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William Ferris - Rice Lake / Hayward / Fort Atkinson

03/01/2003, 12:00am CST
By Wisconsin Sports Network

Inducted in 2003

William graduated from Harvard High School, Harvard, Illinois, in 1964. He earned seven varsity letters: Football (2), basketball (2), baseball (3).

As a senior he was awarded the American Legion Athletic Award and was voted most valuable player.

In 1964, Will attended and played football at Trinity University in Texas. In 1965, he transferred to Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, playing football for three years and lettering. He graduated in 1968 with a BA in Business Administration and with a teaching certification in social studies. In 1974, Will earned an MS degree in Education from Northern Illinois University. In 1984, he completed a certification in guidance and counseling from University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Will has coached football at five high schools since the fall of 1968. He has been an assistant coach for 4 years and a head coach for 23 years with a 157-67 head coaching record.

He began his coaching career in 1968 in Illinois, serving as an assistant varsity football coach at South Beloit High School. In 1970 he became head football coach at Stillman Valley High School. In the five years coaching at Stillman Valley his teams had a 34-11 record including three conference titles and reaching the quarterfinal game in Illinois' first state playoff (1974).

Will and his family moved to Rice Lake, Wisconsin, in 1975 where he taught social studies and continued as the head football coach. Over a ten-year period his teams hold the all-time Rice Lake record of 84-20, winning seven conference titles, two state runner-up titles (1980 1982), and one state championship title (1979). In 1983 he served as an assistant coach in the Shrine All-Star football game.

Will and family moved to Hayward, Wisconsin, in 1986 where he began his guidance counselor career and continued as the head football coach. In the four years at Hayward High School his teams recorded a 27-12 record including a co-conference championship and state championship title (1987).

Will moved to Fort Atkinson High School in 1990 and served as the head football coach until 1993, compiling a 12-24 record competing in the Badger Conference. He continued as a guidance counselor at Fort High until his retirement from counseling in 2001.

Since 2001 Will has returned to coaching football, serving as an assistant coach at Rice Lake High School. He was honored in 2001 by being inducted into the Rice Lake Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Tag(s): Hall of Fame