Clintonville football coach honored
Joy receives distinguished service award
By Erik Buchinger
Elroy Joy received the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association’s Distinguished Service Award during halftime of the Clintonville boys’ basketball game on Feb. 13.
The award recognizes a person in the school and community who is a supportive leader in maintaining athletics as a part of the total education program.
The award recipient is determined to have made a significant impact on the lives of student-athletes, athletic programs and/or athletic facilities.
Joy said his father Mark is why he remains involved in youth athletics.
A lot of the reason I got the award was pretty much just carrying on the work my father was doing,” Joy said. “My dad was pretty big in the fundraising and working with the youth.”
Mark died from cancer in December 2005.
“I started doing a golf outing to raise money for the Clintonville football stadium, which was a project he was working on,” Joy said. “After we got the money for the stadium, I kept it going to fundraise on other projects.”
Joy said he is not sure how he was nominated for the award, but he was notified last month he had been selected as a winner.
“I’m not a big fan of recognition of awards, but it’s nice to be thought of,” Joy said. “I’m just carrying on the legacy of my father.”
In addition to hosting a golf outing to raise money for the school’s athletic department, Joy coaches for the football team.
“I announced the football games for 10 years because my dad did that for about 20 years [and] when he got sick, I took over announcing for him,” Joy said.
Joy lived in Green Bay but returned to the Clintonville area and wanted to get back into coaching.
After coaching JV for a few years, Joy moved up to be the offensive line coach on the varsity last season. He will be the offensive coordinator this fall.
Joy graduated in 1990 from Clintonville High School, where he played football, and was a member of the state basketball team. He said coaches Chet Jurkovac, Carl Bruggink and Bill Kinzinger played a big role in shaping how he interacts with players.
“I got sick of getting yelled at and wanted to prove them wrong,” Joy said. “It took until my senior year to realize they believed in me. I could have better technique and effort. That’s what a good coach does – he gets the best out of his players. That’s what I want my players to understand.”
Joy said he continues to stay involved in Clintonville athletics to help students have as much success as the Truckers did when he was in high school.
“I wish these kids had the experiences we did when we were at Clintonville,” Joy said. “For basketball games, if you didn’t get there before the JV game started, you weren’t getting a seat. We felt honored wearing the orange and black and having Truckers across our jerseys. We wanted to represent the town, school and classmates. There was real pride in the community, and it was that kind of pride that brought us together.”
Joy said he remains proud of the football stadium, which was completed in 2007 after early struggles to raise money.
“The biggest lesson we got out of it was that my dad wasn’t even from Clintonville,” Joy said. “He was an Iowa farm boy, but he always believed when the city came together, great things can happen together. The city came together and supported this, and we have one of the nicest stadiums in the conference.
Once donations started rolling in from businesses and other community members, the money was raised for the new football stadium.
“It’s a pretty good reminder every time I drive by there. Sometimes you get emotional with things like that, but it’s about those lessons.”
Joy said he thought the golf outing would end after the goal to fund the stadium was met.
“Originally, I wasn’t going to do the golf outing anymore after the stadium was built, but I kept it going to help funding athletic programs to give athletes and players what they need,” Joy said.
Joy said most of the money raised goes to the athletic department but some is also donated to the school’s music program. Clintonville Youth Football was also started by fundraising dollars.
Joy said after receiving the recognition, he will continue to support Clintonville athletics.
“It was a great honor, and I’m not going to be stopping because I got a plaque,” Joy said. “That’s for sure.”