Paul Ehrhard 1933-2023

Hall of Famer Paul Ehrhard passed away on June 2, 2023. He was 89 years old. Ehrhard was a long-time coach at Albert Lea High School in Albert Lea, Minn. He was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006.

Paul Ehrhard Obituary:

Paul “Coach” Ehrhard 89, of Hastings and formerly of Albert Lea, went to be with the Lord on Friday, June 2nd, 2023 with his wife by his side.

Paul was born August 18, 1933, the only son of Paul and Tresa (Bauer) Ehrhard in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He graduated in 1950 from Montgomery High School in Minnesota and proudly attended St. Thomas University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1956. Paul married Joretta Krenik in 1956 and they raised 7 children. He completed his master’s degree +90 from Minnesota State University- Mankato in 1971.

In November of 1993, he married the love of his life, Kathleen Trotter.


He was a teacher in Kasson Mantorville early in life and taught over 31 years at Albert Lea High School and coached football and wrestling for 21 years. After retirement, Paul was principal of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in La Mesa, California for 2 years. He was a passionate board member of the Retired Educators Association of MN (REAM).

“Coach” was a top talent in the wrestling division with 15 state champions, 75 state qualifiers, 3 state championships, 10 Big 9 conference championships, and numerous other accomplishments. Paul was recognized as the 1972 Minnesota Wrestling Coach of the Year and was proud that his win/loss record stood at the top for over 30 years. He was inducted into the Albert Lea Athletic Hall of Fame, The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma as a Lifetime Service Honoree in 2006, the Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Alumni Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame, and was an honored guest at the Verne Gagne Minnesota Wrestling, Golf & Tennis Classic. Paul genuinely enjoyed the lasting relationships he maintained throughout his life with many students and wrestlers. Coach also had success and passion as the assistant football coach in Albert Lea for numerous years.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, stepson John Brabec, nephew Jonathan Trotter, and mother-in-law Jean Trotter.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; children, Kathlyn Ehrhard, Thomas (Karen) Ehrhard, Mary Pat (Rich Breuer) Ehrhard, Gregory Ehrhard, Jane (Dave Grundhoffer) Ehrhard, David (Karen) Ehrhard, Anne Ehrhard; grandchildren, Andy (Brittany), Zach, Kaylee (Steve), Jarrett, Jena (Adam), Jasmine (Chris), Cheyenne, Sam, Ben, Abbey, Kevin; 8 great-grandchildren and other dear friends and relatives.

Paul loved his family with his entire heart. He liked to fish, golf, and tell stories of good times! His generous soul and loving spirit will be remembered by many, and his legacy will truly live on through the stories that continue. God bless the memory of Coach.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 am Saturday, June 10 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings, 2035 15th St. West, Hastings, MN, with visitation two hours prior at the church. A luncheon will follow Mass at the church and all are invited to the 2nd Street Depot Bar & Grill, 320 2nd St. E. Hastings following the meal for reception. Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel of Hastings is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Education Foundation of Albert Lea, PO Box 828, Albert Lea, MN 56007 (

Would you like to receive the latest Minnesota wrestling news in your inbox?