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Area coaches receive top N.D. honors

By Staff | Aug 8, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Rugby High School coaches received honors at the North Dakota High School Coaches Association’s annual awards banquet July 31. Pictured from left to right are Gary Myhre (boys golf coach of the year), Scott Grochow (NDHSCA Hall of Fame inductee), Mike Santjer (boys basketball coach of the year) and Steve Mueller (assistant coach of the year).

Four Rugby High School coaches and one former Esmond coach were honored at the North Dakota High School Coaches Association’s annual banquet July 31 in Fargo.

Rugby football and track and field coach Scott Grochow was inducted into the NDHSCA Hall of Fame along with former Esmond girls basketball caoach Gary Schauer.

Grochow has coached high school track and field and football for 29 years. He also serves as the school’s athletic director. He spent one year at Turtle Lake-Mercer High School before joining the Panthers in 1987.

“It’s a huge, huge honor,” Grochow said. “It’s something you don’t think about and don’t expect. I look at this as much as a Rugby thing as much as anything.

“Getting in there to me is as much a credit to Rugby High School, parents and athletes and people of Rugby and the assistant coaches I’ve had. I think of the award more as that than just me.”

Submitted photo Former Esmond athletes and coaches gather around North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee Gary Schauer at a celebration party July 31. Pictured from left to right are: back row, Leigh (Wolfe) Kaeding, Michelle (Leier) Gailey, Linda (Stadum) Otheim, Nona (Volk) Flick, Denise (Randle) Jonas; front row, coaches Bob Bjornson, Larry Clark, Gary Schauer and Dwight Leier.

Grochow also was named National Coach of the Year earlier this summer by the National High School Coaches Association. Joining Grochow and Schauer in this year’s hall of fame class is Grochow’s college track and field coach at Minot State University, the late Wiley Wilson.

“It was very very special to get inducted with a guy who was my college track coach,” Grochow said.

“To have three other coaches from Rugby getting Coach of the Year awards at the same banquet that was really neat. That’s a credit to Rugby and the whole situation.”

Grochow has been head football and track and field coach for 24 years. His football teams have been state runners-up three times and regional champions five times. He has a total of 126 football wins and 212 boys track and field multi-team wins. His track teams have three state titles, three state runners-up finishes and 22 regional championships.

Grochow has served 16 years on the NDHSCA track and field advisory committee. He won state football coach of the year in 1998 and 2000 and won the same honor for boys track in 2005, 2010 and 2011.

He’s won three regional athletic director of the year awards and four at the district level.

Grochow has been a head coach in the Shrine Bowl and an assisstant in the Mon-Dak Football Badlands Bowl.

Joining Grochow at the banquet from Rugby were Class B Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Mike Santjer, Class B Boys Golf Coach of the Year Gary Myhre and Steve Mueller (track and field), one of three recipients from both classes named an assistant coach of the year. Mueller was the spring sports honoree.

“It was great,” Santjer said. “It’s nice to know that other coaches in your sport appreciate what you do enough to vote for you. It’s nice that there’s the camaraderie of the coaches in the sport and they think highly of what you’re doing.”

Santjer shared the same appreciation of his athletic director.

“There were a lot of people from the community and family down there,” he said. “When they started announcing all the Rugby coaches it was a nice feeling. It’s nice to know you coach with a lot of great coaches from the community, who know what they’re doing and take it serious.”

Myhre received the award for the first time, putting a fitting end to his career. He retired from coaching and teaching in May.

“This is the first time I’ve ever received coach of the year after 39 years, so it was special,” Myhre said. “Walking across the stage and picking the award up, I started reflecting on the kids I’ve had and the year and so forth.

“That was really special to have four of us – three and Scott in the Hall of Fame. It was really ironic. To have that many coaches in one year with all those awards, you don’t have that very often.”

Mueller has become a staple around jumping events at region and state meets. He helps athletes from all schools and gave advice between each jump to new state record holder in the high jump, Rolette-Wolford’s Lexy Wittmayer.

“It was a lot of fun to be there with fellow coaches from Rugby,” Mueller said. “It takes a lot of special people to build a strong program and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Mueller, Grochow and Santjer led coaching seminars at the NDHSCA?convention the following two days. Mueller did a program on jumping, Grochow focused on warmups and workouts and Santjer shared uptempo practice drills.

Schauer supported

by former esmond players

Gary Schauer, 62, took the Esmond girls basketball team to seven consecutive state tournaments during his time in the Benson County town from 1978 through 1986.

Schauer spent four years in Bowdon before that and left Esmond to coach the Bismarck High girls. He won a state title with the Demons in 1991 and stayed two more years before moving to Ashley, where he coached for two seasons. From 1995 through 2009, Schauer was with Langdon and he finished his career this year with his fifth season coaching Edgeley-Kulm.

“It’s always kind of humbling when you’re recognized by your peers,” Schauer said. “It was kind of different.”

His wife, Linda, has ties to the Rugby area. Linda Schauer’s parents are Erling and Lois (Braaten) Jacobson.

Schauer said he didn’t expect to see five of his former Esmond girls at the banquet along with three former Esmond coaches.

“That group was always really close and they had gone to seven state tournaments. Esmond won a state title two years after I left.

“They were a neat bunch because they worked real hard and we were kind of ahead of the time because we lifted weights and were so much stronger than other teams.”

Between all coaching stints, including a few seasons with boys teams, Schauer won two state titles, 13 district titles, 11 regional titles and he has a 439-127 head-coaching record.

He will retire in Ashley, where his wife is a pastor. He hopes to relax and slow down, but believes that could be difficult.

“It’ll be hard to slow down completely because you’re wired to go 70 hours a week with coaching and teaching,” Schauer said. “I really won’t realize until three weeks from now when everybody goes back to school.”

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