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Coach Deter remembered for impact on youth
May 14, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
Chuck Deter, whose career as a teacher and wrestling coach in the Gering Public Schools spanned several decades, has passed away at the age of 76.

A gathering for family and friends has been scheduled for Friday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Dugan-Kramer Chapel in Scottsbluff. Casual attire is requested. His memorial service will be Saturday, May 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the Gering Zion Church.

Denver native Chuck Deter came to Gering in 1967. He would later say it was because he was attracted to the area and the quality of the school system. At the time, Gering’s wrestling team was an “up and comer,” and he wanted to make it even better.

And that he did. Over the next 30 years, Deter’s teams won 96 tournaments and 30 of his wrestlers won individual state championships in their various weight classes. He was named Coach of the Year three years running by the Nebraska High School Coaches Association. He was also a two-time finalist for National Wrestling Coach of the Year.

The Gering wrestling team won Class B state tournaments in 1976, 1979 and 1980. In 1983, Gering was in Class A when they took another state championship. Another Class B team championship followed in 1986. And in 1997, Deter’s final year of coaching, the wrestling team won the state championship in Class A. That brought the total to six state wrestling championships. But more importantly, Deter’s years of coaching produced a countless number of life’s champions – young men who would go on to make their own marks in life and in their chosen professions.

After his retirement from coaching, Deter stayed in the Gering schools for a few years as a teacher and activities director.

Last July during Oregon Trail Days, members of the Class of 1983 gathered for their 30th reunion and members of that year’s championship wrestling team honored their former coach for his success over the years, and for what he taught them.

A common thread seemed to emerge from former team members: that persistence and paying attention to detail can lead to big success, both in wrestling and in life. A lot of people will try to get the results without doing the basics well.

The impact Deter made went far beyond the wrestling mat and the awards garnered by his teams and wrestlers. He had a way of bringing out the very best in the young men he coached, and did it well for 30 years.

Last year, Gering Mayor Ed Mayo declared July 12 as Chuck Deter Day in the city. The proclamation summed up what the man was about.

“Whereas, Greatness is not measured by the awards that are accumulated, hut by the lives touched; and Whereas, Integrity is not to be judged while in the presence of many, but in solitude when few may notice; and Whereas, Respect can only be earned by dedication, hard work, humility and being respectful; and Whereas, We are here to honor a great man who has touched the lives of generations; and Whereas, This man has shown integrity by teaching greatness through hard work, respect, dedication and humility, and Whereas, This man has been a mentor to 6 State Championship Teams and 12 other top 3 State Wrestling Finalist Teams, 39 State Wrestling Champions as well as a countless number of life’s champions; and Whereas, Chuck Deter has always been so much more than a Coach, he has been a Teacher, a Mentor and a Role Model to all the lives he has touched.

Now, therefore, I, Ed Mayo, Mayor of Gering, Nebraska do hereby proclaim July 12, 2013 as Chuck Deter Day and urge our community to take due notice.”

His obituary is published this week on page A5.
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