Tomahawk’s Robert Garrou to be inducted into Wisconsin Wrestling Hall of Fame
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
GREEN BAY – A former Tomahawk High School (THS) athlete and current coach will take his place among Wisconsin’s wrestling greats next month.
Robert Garrou will be inducted into the George Martin Wisconsin Wrestling Hall of Fame during a banquet held at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay on Friday, Nov. 3.
Joining Garrou as 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees are Dan Clark of St. Croix Falls, Dale Spies of Riverdale, Greg Trosper of Reedsburg/Pecatonica and Dick Vosters of Freedom.
Garrou, born and raised in Tomahawk, said he began wrestling in 6th grade in an effort to help himself overcome behavior issues. In the process, he fell in love with the sport – a love, Garrou said, that was fostered by Coach Al Overhaug.
“Athletics became an integral part of my life,” Garrou stated.
At THS, Garrou lettered in wrestling, football and track and was named All-Conference during his junior and senior years in both wrestling and football. Garrou was coached in wrestling by Tom Freude and Wisconsin Wrestling Hall of Famer Bob Skubal.
Garrou graduated from THS in 1985 and enrolled the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he wrestled under National Wrestling Hall of Fame member Scott Davis. Garrou was a starter in each of his four years at UW-Superior and was named Team Captain during his junior and senior years.
After graduating from college in 1989, Garrou spent the next 16 years as a wrestling strength, conditioning and youth coach under Skubal. In 1996, Garrou was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Garrou became the head wrestling coach at THS in 2004. Among the team accomplishments he said he’s most proud of are the ten conference titles and eight regional titles, with a record of 310-89 in dual meets. Garrou has been named the Great Northern Conference (GNC) Coach of the Year nine times.
At the individual level, Garrou coached 14 state champions and nine state runners-up.
“Six of my wrestlers were named All-American by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, with two winning championships,” Garrou noted.
In addition to coaching THS wrestlers, Garrou has also traveled internationally to coach four exchange teams wrestling in Bulgaria and Romania in 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2005.
“I continue to coach middle school track and enjoy mentoring athletes in the weight room year-round,” Garrou said.
Garrou has been married to his wife, Joy, for 23 years. In his free time, he enjoys bow hunting with his brothers and traveling around the country with Joy on their motorcycle. He’s been employed at Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) for 31 years and has served as Safety Coordinator for the last 13. In addition, Garrou has served as the Chairperson of the United Steel Workers International Safety Committee for the last 14 years and was awarded the title of Safety Person of the Year by the United Steel Workers International Union in 2020.
“My accomplishments in wrestling would not have been possible without the support of assistant coaches John Arnott, John Repinski, Ted Towle and Dane Borchard,” Garrou stated.
Hall of Fame banquet tickets available online
Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet are available to purchase online at www.wwca.org/. The deadline to purchase tickets is Wednesday, Nov. 1.