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Tosa East scores new football coach

Former Red Raiders star takes over for Swittel

May 18, 2010

Now Wauwatosa East's Jake Wolter knows how Tim Arndorfer felt when he was named head basketball coach a few years ago.

Arndorfer became only the third basketball coach in 40-some years at the school, following in the steps of Jim Rebholz and George Haas.

Wolter, who was named the Red Raiders head football coach on May 18, goes through the same scenario, following in the steps of veteran coaches John Richmond and Tom Swittel.

"Jake Wolter was born to be the head football coach at Wauwatosa East," said Swittel, who recently resigned to take over as the head coach at Brookfield East. "He is the right man for the situation. He understands the extra work that goes with the program. He gets that.

"I've been here over 20 years. Jake brings some new life to the program. He loves Tosa East and he loves Tosa East football."

Principal Nick Hughes led a search committee that included five others: Athletic Director Linda Vitrano, "an outside football expert" who was an acquaintance of Hughes, a Jr. Raider parent, a booster club member and a football parent.

There were 25 applications for the position, so the committee cut it to six and four accepted interviews and came in on May 15.

"It was clearly evident when he (Wolter) explained his vision for the program; what Wauwatosa East means to him, well we made the right choice."

Hughes also explained why he felt the committee moved so quickly on the hire.

"Football never stops," he said. "You keep in contact with the kids, run the weightroom, round up a coaching staff. There is a lot to do."

For Wolter it was like a dream come true.

"Getting the call from Nick Hughes, it was a great honor to come back to the same place," he said. "I grew up here from third grade on, I've had strong ties to Wauwatosa. It gives me a good chance to share the love I have for football and the progam."

Wolter coached freshmen football at East in 2002 and the joined Swittel's staff the past seven years - the first five as defensive coordinator and the last two as offensive coordinator.

He was an outstanding athlete at Tosa East, earning 14 letters - football (4), basketball (3), track (4) and baseball (3) - and making several all-conference teams in the process.

He went on to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and played basketball and football, earning All-American honors as a defensive back.

"He was a great player," Swittel said. "He was the greatest player I ever coached. He was something special. He was all-state at running back, defensive back and special teams.

"He could be the greatest player in Tosa East history. He was the most intense competitor I ever coached and he brings that same intensity to coaching.

"He understands. He got it as a player and he gets it as a coach. He reacts, he just knows what to do. He coaches that way."

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