By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
44 years enough for Bartholf
Jim Bartholf is retiring after 44 years as Monroe High Schools tennis coach. The Cheesemakers won the team state title in 1996, and Bartholf rankes third all time in coaching wins in the state.
MONROE - After spending 44 years as Monroe's tennis coach, Jim Bartholf is calling it quits.

"You know when the time has come to depart from something that you truly love," Bartholf said, in an e-mail to the Times.

"I have been involved in tennis for 55 years."

Bartholf took up tennis as a high school sophomore in 1956 after his basketball coach at Burlington High School suggested the sport to help him further his skills. Bartholf then went on to play at UW-Platteville and started the tennis program in Marshfield in 1962. He left Marshfield in 1965 and took over at Monroe, where he spent 17 years as the girls tennis coach.

"I am what I am today because of fourth things that have happened along the way. I have been blessed with great kids that dedicated themselves to tennis," he said.

Bartholf also thanked the high school athletic department for supporting the program, Monroe Park and Recreation Department that kept the courts in top condition, and Swiss Colony, which allowed players to use their indoor courts free of charge.

Bartholf holds the third best record in Wisconsin as a coach, with a career record of 365-110. During 42 of his 44 years as coach, Bartholf helped at least one player reach the state tournament.

"My greatest highlights have been my three sons playing tennis for me, one getting as high as sixth in the state tournament doubles, and winning the boys Division 2 State team championship in 1996," he said.

He also acknowledged his girls teams, which reached team state six straight years, finishing second twice, and winning 22 boys conference championships.

In his final season, Bartholf had his No. 1 doubles team of Artem Beer and Jim Kundert reach the state tournament, as well as Finnish-exchange student Lauri Juonela.