CONGRATULATIONS DANNY - http://newsandtribune.com/localsports/x1926601592/GRAPPLING-WITH-GREATNESS-Jeffersonville-wrestling-s-Danny-Struck-earns-national-Coach-of-the-Year
July 30, 2011
GRAPPLING WITH GREATNESS: Jeffersonville wrestling’s Danny Struck earns national Coach of the Year
By MATT KOESTERS Matt.Koesters@newsandtribune.com
The News and Tribune Sat Jul 30, 2011, 12:03 AM EDT
Danny Struck is probably the best promoter of amateur wrestling in the region.
Whenever one of his wrestlers does something worthy of recognition, Struck works to ensure that people hear about it. Here at the News and Tribune, an e-mail or call from Struck means one of his kids has done Jeff proud.
But when Struck was recognized by USA Wrestling as the National Developmental Coach of the Year, we didn’t hear a peep from him, and when we contacted him about the award, he made one thing clear: It’s not about him.
“A lot of kids and parents have worked hard to make me somehow look good, and I appreciate that,” Struck said. “I was never a very good wrestler myself, but I always believed I had something to offer the sport and the kids.”
Struck’s coronation as the Coach of the Year came at the Asics/Vaughn USA Cadet/Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D. on Saturday, July 23. USA Wrestling is the national governing body for the United States Olympic Committee, and issues the award to just one coach per year for the work they do developing athletes and programs to feed the country’s Olympic wrestling program.
The Jeffersonville wrestling program has had Struck at the helm for nine years, and during that time, the program has churned out 37 individual conference champions, 109 regional qualifiers, 48 semistate qualifiers and nine state qualifiers. As a team, Jeff has won four sectional and two conference championships.
In addition to running Jeff’s high school team, Struck is the head coach of the Team Jeff wrestling club, which boasts more than 120 members, including numerous Jeff graduates. Team Jeff members have earned more than 80 state championships, more than 100 state medalists, eight All-Amercans, five Greco-Roman state runner-ups and the club has twice earned Club-of-the-Year honors.
During Struck’s 14 years of coaching, 19 of his wrestlers have gone on to wrestle on collegiate scholarships.
“It is always fun seeing kids achieve their dreams, dreams that I chase over and over through them, as every day that I see the success I feel that I have finally reached mine,” Struck said. “I am surrounded now by good people that can help me give back to the kids.”
Struck, a history teacher at Jeffersonville, doesn’t just focus on making his wrestlers better competitors on the mat. Struck has led his teams on 10 different international trips, most recently a trip to Australia and New Zealand, where his kids spent time learning about the local culture and living with local New Zealanders. During last year’s trip to Mongolia, his wrestlers donated their gear to their hosts before returning stateside.
“Our purpose is to make kids the best people that they can possibly be,” Struck said.
The 2010-11 season was a banner year for Jeffersonville’s high school program. The team won its third consecutive sectional, placed three wrestlers at state and saw two wrestlers earn Folkstyle All-American honors. Additionally, Struck began the Kentucky-Indiana Battle of the Bridge, which Struck’s Southern Indiana team won.
“We did have a great year of work here in Jeffersonville and in the state of Indiana,” Struck said. “My goals are to make the Team Jeff wrestling club and Jeff High the best in Indiana, and to make Indiana the best club state in the nation, and to continue to help make the United States the premier wrestling country in the world.”