Chargers Athletic Program Coaches
at Hamilton High School
transcribed and edited by Michael R. Reilly
“Grove era ends at HHS”
by John Tindall,
Sussex Sun Staff Writer, December 11, 2001, pages 1, and 8.
Am institution on the gridiron and in the classroom has taken his fianl snap with the end of the 2001 high school football season.
Stan Grove, 63, head coach of the Hamilton Chargers football team for 32 years and a member of the Hamilton coaching staff for 39 years, leading football and golf teams, has retired. Grove says he will remain active in the football program to help ease the transition from his decades-long run to a new era.
“He had a tremendous impact on the program. ” said Hamilton Athletic Director Mike Gosz. “He’s had an impact on the kids involved in the program, on the lives and futures they’ve developed.”
Grove graduated from Waupaca High School in 1956, earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1961 and a master of arts degree in teaching and chemistry in 1970. He began his coaching career at Bonduel Ahigh School in 1961 and joined the staff at Hamilton in 1963.
During his tenure, he elveated the Hamilton football program to champioship form, building a record studded with achievement.
He led the Chargers to four conference championships; the 1980 Western Division Braveland title, and the 1994, 1995, and 1996 Parkland Conference Championships. He was the winning head coach of the 1984 All-Star Shriners Game. His teams made 10 consecutive playoff appearances from 1990 to 2000, including a runner-up finish in 2000.
Off the field, Grove worked to advance and improve high school football across the state. He served as a district representative for the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association from 1977 to 1995, and was vice-president of that organization from 1995 to 2001. In 1999, he wwas elected to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
He won 205 games, lost 106 and tied once.
“I’m proud of the tradition we’ve built,” Grove said last wek, noting that his run at Hamilton was facilitated by a strong core of support.
“You don’t coach at one place for 39 years without loyal assistants and players,” he said. The Chargers’ coaching staff Grove leave behind has a combined 140 years of coaching experience, he said.
Key members of that staff include Fred Eimermann, with 21 years of experience, John Vitale, 16 years, Jay Bergemann, 15 years, and Jim Lawinger, 26 years.
Working with his is secondary to knowing the man,” said Eimermann. “He truly believes every player on his team is somehow related to him, sometimes like a son.”
Eimermann said Grove commonly involved himself in the personal lives of his players when they needed guidance off the field. He did so without fanfare, quietly helping to improve his players lives.
He did the same for his coaching staff, handing over control of duties he held dear in order to give another coach an opportunity. Eimermann said during his years with Grove he was a “sponge”, soaking up valuable information from the veteran head coach and storing it until it was needed.
“He’s a fine, caring individua, a” said Eimermann, whose son is Grove’s godson.”
Through his championships, victories and losses, Grove remained focused on the people around himm. He said his championship seasons are a close second to the greatest memories of his career.
“The highlight in 32 years was the opportunity to coach my two sons.” he said, Jeff Grove graduated from Hamilton in 1984, and Matt Grove graduated in 1988.
Hamilton is currently seeking a new head coach to lead the chargers in 2002, but Grove will literally leave his mark on the program. The school’s football field will bear his name next season.
To his predecessor, Grove leaves some simple advice:Be ready to Work.
“He’s going to have to be willing to dedicate his whole life to football,” he said. during the season he would routinely work 60, 70 or 80 hours each week preparing his team.
During the off-season? Grove says there’s no such things.
“It’s not a job that’s there just during football season,” he said.
The Hamilton School District website has just a few lines announcing the open position:
“Head Varsity Football Coach – Hamilton High School – 2002 Season. experience in coaching football (head coach preferred); leadership and supervision experience; and teaching certification and willingness to teach in the Hamilton School District.”
That’s not quite enough to describe what it will take to replace Grove, Eimermann said.
“There aren’t enough adjectives to describe this individual,” he said. “It may sound silly, but it’s like when Vince Lombardi quit, to this area.”
“Thos are some awfully big shoes for a fairly short man.”