Menomonie's LaBuda Named Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Football Coaches Association High School Coach

Posted Dec 5, 2002

Joe LaBuda, head coach at Menomonie High School, has been selected as the Green Bay Packers' and WFCA High School Coach of the Year the Packers announced Thursday.

LaBuda, who just finished his 14th year as head coach of the maroon and white, began his coaching career in Gainesville, Fla., as an assistant at North Marion High School from 1984-87. He went on to spend the 1988 season as head coach at Marion before accepting the head coaching position at Menomonie in 1989 where he's since earned 5 state titles (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002) and 12 conference titles.

The maroon and white finished the 2002 season 14-0 and captured the Division 2 State Title defeating Brookfield Central 17-14. This season raised LaBuda's all-time coaching record to 151-23 (.868). Menomonie has reached at least the semi-finals 10 out of the last 11 years.

LaBuda graduated from Berlin High School in 1980, where he played football under coach Steve Stellmacher and also participated in basketball and baseball. He attended Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn., where he played football for the Golden Bears under Jim Braun. He graduated in 1984 and has been in health and physical education ever since. A native of Berlin, Wis., he and his wife, Colette, have a daughter, Katie (7), and son, Jace (4).

"I'm honored and humbled to win this award," LaBuda said. "I think it is a reflection of the great group of kids I have had the privilege of coaching this season. I'll share this with the rest of the outstanding coaches on our staff. I'm grateful to be able to work with them."

The Packers and the WFCA recognized one outstanding high school coach as their Coach of the Year winner for the 2002 high school football season. As a Coach of the Year winner, LaBuda will be awarded a $2,000 donation to the school's football program from the Green Bay Packers. He will also be presented with his award at the Packers home game vs. Buffalo on Dec. 22 and honored in January at the WFCA all-state banquet in Stevens Point.

This is the second year both organizations have awarded the honor together. The WFCA has awarded a Coach of the Year since 1976, while the Packers have presented the same award since 1998, in addition to the Coach of the Week program which has recognized 56 outstanding coaches statewide.

More information regarding this award is available on the world wide web at

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