By Cara L. Dempski
COLFAX — The head girls’ basketball coach at Colfax High School has won 531 games in the 27 years he has held his position.
He and his team were awarded a silver basketball as the Division 4 state runners up in 2013.
He has taken teams to the state tournament three times.
His Viking girls’ basketball team has won seven Dunn-St. Croix championships since the 2008 – 2009 season. They have won 19 overall.
The Lady Vikings have won 12 regional titles and three sectionals during his tenure.
And now coach Joe Doucette can add one more honor to his list of achievements: Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee. He will be inducted September 30 during a ceremony at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
[emember_protected] Doucette was selected as a 2017 inductee the week of January 30, 2017. In order for an active coach to be nominated, he must have served for 20 years, or more, as a head coach. The Colfax coach is not one to take much credit for himself.
“The one thing we’ve always done is tried hard,” Doucette said in a recent interview. “We’ve never skimped on our effort or our caring for the kids.”
The Colfax coach also gave credit to the excellent youth basketball programs and assistant coaches he has worked with over the past few decades.
Joe Doucette grew up in Superior and has always loved sports, according to a press release provided by the WBCA. He graduated from Superior Senior High School in 1977, and went on to attend UW-Superior, where he played baseball for four years.
His coaching career started at Winter High School, where he coached for three years for a 48-21 record, one conference championship and one regional championship. He moved to Colfax in 1990 after accepting a position as the elementary physical education instructor.
While the head of the Viking girls’ basketball program did not have much to say regarding the honor, one of his former students who is now a coaching colleague did. Patrick Boughton, who is a graduate of Colfax High School, first met Doucette when he was eight years old and Doucette taught at Colfax Elementary School.
“He was my elementary physical education teacher, then he was my high school track coach,” Boughton explained. “Now I compete against Joe in sectional basketball play.”
Boughton, who coaches the Eau Claire Regis girls’ basketball team, explained he circles the Colfax game on his calendar every year, not just because it is always a good competition, but because it is a chance to spend time with Doucette, talking about a variety of things. The Viking coach may not be a man of many words, Boughton explained, but if you listen closely, you can always learn something.
Doucette is described as one of the most competitive coaches in the area, and other coaches have said his ability to get his teams to buy in on his competitive spirit is unbelievable. There are even some coaches who say they would gladly have years that are as good as Doucette’s “off years.” Boughton said he has been asked what it is like to play against Colfax.
“I jokingly tell them it is much like little league baseball and you are out in the outfield swatting the gnats away,” Boughton expressed. “But no matter how many times you swat at them, they keep coming back at you harder and harder. That is exactly what it is like to play Colfax.”
What has always stuck with many people, Boughton included, is Doucette’s strong relationship with his family and his values of competing hard, working hard, and not giving up. One of Doucette’s daughters, Courtney, has already joined him as an assistant coach. Boughton said the other Doucette daughters will not be in college forever, and predicted a whole coaching bench of Doucettes in the near future.
The press release sent by the WBCA indicates Doucette’s family is important to him, and he feels he would not accomplish much without them.
He names his wife, Tracy, as the program’s backbone the whole entire time.
The release says “Together, they were partners and were able to build a strong foundation. Her tireless efforts of running concession stands, fundraising, and lifting everyone’s spirits could not be replaced.”
Doucette also names his parents, Moe and Bud, as huge supporter of anything he does.
Doucette seems content to keep working with the young players at Colfax, coaching them and teaching them to stretch their skills and their limits beyond what they thought was possible.
If that keeps happening, the wins will keep rolling in. [/emember_protected]