Les Wothke

Les Wothke (born November 30, 1938)

Teams coached: Western Michigan Broncos, Army Cadets, Winona State Warriors
Western Michigan record: 42-41 (.506)
Army record: 92-135 (.405)
Winona State record^: 183-110 (.625)
Overall record^: 317-286 (.526)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0
  • MAC Regular Season Champion:  1  (1981)
  • NSIC (NAIA) Regular Season Champion: (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975)
  • NAIA Division I Tournament Appearances:  2  (1973, 1975)


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1992-1998 Winona State
1982-1990 Army
1979-1982 Western Michigan
1975-1979 Illinois (asst)
1970-1975 Winona State

Les Wothke Facts

  • Leslie L. Wothke
  • Born November 30, 1938
  • Hometown: LaPort County, Indiana
  • Alma Mater: Greenville College (BA, 1961) / Eastern Illinois University (MS, 1964)
  • After graduating from Greenville (IL), Wothke began his coaching career at the high school level in Illinois
  • Hired in 1970 to be the head coach at then-NAIA Winona State (MN), coaching there for five years
    • Led the Warriors to four NSIC regular season titles and twice reached the national NAIA Tournament
  • Left in 1975 to join Lou Henson‘s staff at Illinois, working as an assistant with the Illini for four seasons
  • Became the head coach at D-I Western Michigan in 1979, going 42-41 over three seasons
    • Won 15 games in each of last two seasons, winning a share of the MAC title in 1981
  • Hired by Army in 1982 to led the (then Cadets) program, which he did for the next eight years
    • Went 16-13 in his third season, earning MAAC COY honors but never again finished above .500
    • In 1990, after a fifth-straight losing season, Wothke resigned as head coach
  • After a couple years away from the sport, Wothke returned to Winona State to be the head coach again
    • Coached there for another six seasons (eleven in total), now at the Division II level
    • Retired in 1998 with an overall record of 183-110 at the school, the most wins for any head coach to that point
  • Remained in the Winona area, later becoming a volunteer assistant at Winona Senior HS (MN)
  • Throughout his coaching career, Wothke led clinics across the country as well as in Syria, Turkey and China
  • Inducted into both the NSIC Hall of Fame (c/o 2003) and Winona State Hall of Fame (c/o 2004)

Les Wothke Coaching Tree


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I, Division II and NAIA levels (WSU was NAIA during Wothke’s first stint and D-II by his second stint)