By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – Hot off its first-ever Fox River Classic Conference wrestling title, De Pere High School has hired Zach Hendzel as its new head coach.
Former coach Matt Kincade resigned after six seasons.
“I am honored to be the one to step up and become the head coach of De Pere wrestling,” said Hendzel, who is a 2017 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. “This program is something special, and there’s a lot to be said about the support of parents, the school and the community.”
When Kincade resigned after the season, De Pere hired West De Pere graduate Tony Kazik in April.
Shortly after accepting the position, a new professional opportunity arose for Kazik, who then resigned from the coaching job.
“Zach is a great teacher, and he’s already spent time on our coaching staff,” said Jeff Byczek, De Pere athletics director. “He’s spent his entire life in and around the sport. He relates extremely well with the kids, and we believe he’ll be fully committed to De Pere wrestling for the long term.”
Hendzel was an assistant coach last season under Kincade.
“I have a true appreciation for the work our team has been putting in and know exactly what it will take to continue to be a top program in the state,” said Hendzel, who is also a social studies teacher at De Pere. “Not only will we look to maintain our success on the mat, but we will continue to mold our wrestlers into tough and determined individuals. The potential of De Pere wrestling is limitless.”
The Redbirds won their first-ever conference championship this past season with a 7-0 record in FRCC duals.
De Pere also had a school-record 12 wrestlers qualify for a WIAA Division 1 sectional meet.
In a text message response, Kincade said it was the right time for a younger coach and teacher in the district to take over the program.
He also said the program is in great shape for the future.