Wausau’s Jim Wendling Named “Breakout Coach of the Year” by USA Curling


Wausau West High School curling coach Jim Wendling, who also organizes the annual Tietge High School curling bonspiel and the Wisconsin state high school curling championships at the Wausau Curling Center, has been named “Breakout Coach of the Year” by USA Curling.

He was one of four US curling coaches and athletes honored by the curling organization, whose CEO Dean Gemmell said “as the new curling season gets underway, it’s great to recognize athletes and coaches who performed so well last year.”

Wendling had been a coach of two runner-up finishes at the U-18 (under 18 years of age) national championships, but in 2023 his team—led by son Wes—went on an undefeated run to win the Men’s U-21 Junior National Championship

Wendling credits many others with helping and influencing him along the way.

“Marcia and Cal Tillisch, Dennis Tietge, Lucas Ostrowski, and many others have helped me learn the game and grow as a coach,” he says.  “I also need to mention Scott Armstrong from Appleton.  He and I coached Wes's team for the last seven years and have pushed each other to find the next thing that would make our team better.”

The other USA Curling individual awards went to Cory Thiesse, female athlete of the year; Korey Dropkin, male athlete of the year; Cathy Overton-Clapham, coach of the year, and Pam Wilson, wheelchair athlete of the year.

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