Inducted in 2004
John graduated from Green Bay Premontre in 1966, where he excelled in football, basketball and track. He played Defensive Back and Quarterback on an athletic scholarship to St. Norbert College. John earned his B.A in Sociology from there in 1970.
Coach Nowak has taught Sociology and Physical Education at Green Bay Premontre and Notre Dame Academy for 23 years. Through coaching he has been associated with Premontre and Notre Dame athletics for 31 seasons. After 13 years as an assistant coach, John was promoted to head football coach and has served in that capacity for the last 18 seasons, four with Premontre and the last fourteen with Notre Dame Academy. He has led his teams to either WIAA or the former WISAA playoffs 16 out of 18 seasons.
As a member of WISAA, his teams won a Division I State Championship in 1992 and played in the State Championship Game in 1995, 1997, and 1998. In the past four years with the WIAA, his teams won a Division 3 State Championship in 2003, and was State Runner-Up in 2000. He was named Green Bay Press Gazette's Football Coach of the Year in 2003. In Coach Nowak's ten seasons in the Fox River Valley Conference, his teams have won four conference championships. He was named Conference Coach of the Year four times and District Coach of the Year twice. His overall record is 123-72.
In track, Coach Nowak's teams won the Division 2 Boys State Championship in 2002 and were the WISAA State Boys Runner-Up in 2000. Coach Nowak was named the WISAA Boys Track Coach of the Year in 2000. His girls track teams have won three Conference Championships; his boys teams have notched one Conference Championship. He has twice earned Conference Coach of the Year Honors in Track.
John's commitment as a coach goes beyond teaching the fundamentals of the sport; he prides himself in teaching his athletes that the formula for living one's life - both on and off the field - is hard work, discipline, and integrity. He has developed a free football clinic for grade school athletes and coached both Little League baseball and grade school basketball. In recognition of these efforts, John earned the Red Smith Award for his contribution to adolescents in the Green Bay area.
Tag(s): Hall of Fame