Shuffle them in any order you want, but Mike Liebenstein
is all of the above.Liebenstein
recently retired after a 26-year career as a Janesville agent for American Family Insurance
But while the future may find him on golf courses in California or Florida, Liebenstein's touch on Janesville isn't likely to disappear.
"We'll travel, but we're mainly staying around here," Liebenstein
Here is Janesville, where Liebenstein
wife, Jewel, and their young family moved in 1969.
The Nekoosa native played halfback at the University of Wisconsin
and later at what was then Stevens Point State University
, where he
earned a variety of all-conference, all-state and all-American honors.After his college days, he became Mike Liebenstein, the speech, history and phy-ed teacher and football coach at Stevens Point Pacelli High School.He later became the head football coach at Reedsburg High School.
real estate brokerage license in his
back pocket, Liebenstein
visited relatives in the Janesville area.
"Jewel and I really liked the community," he
said."It seemed like a great place to live and raise a family."Liebenstein got to know real estate agents in the area, as well as football coaches, including Janesville Craig Coach Bob Suter, who was preparing the east-side school for what was arguably one of the most successful runs in the school's history.
"From the time Mike
joined our program, it really advanced," Suter said.
..."We were running the wishbone offense, which was really unique at the time, and we had Ron Ganong as the defensive coordinator and Mike as our offensive coordinator."
"I don't think anybody at the time knew what offensive and defensive coordinators really did," Liebenstein
...Liebenstein coached and taught at Craig until taking the American Family job in 1980.He's
credited with helping start the city's youth football program, and his
family is well known for its contributions of time and money to a variety of Janesville sports programs.
helped get that youth football program started," Suter said.
had a lot to do with that.He's
a tireless worker, and there was a big void when he
.A lot of people don't realize the effect the Stan DuFranes and Mike Liebensteins had on the Janesville program."While Liebenstein never abandoned his love or support for Janesville athletics, Craig's loss of a teacher and coach was American Family's gain, said Mary Porter, a district manager for the Madison-based insurance company.
has been a wonderful supporter of me and everything I've ever done," Liebenstein
said."I went into it with a teaching and coaching background, and a large part of the business is teaching and coaching.But, beyond that, the service is the key.
"It's been a wonderful run, a great way of life for a lot years."
As much of a supporter as American Family
has been to Liebenstein
always plans to be a strong supporter of the community his
family has called home for more than 35 years.
And that's whether he's
as known as a teacher or a coach, a business leader or a cheerleader for Janesville.
"My family has done very well here," he
said of he
wife, and three children, one of whom played football at Notre Dame
and another who played baseball at UW-Madison.
"We've always given as generously as we could, whether it was to the east side or the west side.There's something very unique about this community, and there's a reason it's called the city of champions."
And one of those reasons is Mike Liebenstein