Wehrenberg leaves lasting legacy

Longtime Columbia Middle School basketball coach Jon Wehrenberg, right, watches with intensity during his final game, Monday night at Freeburg.

Monday’s game in Freeburg was more than just a conference championship boys basketball contest between Columbia Middle School and Millstadt. 

It marked the end of a storybook coaching career for Jon Wehrenberg after 35 years.

And while the outcome didn’t go Columbia’s way, the gravity of the situation was not lost on the many lives touched by the longtime coach. 

“Hey, don’t feel sorry for me,” Wehrenberg said after the 34-22 loss. “I’ve been one lucky guy.”

This year’s CMS squad finished with a record of 17-3, giving Wehrenberg 528 career coaching wins.

“This was a great group to go out with,” he said. “My kids were diving around on the floor ‘til the very end.”

Wehrenberg’s mother brought him to Waterloo High School basketball games when he was a kid, sparking an early interest in sports and coaching.

“I just knew I wanted to coach hoops probably from the age of 10,” he said.

Wehrenberg was coaching little league by the age of 16, and even coached the Valmeyer High School varsity softball team for one season right out of college…>>>

Read the full story in the January 16, 2019, issue.

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