Rebel among rebelsPublished 10:21am Tuesday, January 15, 2013
United South Central head wrestling coach Marcus Eytcheson has seen hard work pay off. He’s seen it in his own athletic career, and now he’s seeing it in the wrestling program he is piloting.sugar
The same dedication that helped Eytcheson drop 35 pounds to make weight during his high school wrestling days and earn a school record 25 falls in a season at Madelia-Truman has helped build the USC program into a force to be reckoned with on the mat.
Right now, four Rebel wrestlers have made their way into the state rankings created by wrestling website Guillotine.com. But it’s not just this year. This is the fourth season of Eytcheson’s tenure as head coach. The program has been on a steady incline ever since he took over.
“It’s been a work in progress,” he said.
The year before he took over, the team finished with a losing record and sent two kids to state. In Etheson’s first season, three kids made it to state. In his second season, four. Third season, five. This season, he’d hate to buck the trend.
“If we can get six kids to state this year, then maybe we can send 19 as a team,” Eytcheson said. “That would be really awesome. It’s the goal.”
Most coaches teach classes at the school, but that’s where Eytcheson differs from the crowd. Eytcheson is a sales manager at Heyn Brothers Roofing, a construction business in Mankato. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about what his kids are doing in class, USC Athletic Director Sue Summer said.
“He’s a great coach, and he’s not just about the wrestling,” she said. “He really cares about the kids’ academics. He’s even gone to the classrooms to sit with kids to help them pass when they’re struggling. He believes in the kids and will do whatever he can to help them succeed.”
Despite work commutes to Mankato for Eytcheson and his wife, his family has made its home in Wells.
His wife, Alisa, is a registered nurse who works at an intensive care unit in Mankato. He has an 11-month old son, Edwin, and a baby girl on the way, and the family is putting down some roots.
Eytcheson and his wife recently bought a gym in the small town of 2,343, which they are hoping to use to let kids wrestle year-round.
“It’s something my wife and I are pretty excited about,” he said. “We’d like to have a place where kids could come and wrestle whenever they want to. It’s something I’d really like to do to keep building on the program.”
Motivation for Eytcheson’s coaching career comes from his high school coach, a man who has the 126th-most high school dual wins and a record of 191-104-3 over 15 years: Wayne Kronemann.
“He definitely got me into the sport,” Eytcheson said. “He’s a big reason why I push wrestling so much. I attribute a lot of my personal success, whether it’s in business financially or personally to him. I learned a lot about what I could push myself through.”
In addition to creating a winning culture, Eytcheson has been at the forefront of another project: the building of a new high school at USC. The project will become a reality by 2014.
“He was a big promoter,” Summer said. “He was on the board and he believes in the school and the system.”
Eytcheson is never too far from wrestling. Even though there was no high school meet at USC on Monday, he was helping with a wrestling tournament for seventh and eighth graders.
“He’s a good role model, and just a good person,” Summer said. “He’s excited and ambitious.”
Address: 833 Fourth St. SW, Wells
Livelihood: sales manager at Heyn Brothers Roofing, head varsity wrestling coach at United South Central High School
Family: wife, Alisa; son Edwin, 11 months, and a baby girl on the way
Interesting fact: Eytcheson holds the record for most falls in a season with 25 at Madelia-Truman High School.