Petitgoue to speak at Hall of Fame ceremony
JANESVILLE Jerry Petitgoue, far more than a living legend in Wisconsin high school basketball, will bring his amazing story to Janesville.
Petitgoue, a 42-year pillar in Cuba City boys basketball and the sport's winningest coach in state history, has accepted an invitation to be the guest speaker at the 24th annual Janesville Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The Janesville Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Gazette, has scheduled the 2013 program for Saturday, May 25, at the Janesville Performing Arts Center. Daniel P. Clark, Loren Clark, Claude Miller, Holly Nehs LaChance and Kevin Sippy will be inducted.
Petitgoue, who has no plans to retire, just completed a 26-1 season at Cuba City, taking his team to the WIAA state tournament for the second straight year and eighth time overall. His Cubans were unbeaten in the regular season for the second straight year before losing in the Division 4 state semifinals to eventual champion Whitefish Bay Dominican, which also defeated Cuba City in the 2012 state title game.
The latest success lifted Petitgoue to an 846-201 career record, highlighted by 1981, 1991 and 1998 state championships. His storied career began in 1963 and included a 62-20 record in four seasons at Gratiot.
After two years as an assistant in Galena, Ill., his hometown, Petitgoue became Cuba City's head coach in 1971. He had a 20-3 season his first year and has compiled a 784-181 record at the southwest Wisconsin school, which has an enrollment of 253.
After the state runner-up season a year ago, Petitgoue announced that the 2012-13 season would be his last. However, in citing his perfect health, he had a change of heart last December and put his retirement plans on "hold" for the foreseeable future.
Petitgoue has spent 48 years in education but has retired from classroom teaching and as Cuba City athletic director. In addition to his coaching, however, Petitgoue remains active as executive director of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association, a position he has held since 1985.
As the author of 18 basketball videos, Petitgoue is known throughout the basketball world for his expertise and his popular Tri-State Basketball Camp. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003 and has been named the state's Coach of the Century by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Petitgoue graduated from the University of Dubuque (Iowa) in 1983. He received his master's degree at UW-Platteville in 1968.
Petitgoue's career has been documented in "A Driving Passion," a book written by Jim Swenson of the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald and published in 2011.