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Inductee Profile

Darwin Destache


Darwin was the head football coach at Rice Lake High School for 15 years, from 1960 through 1974. He built on Rice Lake’s winning tradition in the Ho’N by going 74-31-1, a 70% winning mark. His teams won two conference championships; in 1966 (7-0) and 1972 (6-1). They were runners-up six times and had one 3rd place finish. In his 15 years at Rice Lake he had only one losing season in 1963 (3-5). Overall, Darwin’s teams were 76-43-1, good for 3rd for most wins as a football coach at Rice Lake. One of Darwin’s biggest contributions to Rice Lake was bringing the idea of curling to the city, and then providing the impetus in 1967 to form the Rice Lake Curling Club. He was one of a group of co-founders and was the club’s only two-term president. The first curling club consisted of only two sheets of ice, located in a cattle barn at the Rice Lake Fairgrounds. Darwin obtained a bus driver’s license and then introduced curling to his Phy Ed classes at the high school. Today the Curling Club is nationally known. In addition, Darwin officiated high school basketball games for many years in Northwestern Wisconsin. He graduated from Green Bay East high school in 1949 as a three-sport athlete. He played football at UW-Madison and was a teammate of Heisman Trophy winner Alan “The Horse” Ameche, and the 1953 Rose Bowl Team. He served as a Marine during the Korean Conflict. His teaching and coaching career began in Galesville, WI before coming to Rice Lake. It was in Galesville when he began curling, where the sport was very popular. In 1991 he retired from teaching. He and his wife raised five sons and a daughter, all graduates of Rice Lake High. Dish passed away in October of 1998 at the age of 67.

Darwin Destache
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