Inducted in 2003
Don coached football for thirty-six years, 35 of those as an assistant. From 1961-65 at John Muir Junior High School in Wausau; 1965-66 as head coach at Auburndale High School; 1966-1971 at Columbus High School in Marshfield; 1971-1997 at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point (with the exception of two years, 1983 & 1984, when he was assistant football coach at UW-Stevens Point). Don retired from coaching and teaching in 1997.
Don was the oldest of three children born to Pat and Eileen Soderberg of Thorp, Wisconsin. He graduated from Thorp High School in 1957 earning three letters each in football, basketball and baseball. Ray Gripentrog, a WFCA Hall of Farner, was Don's high school football coach.
In 1961 Don graduated from UW-La Crosse with a B.S. Degree in Physical Education and Health. In the fall of '61 he began his coaching and teaching career. Four years of summer school at Northern Illinois University earned him a Master's degree in Physical Education in 1967.
During 33 of his 36 years of coaching football, Don worked with 3 WFCA Hall of Fame coaches: he worked under Win Brockmeyer while in Wausau, Walt Kroll at Marshfield Columbus, and as offensive coordinator with Bob Raczek at Stevens Point Pacelli. During his high school coaching career, his teams' records totaled 229-81-2. While at Auburndale, Columbus and Pacelli they won 12 conference championships, made 14 WISAA play-offs, won 2 WISAA State Championships, and were WISAA runners-up 4 times.
In 1996, Don was named WFCA District XXIII Assistant Coach of the Year and also received the WFCA 30 year Service Award. Besides coaching football, Don also coached basketball for 25 years. In 2000, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. That same year he was inducted into the Pacelli High School Athletic Hall of Fame for football and basketball.
Highlights of Don's coaching career include coaching many terrific young men and being associated with a number of outstanding coaches. His most significant memory (and honor) was coaching his four sons in football and basketball.
Organization membership included AAHPER, WAUPER, WADA, WFCA, WBCA and he served on the WBCA All-Star selection committee.
Finally, Don wishes to extend a special thanks to the WFCA for recognizing assistant coaches for the role they play in a team's success and to the coaches responsible for his nomination and induction into the WFCA Hall of Fame.
Tag(s): Hall of Fame