FAIRBURY – For Fairbury Head Coach Derek Garfield, wrestling is his life. On Saturday, the entire Garfield family was honored for their dedication to the sport.
“We got the Nebraska Scholastic Coaches Association Family of the Year. It’s given every year to one family in the state of Nebraska that has a big impact on Nebraska high school wrestling and college wrestling for that matter. We were very honored to receive that award,” said Garfield.
Derek and his twin brother, Darin, have been wrestling since the age of five, despite the fact that their father, Jim, was not a wrestler. Jim is the Class C announcer at the State Wrestling Tournament, though.
“He had two rambunctious twin boys that needed to use their energy out someplace, so the wrestling mat was the perfect spot. He got us involved in wrestling when we were little guys,” stated Garfield.
It hasn’t just the men, however. Their mother and little sister were at tournaments, and still continue to support their coaching careers. Darin also has two sons that have had a lot of success in youth wrestling. Derek made sure to thank a couple more important people, as well.
“Our wives, you talk about rockstars. People underestimate the role a wrestling life plays, and my wife Stephanie and brother’s wife Chevonne are just huge cornerstones to what we do as coaches,” declared Garfield.
Derek and Darin have each coached wrestling for 18 years, including a year as co-head coaches at HTRS to start their careers off. In 2011, Derek was head coach at Wood River and Darin was the coach of Central City, when both would lead their teams to state championships, along with Jim announcing the Parade of Champions. Derek called it a banner year.
Now at Fairbury, Derek thinks it’s an honor to get an award with his brother.
“To get an award together is awesome. We’ve butted heads the last couple years in some tournaments. We wrestled two duals against each other, and to share an award with your twin brother, that’s pretty awesome and amazing to do.”
One thing is for certain. When you look up wrestling history in Nebraska, the name Garfield will be all over it.