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Sharon Panske, a former softball head coach and athletic trainer at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, died Saturday at age 61.

Sharon Panske

The Oshkosh native served as the Titans head coach for 17 seasons, collecting 298 wins. She also was an assistant athletic trainer at UW Oshkosh for 14 years and an assistant volleyball coach for four.

Panske was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July 2020. A full obituary is available here.

She led her softball squad to a 31-9 mark in 1987, her first season, when she made the first of three NCAA appearances during her tenure. The following season, she guided the Titans to 22 victories and a sixth-place finish at the 1988 NCAA Division III Finals in Elmhurst, Illinois, after finishing first in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference East Division standings for the second of three consecutive years. The Titans made another other trip to the NCAA tournament under Panske in 1997.

Panske received the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) 2022 Donna Newberry Perseverance Award, which recognizes an NFCA member coach who has demonstrated extraordinary strength of will and character in the fight to overcome a physical, mental or social adversity that presented an additional challenge to the already demanding job of a coach.

Panske was an active member of the NFCA for 30 years and served on the NFCA Board of Directors as First Vice President (1988-2001) and other NFCA and NCAA committees.

Panske most recently served as the Richland Center High School, working with student athletes as an athletic trainer since 2004. She was inducted into the Richland High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

A private burial will take place at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Oshkosh. Celebrations of life will be held in both Richland Center and Oshkosh at a later date. The Pratt Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family with their arrangements.