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home : opinions : our views August 22, 2017

7/19/2017 12:21:00 PM
For the love of sports
J. Patrick Reilly

The WIAA, the governing body of high school sports in Wisconsin, will be losing a 25 year icon at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Deb Hauser has announced her intention to retire after serving the organization for the past 25 years. She will be missed.
I first met Deb when she was teaching at Darlington and coaching the girls basketball team. She had a team with limited talent but had done a great job instilling the love of the game into the girls. While people love a winner, you have to love a team that competes hard and plays that way because someone showed them the game is fun.
She later accepted a position with the WIAA and has more than made her mark.
She has always been a leading advocate for girls participation in sports and expanded sport opportunities for boys and girls.
In a statement from the WIAA, "She has been a significant contributor in establishing association policies and regulations throughout her career. Her belief in the benefits achieved through participation in high school sports guided her through her 40-year career in high school sports and education."
Deb has overseen state tournaments in golf, soccer, tennis, swim and dive, and basketball. She has worked with the officials program, seeking quality people to umpire, judge and referee. She was instrumental in making the move from Madison to Green Bay for the girls basketball state tournament a smooth transition along with moves from Madison to Milwaukee for boys and girls soccer and golf to University Ridge. She has also been instrumental with developing the division system in all sports and has done extensive study in conference realignment.
Throughout it all, she has been a good person. When I attend a state tournament, she is the first one to greet me and "catch up" with how things are going in southwest Wisconsin. She doesn't do that because it is required but rather because she knows we share a love of sports.
Maybe there will be a movie made someday about the pure love of the game and if that happens, Deb Hause should be in a starring role.

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