Fred Lehrke Obituary: Former DC Everest wrestling coach died at 89

Fred Lehrke Obituary

Fred Lehrke Obituary: Former D.C. Everest wrestling head coach and National Wrestling Hall of Fame member Fred Lehrke died on Sunday, 3 Dec. 2023.

Fred Lehrke began teaching at Oregon High School in Wisconsin in 1963. He had graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In just three years, he led the team to a Conference Championship and a great 24–9 record.

He continued to be a great coach at Kettle Moraine High School, where he led another Conference Championship team in just two years. The school finished with an impressive 42-18-1 record. He became the head coach at Monroe High School in 1970 and had a lot of success in just three years.

In 1972, his team won the Badger Conference Championship, placed second in the state championship, and had a 27-8 overall record. Lehrke then went on to coach at D.C. Everest High School in Schofield, Wisconsin.

The wrestling coach started his coaching career at his hometown school in Oregon after a college career at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. After stops at Kettle Moraine and Monroe, he landed at D.C. Everest in 1973 where he would remain for nearly two decades until his retirement.

Lehrke quickly found success, leading the Evergreens to their first state title in 1978. They were victorious in 1982 and 1986 as well, with Lehrke’s team record through his first seven seasons a sterling 153-59-1. Lehrke was named the Wisconsin Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1978 and 1986.

He was named to the Wisconsin George Martin Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1981, and later the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2001 for his Lifetime Service to Wrestling.

After Lehrke retired, his son, Eric, took over the program. For 46 years, Lehrke was in charge of the D.C. Everest program. Each year, the Evergreens host the ‘Fred Lehrke Invitational,’ named for Fred.

Visitation will be at the Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Weston on Dec. 13 from 4-8 pm, with the funeral on Dec. 14 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church at 11 am.

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Tributes to Fred Lehrke

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