The Search Is Over:
A Minnesota native who wrestled in the Emmetsburg High School gym as a prep wrestler will be heading up the Emmetsburg/Armstrong-Ringsted/Ruthven-Ayrshire wrestling program in the coming season. The Emmetsburg Community School Board hired Marc Harwood of Lakefield, MN, during a special board meeting on Friday, May 29.
“Mr. Hagen, Mr. Joynt and myself interviewed Marc Harwood last week,” Emmetsburg Athletic Director Joe Carter reported to the board. “He’s originally from Lakefield, Minnesota and wrestled in high school at Jackson County Central, so he’s wrestled here and he knows about Emmetsburg and he knows about the area.”
Carter noted that Harwood had wrestled at the collegiate level at the University of Nebraska where he was a five-time All American. Harwood was also a four-time All State wrestler in Minnesota and two-time State Champion
“There is no question about it,” Carter said, “He has a tremendous wrestling background and wrestling knowledge. He’s been in some high-level wrestling rooms. The Jackson County Central program is historically a very well organized program. He’s excited and passionate about youth wrestling, and that’s one of the strongest things Mr. Harwood has, his want and his passion to this – this is something he really wants to do. He’s really excited about joining us.”
According to Carter, Harwood talks a lot about life after wrestling and teaching life lessons through sports. “There’s just no question he’s a high character person with a very, very strong work ethic. He’s big on responsibility and discipline and all those things and I just feel really good about Mr. Harwood and that he’ll be leading our program in the right direction.”
Emmetsburg Superintendent John Joynt commented that even though Harwood has not had previous coaching experience, he was worked all over the United States with Nebraska Wrestling Coach Mark Manning in camps and clinics for several years.
“He did not return to the area until last year after graduating from Nebraska in 2002,” Carter pointed out. “He spent that entire time coaching wrestling in camps and clinics through the University of Nebraska.”
“We do have some commitment from some local volunteer coaches, Clint Young, Rich Stillman, to mentor him on the ins and outs of managing a team,” Joynt added, “And Tony Stubbs and Bob Roethler will be back to help out this Fall,They’re all very willing to help out in any way then can.”
“Mr. Harwood is very excited to have their offers of assistance and he knows he can get the support from these folks and he’s very excited about that,” Carter agreed.
“Is Mr. Harwood acceptable to the community group?” asked Board Member Kent Egland.
“They contacted him and he then made contact with us,” Carter answered.
“That was my concern also,” noted Board President Karla Anderson. “I’m a little concerned about his lack of coaching experience, but understanding that you’re comfortable with him and everyone seems to be comfortable with him, that was the only concern I had.”
“I was in touch with some of the community members and everyone that I talked to are fine and very excited about him,” Board member Don Hagen added. “He’s just an excellent young man…he’s going to be an asset to the school, no matter what he does. He’ll be an asset to anybody he associates with.”
Board member Laure Oppenheimer expressed a hope that Harwood would be able to reinvigorate the wrestling program and rebuild numbers and participation in the future.
“He understands that and is aware of that and plans to do that,” Carter said. “He certainly intends to do this full-bore and do it right. He’s a tremendously high character person, He would be very good at anything he does.”
Carter continued, “As far as his background, his actual wrestling background, he would be second to none as far as anyone we would have as an applicant. He’s wrestled in this gym on this mat and he knows all about Emmetsburg and E’Hawk wrestling and he’s very excited about us.”
“He was contacted a while ago before he applied,” Carter explained, “But he wanted to make sure that he was going to do this, not as a band-aid, not as a short-term, but it was going to be a commitment. He talked to a lot of his college, high school coaches across the nation to see what this opportunity would do for him and I think this is just a great opportunity for us.”
With no further discussion, Oppenheimer moved to approve the hiring and on a second by Egland, the vote was unanimous.