STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Mel Dow, the associated director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, was enshrined into the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame during the induction ceremony in Green Bay on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Dow enters the Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport of wrestling in Wisconsin and beyond. Individuals are recognized for their efforts as coach, competitor or contributor in promotion and growth of wrestling, as voted on by the WWCA Executive Board.
In his role with the WIAA, he currently oversees the sports of wrestling, cross country and baseball. In addition, he serves as the administrative liaison for the 7% Committee, Sports Medical Advisory Committee and all eligibility matters.
He is credited with the planning and implementation of the inaugural Girls State Wrestling Championships in La Crosse in 2022, and the planning and integrating of the girls tournament into the boys individual tournament at the Kohl Center in 2023.
Prior to joining the WIAA, Dow served on various WIAA committees, including the Coaches Advisory Committee, 7% Committee, Sportsmanship Committee and the Sports Advisory Committee.
Dow is connected to the wrestling community at several levels. He began his coaching career at a local club program while wrestling collegiately from 1992-97 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he later served as volunteer assistant coach. He also brought a contingent of visually impaired athletes to the United States Association of Blind Athletes Nationals. This experience started career-long involvement with USA Wrestling in 1997 while beginning his high school coaching career at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was the USA Wrestling Developmental Camps Director from 2000-16, and he has served as assistant coach, Silver Certified Coach and Bronze Certification Instructor. For his contributions, Dow was honored as the 2012 USA Wrestling Developmental Person of the Year.
Internationally, he was the coach and team leader of six national programs, including two Pan-Am teams, two World Championship teams and two International Tour teams. Dow also served as the World Team Trials coordinator in Madison in 2014 and 2015.
Other service at the state, regional and national level include a position on the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation board since 2000 as Kids Director, Cadet National Team Coach from 2000-2010, Minnesota/Wisconsin Goodwill Duals Coordinator and various positions with the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association, including president, awards chair and public relations director. He also served as the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Treasurer and on the Wisconsin Regional Training Center Board.
He returned to his hometown and served as the wrestling head coach at Prairie du Chien High School from 2000-2010. Under his direction, the wrestling program increased the number of State Tournament qualifiers and placewinners along with crowning the first conference and individual State champion in school history.
Dow shifted his attention to athletic administration, becoming the athletic director at Stoughton High School from 2010-2021. During his tenure, many sport programs experienced growth and accomplishment. The wrestling program advanced to the State Team Wrestling Tournament championship match seven consecutive seasons, winning the title three times. For his accomplishments, he was honored as the 2021 Wisconsin Athletic Director of the Year.
# WIAA #