VAN HORNE — Jake Voss has been influenced by numerous coaches.
The former West Delaware prep wrestled for his dad, Jeff, a state championship coach. Voss played baseball briefly at Central College for Matt Schirm before resuming his wrestling career at Coe for longtime coach John Oostendorp.
Larry Atwater, a Kohawk football assistant and Oostendorp’s predecessor, served as a mentor and T.J. Murphy helped with the transition in his first year as a teacher and coach.
“What they have taught me is invaluable,” Voss said. “Each coach stands out to me in a different light. I’m not sure one shines brighter than the others.”
Voss will get his chance to put that knowledge to good use. Benton Community Activities Director Shawn Pfiffner announced via Twitter last week that Voss will take over as the Bobcats’ head varsity wrestling coach, pending board approval. He will replace Murphy, who stepped down to become principal at Wapsie Valley.
“It’s a lot of responsibility,” Voss said. “I’m excited for it. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Voss, 24, was a multisport standout for the Hawks. He was a three-time state medalist, placing fifth as a sophomore and fourth his final two seasons. Voss still owns the school record for career wins, going 165-27.
Voss was a two-time national qualifier for the Kohawks, placing eighth at 174 pounds as a junior in 2018.
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“Jake will do a great job as a head coach,” Oostendorp said. “He sets high standards and takes pride in everything he is involved in. He excelled here at Coe as a leader in the wrestling room and the classroom.
“He has a great mentor in his dad, who has built one of the top programs in the state.”
Benton and West Delaware are in the Wamac Conference. The younger Voss said he plans to still learn from his dad as an opposing head coach. The next time they meet in competition has the makings of a family reunion, including his younger brother, Jared, who will be a senior next season.
“It could be interesting,” Voss said. “We could have two Vosses in the corner. And one (junior brother Jared Voss) out on the mat. Heck, if you count my mom taking pictures, we’ll have them all over the mat.”
Voss spent last season as an assistant and is familiar with the program. He said the focus is on daily improvement. He has a vision but isn’t big on predictions.
“The best coaches never told you what they were going to achieve,” Voss said. “They actually did it. My focus isn’t the end result. It is about pushing progress.
“It’s about implementing and getting a wrestling culture and bringing in people around that. The success will come after that, but the culture part is huge.”
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