Induction Year: 2009
Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award
Richard Kuzminsky was a champion college wrestler who became one of the leading high school wrestling coaches in Wisconsin. He is inducted into the Hall of Fame as recipient of the Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award, named for the university's legendary coach and athletic director.
As a Yellowjacket, Mr. Kuzminsky lettered in wrestling for four years. He won a state championship in the 118-pound weight class in 1966 and that year placed 5th at the NAIA National Wrestling Championship. He was team captain as a senior during the 1969-'70 season and, at the end of that season, was named Most Inspirational Wrestler by his teammates.
Mr. Kuzminsky spent a year as an assistant wrestling coach at UW-Superior, and then went on to spend more than 30 years coaching high school wrestlers in Mosinee, Wisconsin.
Mr. Kuzminsky led his student-athletes to 240 dual-meet victories. Over the years his wrestlers claimed 28 individual team championships, nine conference championships and three regional championships. Six of his wrestlers claimed individual state championships.
Widely recognized for his skill and leadership, Mr. Kuzminsky often was invited to serve as top coaching clinician at wrestling clinics throughout Wisconsin. In 1981 he served as assistant coach with Coach Mortorelli in leading the USA-NAIA All-Star Wrestling Team on a cultural exchange trip to Korea and Japan.
In recognition of his many years of outstanding work with young athletes, the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association inducted Mr. Kuzminsky into its Hall of Fame in 1997.