Coaches Hall of Fame 2012
A 1965 graduate of David City Public Schools, Rod graduated before David City High School started wrestling. Rod holds two degrees from the University of Nebraska, a BS in Education majoring in Chemistry and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction. Rod’s first teaching position, at Ord ’69, was cut short by military training. Scribner was the next stop with no coaching. His first wrestling experience was driving a carload to a dual meet at Wahoo. That first wrestling encounter had lasting effects. After a spring of Jr. High track in ’72 he started as the wrestling coach the next fall.
In search of a position that included Physics, he found Syracuse in 1974. The position came with coaching three sports, including head wrestling. Not having the Hall of Fame as a goal, the number of wrestlers over the years could only be estimated but could have been more than 650. Two state qualifiers the first year and a state runner up the second year seemed like a great start. The ’80’s brought two conference championships and six more state medalists including Syracuse’s first state champ.
Since 1995 coaching responsibilities have waned a bit and currently Rod is a volunteer assistant reveling in the growth of junior varsity wrestlers and helping them to become successful at the varsity level. Since 1972, there have been 142 state qualifiers with 38 state medalists including 6 state champions. Those successes are attributed to the hard work and enthusiasm of the wrestlers themselves. In addition to success in wrestling, Syracuse student athletes have been successful in many professions including medicine, engineering, education and current technology. In addition, some have chosen to return and play an important role in the community’s growth. Some have moved on to contribute to wrestling programs at other schools. Robert Jacobson, a three time state qualifier and 1983 graduate of Syracuse has been an assistant coach at Tri-County for more than 20 years.
Rod’s doctor, a former student, earned medals in four events including an all class gold, in the 1993 state track meet. His pharmacist is a former Chemistry student. A member of the football, offensive line Rod coached was the commander of the unit that provided security for Saddam Hussein, as he was being tried.
Rod and his wife Ann of almost 43 years, are very proud of their two sons, Josh and Grant, who now have families of their own. Coaching three sports for 17 years means Mom does most of the forming of future successes and thankfully Ann has done a wonderful job.
Rod will be introduced by Syracuse head coach Chad Fuller