With more than 500 career wins and a 20-year career, Hartland wrestling coach Todd Cheney has undoubtedly built a legacy at filled with numerous state champions and team trophies.
This year alone, with a 30-4 record, Cheney took his team to the Division 1 team wrestling semifinals for the fourth consecutive year and qualified ten wrestlers for the state competition.
Cheney’s success is now being recognized on a national level as he has been nominated by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) for the prestigious Coach of the Year award.
This is Cheney’s first nomination, according to Hartland Athletic Director Jason Reck, who said Cheney’s nomination is a well-deserved honor.
“Obviously we’re very proud of Todd and everything he’s done for Hartland High School,” Reck said. “His longevity and success is unparalleled among our coaches. No one in this area has experienced the type of long-term success that Todd Cheney has in the Hartland wrestling program.”
Cheney’s accomplishments also stretch beyond the mats, according to Reck who says that the young wrestlers have benefited from his positive influence on their lives.
“It’s not only about wrestling,” Reck said. “He’s an educator that cares about the whole student. Kids in his program have benefitted from his leadership beyond the wrestling room."
Cheney, who grew up wrestling for Hartland says it's an honor to be nominated for the award and credits his former coach and prinicipal, Bill Cain, for teaching him how to be an inspiration to his young players.
"I basically wanted to be like him," Cheney said. "That was it. He was great with kids and I absolutely loved him as a coach and a person. He's always been a great role model for me and that's who I mimicked as I began my coaching career."
Cheney is also active in his support for the other sports programs at the high school and according Reck, his involvement is what makes him such a valuable asset to Hartland.
“He cares about the whole high school, not just his program,” Reck said. “It’s really an amazing story. To look at what he’s been able to build, it’s an amazing accomplishment.”
The announcement of the winner for Coach of the Year will take place on July 25 in North Dakota during the 47th annual meeting and national convention for NHSACA.