Coach Roger Barry, also known as the “old man” of wrestling coaches began his coaching career in 1959 at Neligh, Nebraska where he established a program to give the “football players who didn’t play basketball something to do with their time”. With only intramural wrestling experience at Nebraska Wesleyan Barry groomed a highly successful program that boasted three individual state champions, two consecutive undefeated dual seasons and a state runner-up finish that saw all twelve of his wrestlers earning medals of fourth place or higher. This runner-up finish was all the more impressive when one realizes that the state meet consisted of only two divisions; 400 boys and over were class A and all the rest, class B.
Barry moved to Schuyler in 1962 and was asked to start a program there. He maintained a vigorous schedule in assisting the development of a highly competitive little kids’ programs, attending summer camps as far away as Calfornia, hosted numerous exchange teams, and the countless other things a great coach does to allow his charges to be successful. Barry boasts two individual state champions and four district titles as well as winning the North High Invitational on its 25th anniversary.
Roger’s other accomplishments include being a charter member of the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association along with the likes of Harry Gaylor, Rick Allgood, Larry Anderson and Jim Holechek. He was the president of the NSWCA in 1975.
Barry says one of the greatest satisfactions has come from seeing his boys succeed in their various adult roles and he would like to believe it has something to do with “walking on the mat and paying the price”. By the way, some of Barry’s “boys” include Mike Denney Head Wrestling coach at UNO, Mel Melcher former coach at Papillion, and state tournament officials Keith Cerny and Vince Urban Both Mike Denney and Vince Uraban have been elected to the Hall of Fame since this presentation.