School: Neillsville - Gaier - Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame (2020)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Gaier

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) 3/03/2021

Gaier to be Enshrined in Basketball Coaches’ Hall of Fame

John Gaier

By Ryan Spoehr

A person with a Gregg Poppovich-like presence who has been firm and fair with players and has accumulated two decades of success leading the bench for the Neillsville varsity girls basketball program will be recognized statewide for that tenure.

Neillsville girls basketball coach John Gaier, who is also the school district’s superintendent, was announced last week as one of the inductees into the 2021 class of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Hall of Fame.

Gaier said he was contacted recently by the WBCA and that it was not something he wasn’t expecting.

“It was a tremendous surprise,” Gaier said. “A few months ago, the association reached out to me for my information. They must have a committee that does the selection process, and I figured that I was in consideration at that point.

“At that point, I was humbled to even be considered.”

When he found out he was going to get the nod, Gaier only told his wife.

Gaier said that receiving a distinction like a hall-of-fame induction is not why he coaches; he leads teams from the bench because he enjoys coaching.

Also, he stressed that his hall-of-fame induction should not be looked at as solely an accomplishment by himself.

“In all honesty, I do not think of this as an individual award. I think of this as a team and community award,” Gaier said. “There are a lot of community members who put a lot of effort and time into making sure we have athletics here. I hope the community sees this as a community award more than anything else.”

According to records on the WBCA website, Gaier is 31st in the state for total wins as a girls basketball coach, with 400. The Warriors went 18-2 overall this season under his leadership.

This was Gaier’s 19th season at the helm for the girls basketball team. The Warriors were conference and regional champions. They have been regional champions every year since 2016. The Warriors have gone to the state tournament five times and have won a state title under Gaier’s leadership.

Gaier also coached boys basketball for five years at Neillsville and accumulated 57 wins during that time.

Gaier will be inducted at a banquet Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Glacier Canyon Lodge of Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. He will be inducted with 10 other high school head coaches, some former players and two college coaches, among others, including former Wauwatosa East Star, Wisconsin Badger and Dallas Maverick Devin Harris.

Neillsville Varsity girls basket ball coach John Gaier, shown here talking with players during a timeout of a game this past season, will be a 2021 entrant to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He recorded his 400th girls basketball win last month. Ryan Spoehr/Clark County Press



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