Athens honors late wrestling coach with banner

Jerry Wagner guided Athens wrestling from 1962-1995
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 8:47 PM CST
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - Nationally revered wrestling coach Jerry Wagner helped put Athens and the sport on the map. Now, his former school honored the late legend.

During Athens’ wrestling quad Thursday night, the school unveiled a banner in the gym to remember what he did for the school. Wagner won six state team titles and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2001.

“It is important to recognize what Coach Wagner has done for Athens High School, the community of Athens, and even bigger than that, what he’s done for the sport of wrestling,” athletic director Craig Diedrich said.

The banner lists Wagners accomplishments, and includes a picture of the coach they called “Buddha.”

“As a coach, everything that he taught me as a wrestler, I’m trying to replicate all those same things to build a successful program over in Marathon now,” Marathon wrestling coach Kraig Underwood said.

More than 20 wrestlers were in attendance for the tribute.