Danny Struck is headed to the Hall of Fame. The Jeffersonville coach has been elected to the Indiana Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.
“It feels kinda weird, as I feel I have a long way to go and a lot more I want to do with kids. I love ‘my kids’ and really just try and do acts of love for them,” the 43-year-old Struck said Thursday. “So it was a surprise.
“I’m still watching, reading and learning daily to try and be better. I still try and read a book or two a month and go to four-to-six clinics a year. In my mind I am still doing what my kids are doing — learning, trying to be the best version of myself I can be.”
Struck is entering his 19th year as head coach of the Red Devils. During that time he has guided them to eight of the program’s 10 all-time sectional titles (including the last three years in a row) and three Hoosier Hills Conference championships. Struck, who has 482 dual-meet wins as a head coach, is the vice president of the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association.
A 1995 graduate of Jennings County High School and ‘99 grad of the University of Indianapolis, Struck began coaching even before finishing college.
Noblesville coach Dan Mikesell has known Struck since 1999, when both were assistant coaches (Mikesell at Terre Haute North and Struck at Greencastle).
“I have watched his career and was surprised to know that he had yet to be nominated to be in the Indiana Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame,” said Mikesell, who nominated Struck for the honor last spring. “Words don’t do justice to the type of influence that Danny has on his students and athletes. I have been lucky enough to serve on Indiana national teams with him and witnessed first-hand his unique ability to both motivate and inspire young athletes. In the past 20-plus years, I have also competed against his teams and find his athletes well-trained, knowledgeable and hard to beat, as well as exhibiting the best sportsmanship possible. His work with all aspects of the Jeffersonville wrestling program has been amazing. He has built a dynasty in the southeast portion of our state.”
Said Struck: “I do feel good that my mentors and peers on the Hall of Fame committee thought enough of me to vote me in. I follow their careers and learn from them, so I feel validated those quality individuals think I’m on the right track.”
Struck credits several of his mentors with helping him get to this point.
Foremost among those are his father, Dan, who was a long-time football coach at Jennings County; as well as his JCHS wrestling coach, T. Howard Jones, who is a member of the IWCHF as well.
“I hope I’m doing for kids what these two coaches taught me,” Struck said.
He also gives acclaim to his college coach, Terry Wetherald, who is an IWCHF member as well.
While Struck will be the first Jeffersonville coach to be inducted into the IWCHF, he won’t be the first associated with the Red Devils’ program. He’ll join former Jeff wrestlers Robert Rosbottom and Adam Doherty. Additionally, the Rosbottom (including Louis and Sharon, who founded the Team Jeff Wrestling Club in 1991) and Doherty families are also in the IWCHF.
Struck will also join one of his former Greencastle wrestlers, the late Charlie Pingleton (Struck gave his induction speech), as well as his high school principal, Chuck Hurley in the IWCHF.
“It’s nice to join the club with all these people who have meant so much to me,” he said.
This article was originally published in the News & Tribune by Josh Cook. Please support local journalism.