Bellevue West welcomes new wrestling coach


Photo by Nathan Hawkins

Curtis Gocke talks to the wrestlers in his introductory meeting on April 10, 2017.

Nathan Hawkins, Broadcast Manager

The wrestling team will have a new look at head coach for the 2018-2019 school year, as former Plattsmouth wrestling coach Curtis Gocke will take over as head coach.

The change comes after Jerry Schumacher steps down from the head coaching position he’s held since 2006.

Coach Gocke doesn’t come here without a pedigree, as his extensive list of accomplishments follows him.

In his four years as Plattsmouth head coach, Gocke has had over 40 state wrestling qualifiers, including three state champions and six athletes in the finals. He has also lead the team to the Nebraska Schools Activities Association State Duals Tournament each of the past four years, winning it in the 2015-2016 wrestling season.

According to Activities Director Jon Mauro, one of Gocke’s first expectations is to improve Bellevue West’s standing in state wrestling.

“We really envision our program being a top 10 program in the state,” Mauro said. “We want to compete at the top level in all of our programs. I think wrestling is a sport where we can be at that level. Coach Gocke wants us to be a top 10 program, he’s used to being in a top 10 program. He’s a winner and I think he’ll take us there.”

Another goal Mauro had in mind for Gocke was getting more wrestlers on to the mat, as in Plattsmouth, Gocke had around 40 to 50 wrestlers each year.

Gocke said he wants to build the Bellevue West Wrestling brand in general.

“As we turn towards the fall, the idea of branding and advertising our program to the community and school to gain supporters and new team members,” Gocke said in an email. “I’d love to see 40+ wrestlers this winter and full stands at home duals and T-Bird Classic Tournament in December.”

At a meeting with wrestlers last week, Gocke said he will also teach in the building.

Although he hasn’t coached a meet with T-Birds yet, or taught a day in a Bellevue West classroom, he already has strong visions and aspirations for the program.

Gocke said he has high expectations that “will make T Bird Wrestling a power and positive organization at Bellevue West High School and in the state of Nebraska.”