The girls' basketball coach with the second-most number of wins in U.P. history, Paul Polfus is second to no one when it comes to winning championships. Over the past 27 years, he has built an impressive record that includes dozens of conference, district, regional and state titles, both in girls' and boys' basketball. Since 1975, Polfus has been a teacher at Carney-Nadeau schools and took over as the head varsity girls' basketball coach in 1978. He would lead that program for 27 seasons, compiling a record of 501 victories and 123 losses. During that time, his girls' Wolves teams have won 18 Skyline Conference titles, 14 district titles and three Class D State Championships, including two in a row in 1989 and 1990 (the team's last was in 2001). During this incredible state title run, the Wolves won a state record 78 straight games and won an amazing 123 straight regular-season games.
In 1995, Polfus also took over the duties of coaching the Carney-Nadeau boys' basketball team and would continue at the helm for the next 14 years. During that time, the Wolves won six conference titles and three district titles (1998, 1999, and 2006).
Polfus has received dozens of awards for his coaching efforts. He has been named the U.P. Coach of the Year eight times (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, 1999) and was named the Basketball Coaching Association of Michigan's (BCAM's) Regional Coach of the Year nine times. In 1990 and 2001, he was named the All-Class Michigan Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, BCAM and the Michigan High School Athletic Association. Lastly, in 2006, he was named the National Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.
Top 10 coaches wins
- Nancy Osier, Bergland, Ewen-Trout Creek, (retired in 2008), 582-185
- Paul Polfus, Carney-Nadeau, (retired in 2005), 501-125
- Dick Franti, Ontonagon, (through 2012), 481-205
- Tom Hammar, Westwood (retired 2012), 397-250
- Pete Mayhew, Menominee (retired 2010), 377-265
- Debbie (DeBacker) Chase, Perkins, Mid Peninsula, (1974-96), 339-141
Images courtesy of Paul Polfus.