‘Mineral Point was where I wanted to be’: 26 individual champs later, local wrestling coach retires
MINERAL POINT, Wis. — Anyone who has been to the Wisconsin high school state wrestling tournament knows Mineral Point.
The small town of just under 2,500 people brings busloads of rowdy fans decked out in blue to the Kohl Center to fill Section 215 at the Kohl Center every single year.
The Division 3 power house has been coach by Scott Schmitz, or “Schmitty,” for the past 32 seasons, and on May 22, he announced he is retiring from coaching wrestling, the sport he has dedicated decades to.
#POINTERNATION LEGACY. Head Wrestling Coach Scott Schmitz has announced his retirement from the mat after 32 years. Thank you, Coach, for your immeasurable impact on Mineral Point and wrestling throughout the state and country. @WI_Wrestling @WIWrestlingFed pic.twitter.com/MVSdaw6DGQ
— Joëlle Doye (@Rockshot_Joelle) May 22, 2019
Schmitz told News 3 Now: “It (coaching wrestling) was something I always wanted to do. It was always in the back of my mind that I would come back (to Mineral Point) and take over for my high school coach, Al Bauman. It just so happened that he retired the year I graduated. Mineral Point had a part-time physical education position. They said it would turn into a full-time job in a year or two, so I took it. Mineral Point is where I wanted to be.”
Schmitz took over the Mineral Point wrestling program in 1987-88 after Bauman announced he was retiring. According to wiaawi.org, since Schmitz starting coaching the Pointers, they have taken home plenty of hardware, including four team championships (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009) and two runner-up trophies (2010 and 2011). Besides team championships, Schmitz has helped 26 Mineral Point wrestlers make it to the top of the podium.
Schmitz said he has a lot of memories from his coaching days but the first time his team qualified for team state in 2003 was one that stood out to him. “The 26 individual state titles I coached were all special because I got to witness each kid reach their goals,” said Schmitz.
Another memory of Schmitz’s that resonates with him is when he was able to coach his nephew, Tucker Pittz, to two state championships. Schmitz said, “The funny thing about it is the day (Tucker) was born, I called what weight he would be at and what mat he would be on when he won his state titles.”
Schmitz isn’t just highly decorated with team and individual championships; he has been named Wisconsin coach of the year three times and district coach of the year five times, is a member of the Wisconsin Wrestling Hall of Fame and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, according to mineralpointwrestling.com.
So what’s next for the coaching legend? He says he will spend his free time with his wife and will continue teaching physical education at Mineral Point School District.
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