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Gettinger endlessly supports the Ponies

Don+Gettinger%2C++far+right%2C+sits+with+his+fellow+assistant+golf+coaches+Chad+Bischoff%2C+left%2C+and+Jordyn+Price%2C+middle.+Gettinger+has+coached+in+the+Stillwater+golf+programs+for+15+years.+
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Gettinger endlessly supports the Ponies

Don Gettinger,  far right, sits with his fellow assistant golf coaches Chad Bischoff, left, and Jordyn Price, middle. Gettinger has coached in the Stillwater golf programs for 15 years.

Don Gettinger, far right, sits with his fellow assistant golf coaches Chad Bischoff, left, and Jordyn Price, middle. Gettinger has coached in the Stillwater golf programs for 15 years.

Photo submitted by Patrick O'Neal

Don Gettinger, far right, sits with his fellow assistant golf coaches Chad Bischoff, left, and Jordyn Price, middle. Gettinger has coached in the Stillwater golf programs for 15 years.

Photo submitted by Patrick O'Neal

Photo submitted by Patrick O'Neal

Don Gettinger, far right, sits with his fellow assistant golf coaches Chad Bischoff, left, and Jordyn Price, middle. Gettinger has coached in the Stillwater golf programs for 15 years.

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Don Gettinger, or Coach Gett as the students call him, is and always has been involved in the Stillwater community. He participates in all areas of the community, but is especially passionate about the students who attend the school. Whether he is teaching in the classroom or coaching on the sideline, Gettinger will always be there to support as one of the school’s biggest fans.

Gettinger has lived in the Stillwater area since 1974 and has been here ever since. One can often find him at the Stillwater Bruegger’s, the golf course and, of course, the high school.

Teaching students and building relationships

Gettinger’s love for the students at the high school started in the classroom. He connected with students at Stillwater Area High School teaching math. He taught everything from geometry to computer classes for 34 years. Gettinger received all his degrees from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. His family had a long history of being teachers and working with kids from the beginning and that niche was passed down to him.

“I liked the challenge of variety while teaching. Even though you were teaching the same class, everyday was different,” Gettinger said.

“It’s crazy, I think Gett taught at the high school for 30 years plus. My brother Adam actually had him when he was going to school here,” girls assistant golf coach Chad Bischoff added.

Courtside experience

After making a connection with the students in the classroom, Gettinger decided to take the relationships to the athletics. Coaching became his next top priority and it still is today. Currently, he is an assistant coach for the girls golf team and has been in the golf program for 15 years. He is adored by all 50 girls. Even if someone on another team is struggling, Gettinger will not hesitate to help. Before Gettinger became dedicated to the golf program, he coached many other sports such as volleyball for 25 seasons and girls basketball for 30 seasons.

“Our team ranges from seventh to 12th grade and everyone is at a different spot with their game. I love how he wants to make every student’s season just as enjoyable as the next,” senior, super fan and golf captain Emily Fjestad said.

“We share the ability to work off each other at practice. There is no ego there and he has no problems with whatever we do. He is just so relaxed and it’s nice,” Bischoff added.

He is somebody who needs to have something named after him. He is just one of those guys who doesn’t coach for the money because you don’t make a ton doing it. He is doing it out of the goodness of his heart. I think he deserves some sort of recognition for his efforts. He should definitely be in the Stillwater Hall of Fame.”

— Chad Bischoff

Dedication beyond the court and the classroom

Gettinger’s love for high school sports goes beyond coaching. He can be seen at all home basketball games and volleyball matches. Gettinger even refs volleyball matches once in awhile. Whether he is attending, coaching or reffing the game, Gettinger will always take interest in the sport, but more importantly the players as well. He has definitely earned his position as a pony super fan and now has a good luck poster in the main gym of the high school.

“Gett is definitely a super fan. He truly cares about the students and athletes of SAHS. It is refreshing to see such dedication and commitment,” Fjestad said.

Whether Gettinger met a student while coaching, teaching or just attending a game, he will always make an effort to form a relationship. If someone is looking for support on or off the field, he is the person to go to. Even if someone has only recently met him, he could talk to them for hours. If he sees a student he knows at a match or game, he will do all he can to catch up with them. He loves talking about the game or their life outside of school and athletics. Gettinger loves the students and athletes at the high school and they love just as much.

“Being a super fan, I always see him at sporting events outside of golf. He always comes up to me to discuss the game and my life outside of golf and school,” Fjestad said.

“I think there has always been a kind of academic emphasis among our students that I don’t see at other schools. Students and athletes are highly regarded as individuals not just for the athletic ability but for the kind of people they are,” Gettinger added.

Recognition deserved

Although Gettinger does have a poster in the main gym, most students and community members believe that he deserves to be recognized in a more formal way. With everything he has done to support the community, there is no doubt that he earned his spot in Stillwater’s history books.

“We should really get him a hat that says Coach Gett on it. Even if he is not your coach for golf, I think everyone considers him a friend as well as their coach,” Fjestad said.

“He is somebody who needs to have something named after him. He is just one of those guys who doesn’t coach for the money because you don’t make a ton doing it. He is doing it out of the goodness of his heart. I think he deserves some sort of recognition for his efforts. He should definitely be in the Stillwater Hall of Fame,” Bischoff added.

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About the Writer
Catherine Monty, Distribution Reporter

Hey! I'm Catherine Monty and I am a Junior. My position for the Pony Express is a distribution reporter. I enjoy playing sports, specifically golf and...

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