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Jerry Tighe Named To WAHA Hockey Hall Of Fame

The Wisconsin High School Hockey Coaches Association will
induct Jerry Tighe of Fond du Lac into its hall
of fame during a ceremony on September 6 in Eagle River.

Jerry Tighe was born on December 9,
1933 in Leroy, Wisconsin,
where he spent his youth, and then graduated from Mayville High School
in 1952.  Although Jerry never played hockey himself–the ice rink, the
love of the game, and all that comes with it– was his passion.  This
devotion led him to the Fond du Lac Blue Line Hockey Association(BLHA), where
he was a coach, leader, long-time member and diligent volunteer.  He was
instrumental in procuring a year round sheet of ice at the Fond du Lac rink in 1971.  He served the
Fond du Lac BLHA on the board of directors, including the role of board
secretary and president.  He began his coaching with the BLHA youth
program in 1972.  Youth coaching titles included state champions for
Squirt AA in 1975; state champions for Peewee AA in 1978; state champions for
Bantams in 1979 and Mid-America, Park
Ridge
IL
tournament
champions in 1980. 

 

Jerry’s legendary role as a youth
hockey supporter spurred him to help in spearheading the addition of varsity
hockey to the St. Mary’s Springs
High School
athletic
program.  In 1980, the Ledger Hockey team had its inaugural season of 30
games with Jerry as the head coach. He led the team for 6 seasons and was a
vital advocate to establish the first private high school state tournament in
1981.  Jerry’s impressive cumulative record as head coach of Ledger Hockey
is 145-39-9.  During his tenure, he led the team to four private high
school state championships and two Mid-West Tournament titles.  Seventeen
or more players that Jerry coached at the Springs went on to play college
hockey in the late 80s and early 90’s at the Wisconsin programs of Madison,
Stevens Point, Eau Claire and St. Norbert’s; along with the out-of-state
programs of RPI, Kent State, Notre Dame, Miami of Ohio, Northern Michigan and
Air Force.

 

Although Jerry retired after six years
as Ledger head hockey coach; his passion for the game has never left the
rink.  He has enthusiastically made himself available over the years for
the Ledgers and the BLHA.  Jerry was called back to coaching in 1988 when
Bob Ritzer reached out for his help to coach the Ledger JV program.  He is
an avid supporter of Ledger Hockey to this day and he, along with his wife
Betty, is regularly found at the rink supporting local hockey programs.

 

In addition to his exceptional service
to St. Mary’s Springs hockey and BLHA, Jerry was recognized by the Fond du Lac Chamber of
Commerce for his service to the community.  In 1981, Jerry was the
recipient of the St. Mary’s Springs Booster of the Year Award.  The state
hockey community recognized his dedication in 1985 with the State Hockey Coach
of the Year award. 

 

Before Jerry’s heart and time were
pledged to his love of hockey, he dedicated many years to Fond du Lac youth
baseball, and was inducted into the Fond du Lac Youth Baseball Hall of Fame for
his meritorious service.  He was also inducted into the Rock River
Baseball Hall of Fame for his years dedicated to playing and managing in that
league.  Jerry and Betty raised five sons: Dan, Dave, Don, Doug(1965-1981)
and Dean. They owned and operated Jerry Tighe Roofing in Fond du Lac, which is now owned by their son,
Dean.

 

The words of one Ledger grandmother
most pointedly describes the spirit of Jerry Tighe: “You’re one in a
million.  I don’t think there is another coach who strives to develop each
player’s skills and gives them the opportunity to strengthen that talent as an
individual and as a team member.  I think the fact that the Springs hockey
team has always had the reputation of depending on all the talent, the unified
team stands as a living tribute to the sense of commitment that you have
instilled. Because of this, our team does not have only one or two strong
players, but a whole bench of them,” said
Mildred
Hilbert

 

The Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1975
and is housed in the Eagle River Sports Arena. The Wisconsin Hockey Hall of
Fame was established to honor outstanding individuals responsible for the
development and success of amateur hockey in Wisconsin.

The ceremonies in Eagle
River
will include a golf
tournament, a banquet and the induction. All events are open to the public. For
more information, or tickets, call Joe Boxrucker at (715) 479-9772 or Pat Weber
at (715) 479-8912.