Few, if any, coaches have made more of an impact on Southwest Ohio and, more specifically, Dayton area wrestling than Coach Mark Gerhard. He has been selfless and humble in his many contributions to wrestling and the wrestlers that he has helped. I feel honored to be asked to be one of the organizations that donations can be made in order to keep his legacy alive. All money that is received will go directly towards clinicians, and approved by Coach Gary Wise. Coach Wise and Coach Gerhard have made it a priority to bring in collegiate and world level wrestlers during Prodigy Freestyle. These donations will allow Prodigy to continue to bring in top notch clinicians in the name of Coach Gerhard.
Read the article on the right to see the impact Coach Gerhard has made in countless lives due to the sport of wrestling.
FROM COACH GARY WISE: Memorial contributions may be made to organizations and events that were close to Coach Gerhard's heart. (Approved by family).
Coach Gerhard & I started coaching together at the Raider Wrestling Club in 1978. I will be making the same annual request for the next 43 years .
Please consider a $43 or multiple of to any or all organizations below.
Prodigy Wrestling Academy In Memory of Mark Gerhard 1131 Belvo Estates Ct. Miamisburg, Ohio 45342 http://www.prodigywrestlingacademy.com/ Donations earmarked for "Mark Gerhard's memorial wrestling clinics" Online Donations to Prodigy: Paypal: email@example.com Venmo: @prodigy-wrestling Please put "Coach (or Mark) Gerhard" in the comment line
That’s how Mark Gerhard was described by friends and colleagues Monday, two days after his untimely death from an inoperable brain tumor. Gerhard, 66, was a long-time assistant wrestling coach at Carroll High School and was also instrumental in making sure youth wrestling in the Dayton area prospered. Gerhard graduated from Carroll in 1972 and five years later began a hall of fame coaching career for the Patriots under myriad head coaches.
“Mark Gerhard will be missed by all that knew him,” current Carroll coach Jason Ashworth said in a text. “He was an extraordinary coach, teacher, mentor, and friend. I am truly blessed that I have been able to learn so many important aspects and philosophies of coaching directly from him. Throughout his life, he has coached and helped out countless parents, athletes, and other coaches. Everything he did was completely selfless. I admire this many very much and I miss him very much.”
This past season, Gerhard spent countless hours working with younger wrestlers, organizing the Miami Valley Kids Wrestling Association, and making sure COVID guidelines were followed so youth tournaments could be staged.
“It was quite the task,” Ashworth said. “Saved kids wrestling in the area in my opinion.”
That’s no exaggeration.
“No other human has done so much for Dayton wrestling than Mark,” said former Carroll head coach Brian Carter. “Never a more respectful wrestling coach. Always putting the athletes and God first.” While his first loyalty was to Carroll, to Gerhard, the name on the front of the singlet or warm-up suit mattered not. It was the wrestler who mattered the most.
“He was a man beyond reproach,” said longtime Beavercreek Coach Gary Wise. “Quiet, loyal, consistent. There are many examples of wrestlers from schools other than Carroll that state how influential Coach Gerhard was in their career. While some coaches are obsessed with championships, Mark was obsessed with relationships, making Mark’s impact much greater. Mark was always about the individual. Your school affiliation was meaningless to Coach Gerhard.”
It was always wrestling season for Gerhard. Someone, somewhere need some help or advice. And Gerhard was there to oblige.
“He did a lot for my sons in the off-season to help them take their wrestling to the next level,” said former Northmont Coach Scott Newburg. “He was always great to talk to and was always respectful in everything he did for the sport of wrestling. He was a great ambassador for the sport of wrestling. He will be missed.”
That isn’t just coach speak. Social media has lit up with comments about Gerhard. Two posts regarding Gerhard’s death have received nearly 500 “heart” emojis, more than 250 comments, and nearly 200 shares as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Many of those shares are from other area wrestling programs.
“That just tells you what kind of person he is,” said Greg Terbay, a 1997 Carroll grad who wrestled and played football. “He could communicate to a kid in a way that nobody else seems to. He saw things that other people don’t see. He touched literally millions of lives and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. He was a true friend all the way through.”
Gerhard was the Patriot Award winner and Athlete of the Year as a senior. In addition to wrestling, Gerhard also coached cross country for several years and held coaching jobs with the Raider Wrestling Club, North Dayton Wrestling Club, Prodigy Wrestling Academy, and the Ohio Junior National Team. He directed the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament from 1987-1997 and organized many other wrestling events as well. Recently, Gerhard was selected for the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Hall of Fame, received an award for youth program direction from USA Wrestling, and earned special recognition from the Ohio High School Athletic Association for his behind-the-scenes efforts in his own district in March 2019.