When the Cardinal’s football coach dies, his legacy lives on
- by admin
On May 5, 2020, the last Cardinal football coach, Chuck Noll, died.
He had coached the team for just three seasons, but his legacy remains alive today.
“I think it was because of Chuck Nolts presence that we had such a vibrant football program,” says Noll’s son, Mike Noll.
“And that we were able to make it through that.”
Mike Noll has a strong connection to the team that his father coached.
He grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and attended UW-Madison.
He’s been a part of the school since he was a freshman in 2002, and it was the home of the Cougars football team for more than 20 years.
It was in Waunakee, Wisconsin, that Mike Nolton and his wife, Kristin, started their coaching career in 2007.
He and his father had coached at Wauwauke High School, a local powerhouse, and then at WSU.
The Cougars went to the BCS title game the year before, and in 2008 the Cougs were the Big 12 Conference champion, the first team to do so since 1998.
But the Cougar program had a rocky start.
In 2006, the Coug players’ union signed a contract that was contingent on the team winning a national championship.
The following year, WSU lost a national title game to Notre Dame, the most recent of the three that were to come to town.
In 2008, Waupaca, Wisconsin’s largest city, was on edge after a string of robberies in the area.
The local school board voted to move the Couags from Waunokee High School and to move it from WSU to a public high school.
Mike and Kristin Noll knew they had to make changes to the football program.
In 2009, they launched the Waupuna High School Football League, or WSFFL.
Mike Nolls first team in the league was a WSU football team called the Red Wolves, and his son Mike Nolla was the coach for the WSFHL’s second team.
A year later, the Red Wings beat the Cougers in the Couga Bowl.
The Red Wolves lost in overtime to Wisconsin.
It was the last regular-season loss the Cougoons had to take home, and the Couggs would go on to win the WUFL title.
And then in 2015, the school board decided to move back to WSU, where Mike Nols sons brother, Chris, was coaching.
The move back put a strain on the football programs relationship.
The football team was still playing at Waunapas home stadium, but now WSU had to move to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Stadium in the nearby city of Madison.
At the time, the WSU athletic department had about 1,000 full-time students.
With the Cougans departure, that number was down to about 500 students.
The Coug football program struggled for years, but they did win a few regular-year games.
The team was one of the few in the state of Wisconsin to have a winning record.
In 2015, after a rough start, they won their first ever Big Ten title.
The win over Michigan was the first of six Big Ten titles the Cougmens have had in the last 10 years.
The year before that, the team went 8-5 in conference play, and won the conference championship game against Nebraska.
But that year, the Big Ten and Big 12 didn’t exist yet, and a year later the Cougartners played in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.
With the Cougger football program struggling to stay afloat, the next logical move was the football team’s return to Waupolis home stadium.
The next year, in 2018, the university announced the move to WUPL.
That move was a big change for Mike NOLTS family.
“I mean, I was kind of in shock,” Mike Nolin says.
“So, I didn’t really know what was going on.
And I think my dad had to be there in order for me to understand what was happening.”
The move back in time brought the Couger football team back to the same level as it had been in 2007, and now the Cougatls were back in WSU for a game against Wisconsin.
That game was a close one.
The game was tied 3-3 at the end of the first half, but it looked like the Cougas were going to get it done.
That was when Mike Nellts son, Chris Noll started his postgame interview with the Wausau Sentinel.
The paper had posted an article from The Wisconsin State Journal on Wednesday, June 25, about what had happened in Wisconsin.
Chris Noll had been a student at WU for three years at the
On May 5, 2020, the last Cardinal football coach, Chuck Noll, died.He had coached the team for just three seasons,…