After 29 seasons, Gregg Jensen stepped down as the head coach of the Amherst High School boys basketball team.
Jensen finished with a career record of 470-188 and led the Falcons to eight Conference Titles during that span.
In what proved to be his final season, Jensen guided Amherst to a 22-4 record, as it advanced to the WIAA State Tournament for the second time in school history.
“It was 29 years, and I kind of got to the point where I think I needed a little break,” said Jensen. “And also I’ve got my daughter (eighth-grader Geena) coming up, and I want to watch her games and see her activities.
“It’s been a lot of years, so it’s time for somebody else to take over,” said Jensen.
Jensen began his life in basketball as a fifth-grader playing on his school’s seventh-grade team, and hasn’t missed a season since.
He went on to finish as the all-time leading scorer in Kaukauna High School history and later played for legendary coach Ken Anderson at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UW-Eau Claire), as the Blugolds won four Wisconsin State University Conference (WSUC) Titles and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament four times during his college career.
Following his playing days, Jensen spent time as an assistant coach at Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire Memorial high schools, and then took over as the head coach at Amherst in 1984 after former head coach Ted Van Dellen, who retired last year after 22 seasons as the head coach at UW-Oshkosh, left to become an assistant coach at UW-Oshkosh.
“I came in late-September, early-October, so the (school) year was already started,” said Jensen. “And it wasn’t that long before we started the season, so it was kind of a quick turnaround.
“But I had been at quite a few places to observe from good coaches, from my high school coach to my college coach, and then coach Dick Bennett was up at Point and I went and watched some of his practices and attended his clinics,” said Jensen. “So I felt confident in what I was doing, that I could do a good job.”
In his first season in 1984-85, Amherst won the Central Wisconsin Conference (CWC) Title, which was only its second Conference Title since 1957.
“I came in and we had a nice group of seniors,” said Jensen. “It was a good start and it was a fun team to come in to and get the ball rolling.”