Competitors Hall of Fame: Danny Fernau

Hall of Fame – 1991

Twenty-eighth on the list of 45 three-time State Champs you will find the name Danny Fernau. An elite list that hundreds of wrestlers have missed, Danny grabbed the gold at 98, 105 and 112 lbs. between 1974 and 1976. Beginning his wrestling experience at Butte High School in 1972 under the direction of Marvin Humpal the situation did not look too promising as he lost his first eight matches. But, his determination rose and he ended the year with ten straight wins and qualified for State in the 98 lb. division weighing only 88 lbs.!

During the the next three years of high school he compiled a record of 77-1. Through this span he won twenty consecutive tournaments including three State crowns.

He attended college at Wayne State where he wrestled for two and one half years. During this period Wayne went through four coaches but he lettered twice and won over 50% of his college matches wrestling at 118. After the first semester of his junior year he decided to move on from competitive wrestling and concentrate on his education. Still maintaining a great respect and love for the sport Danny stayed with it by serving as the assistant coach at Grand Island High School. From 1983-1990 he made important contributions to three teams that finished in the top ten at State.

Completing his Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling in 1990 he went to O’Neill where he began officiating some of the junior and senior high meets. On the staff at Grand Island High for 1991-92, he will again assume some coaching responsibilities. He enjoys coaching and seeing kids succeed. Watching a wrestler win his first match or a State Champion crown can still “bring shivers down his spine”. Another thrill to this dedicated competitor occurs every February at the State Meet-the Parade of Champions—”will put a lump in my throat knowing the hard work and dedication of every wrestler that has had the honor to participate in this event.”

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