Edward Fruth, Class of 1912, elected to basketball coach Hall of Fame

E. D. (Edward Daniel) Fruth, Ripon College Class of 1912, has been elected to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Fruth was at Fond du Lac (Wisconsin) High School for 26 years, from 1914 until his death in 1941. He had served as the coach of the basketball, football and golf teams and as a teacher of mathematics before becoming director of athletics.

The induction ceremony will take place Sunday, Sept. 29, at Glacier Canyon Lodge of the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Tickets can be purchased on the association’s website.

A native of Fond du Lac, Fruth majored in chemistry and played football and basketball at Ripon. He began his career as a science teacher and coach at Tomah High School, and he took the basketball team to the state tournament.

In 1914, he returned to his hometown to coach at his alma mater, Fond du Lac High School. His teams won numerous Wisconsin state championships, including several of the first WIAA basketball state championships. The football field at the high school is named after him.

His obituary noted how the coaching system he developed was widely praised by college and university coaches and directors, and state and national high school mentors.

His high school yearbook agreed: “Mr. Fruth has a method all his own of coaching. He is a strong believer in the theory of allowing the athlete to use his individuality and his own way of forging ahead. He urges character development. His men always fight hard and cleanly to the last moment. A player coached under Fruth is heady and capable of handling himself well. Many seasons our coach has worked with fast, light material and has succeeded wonderfully.

“Fondy’s Miracle Man, Coach Fruth, is known and honored all over the state for his coaching. He has given Fond du Lac his fullest measure of devotion and has succeeded nobly in his great task. He has put Fond du Lac on the map and glorified her name.”

Fruth died Sept. 8, 1941.

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