shelly, and three grandchildren, Grayden, Grace, and Simon. 1967-1968 ~ Volunteer Graduate Assistant - UW La Crosse 1968-1979 ~ Head Coach - Kickapoo High School 100 Dual Meet Wins Teams earned school's first Conference and Regional Championships Qualified school's first WIAA State Tournament Qualifiers Started and Coordinated AAU and WWF Youth Programs Started and Coordinated AAU and WWF Summer Takedown and Freestyle Tournaments Hosted German/American Exchange 1979-1990; 1993-2004 ~ Head Coach Sauk Prairie High School 225 Dual Meet Wins Teams earned school's first Conference, Regional, and Sectional Championships Qualified many WIAA State Tournament Qualifiers and Place Finishers Coached one NCAA Division I four-time Big 10 Place Finisher and one-time NCAA All-American Expanded youth program Hosted German/American Exchange WWCA District 5 Coach of the Year BPOE Coach of the Year 2004-Present Inducted into the George Martin Hall of Fame Volunteer Coach at Wisconsin Heights, Mount Horeb, Sauk Prairie High Schools Varsity Assistant Coach at Middleton High School Wisconsin Weigh-In Wrestling Club Scholarship Coordinator Wisconsin Weigh-In Wrestling Club President Host Training Sites for area wrestlers' grades 5-12 Host Training Sites for Women's Team Wisconsin


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