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Former Colfax coach elected to WVCA Hall of Fame

by Marlys Kruger

It was only a matter of time before someone decided former Colfax High School volleyball coach Pat Groskopp should be recognized for all her achievements as the first volleyball coach in Vikings’ history.

That time arrived last month when current coach Pam Meredith nominated her and received word Groskopp had been chosen along with several other coaches from around the state to be inducted into the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association (WVCA) Hall of Fame.

The ceremony took place at a banquet December 6 at Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.

Groskopp, a native of Clear Lake,  taught physical education and coached for a year in East Chain, MN in 1974, then started her teaching and coaching career in Colfax  in 1975.

In those days, it was not uncommon for physical education teachers to coach multiple sports and Groskopp did just that. She started the volleyball program and coached 32 years until her retirement in 2007.

She was also the varsity track and field coach for 25 seasons and coached varsity basketball for 15 years.

Her volleyball teams won seven Dunn-St. Croix Conference championships and four regional titles and her coaching record was 348 wins and 184 losses. 31 of her players earned First team All Conference awards while 27 were chosen Second Team and 29 honorable mention. She coached one All State player, Angela Wait who went on to play for UW-Superior and for the profession team the Wisconsin Fury.

Groskopp was recognized by the WVCA earlier in her career for her 200th and 300th wins and served on their board for several years.

Knowing that college teams all used the rally scoring, went to 25 points to win a set  and played three of five sets, Groskopp pushed the conference and the WIAA to change high school scoring to the same system, making it easier for players to adjust from high school to college ball.

“After coaching volleyball around the area for 20 years, I had seen Pat coach and knew how much time she put into the sport,” Meredith said. “When I took over her teaching job and the volleyball coaching job I knew I had big shoes to fill. Many of the Hall of Fame inductees were from large schools but she had just as impressive of a record and had put in just as much time with the sport as they did and I felt she was more than deserving of this honor,” she added.

Groskopp had no knowledge of the nomination and was pleasantly surprised when Meredith called her to tell her she had been chosen.

“I am very honored, especially since some of the other inductees are friends of mine,” she said. “My name will be put on a wall at the Resch Center where they hold the state volleyball tournament along with so many other great coaches. I still love the game and I have been helping Pam by coaching the lower grade kids. She has had so much success herself, hopefully these kids will help her program in the future. Volleyball has come a long way from the 1970’s and it continues to become bigger and better every year here in Wisconsin,” she concluded.