After a 27-year run, Dave Scheidegger is retiring from his post as varsity boys basketball coach at New Berlin Eisenhower.
Scheidegger announced his retirement Wednesday, finishing a career that is likely to conclude with induction into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame with a record of 430-167. He retired from teaching following the 2015-16 school year after 36 years as a physical education teacher.
"My wife and I are just at a different position in our lives, and it just seemed like the right time to take a look at other things or be available for other things," Scheidegger said. "I kind of missed the teaching during the day and coaching the kids.
"I thought that was a nice combination of school and the activities. I think it is important that they go together. I thought they both served each other. The academics served the activities, and you can relate the activities back to the academics. It was part of the whole package. I kind of missed that. It was a lot of things. Basically, we just want to see where we can go from here."
Scheidegger took over at Eisenhower prior to the 1989-90 season and quickly created one of the more consistent and successful programs in the area.
Under Scheidegger's guidance, Eisenhower won the WIAA Division 2 state championship in 2008, reaching the state tournament with sectional wins over Slinger and Brown Deer before pulling out a 53-49 win over Monroe in the state semifinals and a 54-41 victory over Adams-Friendship in the title game.
"One of the indicators of success in coaching is whether a team improves throughout the season," Eisenhower athletic director Kevin Fitzgerald said. "Coach Scheidegger proved to have the unique ability to get the most out of every student and every team. His teams undoubtedly improved throughout their season, using his skill set as an educator to motivate student-athletes to reach their maximum potential."
Scheidegger led the Lions to 10 conference titles, with his first being a Parkland Conference title in 1992-93 and his last being a Woodland West crown in 2015-16. Eisenhower won six consecutive Woodland North championships under Scheidegger from 2006-11.
He collected his 300th career win Dec. 29, 2009 and won his 400th game Jan. 8, 2016.
"It was wonderful, and we loved it," Scheidegger said. "New Berlin is an awesome community and school system. Ike is fabulous, and so many people are helping from the youth all the way up, as well as the staff and the administrators. I am very fortunate and very grateful for the opportunity that I got. I'm really humbled that it all happened.
Scheidegger's successor will inherit a program that has gone 40-9 over the past two years, including a 20-6 mark last season. After starting 3-4, the Lions won 13 of their last 14 regular season games to finish in second place in the Woodland West behind Pewaukee.
Eisenhower carried its momentum over into the playoffs, downing Milwaukee Bay View, Whitnall and Pewaukee to reach the sectional final where it fell one game short reaching the state tournament with a 52-43 loss to Milwaukee Washington. His final team was the epitome of what he preached, a group of individuals who came together as a team and improved vastly from the beginning of the season to the end.
"I'll remember all the players, the coaches that I worked with, the coaches I coached against and the officials," Scheidegger said. "I'll miss the whole process of getting a group of kids through a maturation process. Team sports are great. You try to achieve something that can only be achieved by a group. It is something that is more important and bigger than yourself. You establish trust and sincerity and you see how far you can take that playing the sport the way you feel it should be played. That is a challenging and worthwhile goal."
The Lions will graduate four starters but will return leading scorer Bryce Miller, who earned Now Newspapers All-Suburban honors after averaging 16.6 points per game as a junior.
"Eisenhower is a better place because of Dave Scheidegger," Fitzgerald said. "Filling his shoes is an impossible task, but my hope is we can find a coach who understands and appreciates the history of this program and desires to lead the program with the same integrity and passion."