Legendary player, coach “Doc” Weiske dies at age 86
Kermit “Doc” Weiske ’50 of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Thursday, March 17, 2016. He served Ripon College in numerous capacities, most notably as coach of men’s basketball, for many years.
As a student at Ripon, Weiske played football, basketball and track. His individual basketball career scoring total of 1,188 points, earned him the nickname “Mr. Basketball” and stood as a Ripon College record from 1950 until 1978. Weiske remains ranked 17th all-time among Ripon players in points scored. He was named to the first-team All Conference as a sophomore, junior and senior.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Ripon, he earned his master’s from the University of Wisconsin, also in physical education. He then played semi-pro and pro basketball before teaching and coaching at Fort Atkinson (Wisconsin) High School for six years. He returned to Ripon College in 1958 as an assistant professor of physical education, head basketball coach, head golf coach and assistant football coach through 1966, and returned again from 1972 until his retirement in 1980. He led Ripon basketball teams to five Midwest Conference Championships and two NCAA Division III playoff appearances, and had a record of 203-148, which places him second among wins for Ripon College coaches.
Starting in 1966, he worked in the insurance industry for many years, including as owner and president of Weiske & Associates Inc. He was elected to the Ripon College Alumni Association Board in 1967 and to the Board of Trustees from 1985 to 2006. He became an honorary Life Trustee in 2007. College honors include the Athletic Booster Award (1978), Distinguished Alumni Citation (1980), Athletic Hall of Fame (charter member, 1980) and Medal of Merit (1991). He also received the Wisconsin Basketball Association’s “Friend of Basketball” (1989) and the Badger Boys State Special Service Award (1979).
In addition to fundraising for Ripon College athletic programs over the years, he also served as Ripon area chairman for the College’s 125th Anniversary Annual Fund Campaign in 1975 and as national chairman of the Alumni Fund in 1968-69 and 1969-70. He is a charter member of Ripon College’s Partners in the Legacy.
Survivors include his wife, Lois; three sons, including Steven ’78; and one daughter, Jayne ’76.
Until his death, Weiske continued to attend basketball practices regularly and was a fixture in the front row of nearly every home game, inspiring a tradition of support for players. Thanks to a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, the main gymnasium will be renamed to honor Weiske as part of the renovations to the J.M. Storzer Athletic Center. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Weiske’s honor may be made to bolster this effort and support one of his biggest passions in life.