History of Kaukauna boys basketball

Coach Schalow to be inducted into Kaukauna High School athletic hall of fame

Four former students and a current coach are being inducted into the Kaukauna High School athletic hall of fame on Saturday, June 20, during the Kaukauna Alumni Foundation Rally at Van Abel's of Hollandtown.

Barbara Huss, Brad Sanderfoot, Brian Sanderfoot, and Zoe Stewart will receive their awards at the rally, while Coach Mike Schalow will receive his award before a varsity basketball game on Dec. 22.

Coach Mike Schalow enters the hall of fame for his success with the basketball program as the coach of the Kaukauna Varsity Boys Basketball Team. Schalow recently completed his 20th season as head coach, since his hire in 1995, and has compiled a 294-169 record. Included in this run of success is four conference championships, with the Ghosts winning the Fox Valley Association in 1997, 2008, 2010 and 2012. Previous to Schalow's tenure, Kaukauna had not finished better than fifth in the conference in 17 years.

Schalow points to the long-term success of the program as his greatest professional accomplishment thus far. "Kaukauna basketball is the only conference school to have 12 consecutive seasons of winning basketball. Success measured over the test of time," he said.

Former KHS Activities Director Corey Baumgartner agrees, explaining, "I would attribute the success of his program to his creating the blueprint of how any high school athletic program should be built. While he spends an exorbitant amount of time focusing on the varsity, he is also a key individual in the development of the youth feeder program."

There have been several FVA Coach of the Year honors and Schalow has had several players named all-conference and all-state. He counts 63 players having appeared on all-conference teams, 10 players named all-state, 12 players named WBCA All-Stars and four players named conference player of the year.

His 2000-01 team became the first Kaukauna boys' team to advance to state, qualifying in Division 1. Although the Ghosts lost to Rhinelander in the quarterfinals, that season remains special to Schalow. "Winning the sectional championship in 2001, at the arena in Green Bay, and knowing we would be the first team to go to state in school history is one of my favorite memories."

Among the other special memories was 2012 when the Ghosts finished 25-3 and "won the silver ball," finishing as runner up to Onalaska.

This past season, the Ghosts finished 20-4 and were ranked No. 1 in Division 2 for a large portion of the season.

According to current Activities Director Kyle Schleis, "Coach Schalow is a model for what good coaching looks like. Mike is very structured with his routines both for his players, as well as the students in his class. The kids respond well to the self-discipline he instills in them and models for them." Schleis continued to talk about Schalow's impact on his players, "One of the most telling signs of his impact on kids is when they come back several years after graduating to thank him, help at practice or just simply chat with him."

Baumgartner added, "While Mike does demand a lot out of his players, he continuously gives them just as much, if not more, back. Those student-athletes who have played for Coach Schalow leave with an excellent work ethic, a sense of family and pride and the skills to be successful (in the future)."

During his tenure, Schalow had the fortunate opportunity to coach his two sons, Jacob (Class of 2010) and Kyle (Class of 2014). Schalow considers their growth from ball boys to young men as another of his greatest accomplishments. "Coaching both Jake and Kyle has been very rewarding; not only of what was accomplished on the court, but all the additional time and conversations we have had together off the court because of basketball. It is a time in my life that is very special to me and I have great memories from which I feel very blessed. Seeing both of my sons go on to play in college is exciting for our family, and we are certainly very proud of the commitment they made to earn basketball scholarships."

The "we" Schalow referred to is him and his wife Dawn. "My wife has been with me every step of the way. Her continuous support, encouragement and willingness to be there for me, has allowed me to do this for the past 28 years, and hopefully many more. Having two boys has allowed them to be a part of the process. They have been in the gym from little on and have played many roles during their development from ball boys to great players and teammates. Basketball has and is a part of our family. We, as a family, are very grateful for the many memories of what basketball has done and means to our family."

Schleis added simply, "Coach Schalow dedicates himself to his wife Dawn and two sons."

Schalow is a 1981 graduate of Marshfield High School where he participated in basketball, baseball and football. In 1985, he received a BS Degree in PE, with a coaching concentration. He later received a MA Degree in 2013 in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in Irvine, Calif.

After coaching middle school and freshmen teams, he spent two years as head coach at Leland High School, southwest of Chicago. He then was a graduate assistant at Northern Illinois University for one year. He was head coach at Dakota High School in Dakota, Ill. for six years. His 1993 team played in the Class A Illinois State Tournament. His record was 90-70 and was named Illinois Basketball Coaches Association District Coach of the Year in 1993.

He was hired as a PE teacher and coach at Kaukauna in 1995. Schalow was the Wisconsin Basketball Association Division All Star assistant coach in 1999 and served as head coach in 2001. He currently serves on the WBCA as the Division 2 coaches' representative. He also served as co-interim athletic director for one year.

 

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