The University of Dubuque will award Gerald “Jerry” D. Petitgoue (C’63) a doctor of humane letters in recognition of his leadership as an alumnus and for his commitment to a life of service in classroom teaching and athletic coaching. Petitgoue received the honorary degree at the University of Dubuque Spring Commencement.
After earning his bachelor of science degree in physical education from UD and his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in Platteville, WI, Petitgoue began his career as a social studies teacher and basketball coach in Gratiot, WI, where he led the basketball team to a record in four seasons, followed by his continued success as a teacher and coach at Winslow High School in Lena, IL, Galena High School in Galena, IL, and Cuba City High School in Cuba City, WI.
For the past 58 years, Petitgoue has invested his time teaching and coaching to become a living legend in Wisconsin boys’ basketball as the winningest basketball coach in Wisconsin High School history with three State Championships, one Runner Up to the championship, and 29 Conference Championships. In 2020, he was selected as Wisconsin Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year. In 2022, Petitgoue became just the 18th high school coach in the nation to reach 1,000 career wins.
Today, he continues to be a proud supporter and alumnus of UD. In 2012, the University announced the establishment of the Jerry Petitgoue Award.