Oregon’s Lander, Illinois’ Eastman named NWCA National Scholastic Coaches of the Year
May 17, 2017


Manheim, Pennsylvania – The National Wrestling Coaches Association has announced its annual scholastic coaching award winners for 2016-17.

Roseburg (Oregon) High School head coach Steven Lander has been named the NWCA Scholastic Coach of the Year while Dixon (Illinois) High School assistant coach William Eastman has been named NWCA Scholastic Assistant Coach of the Year.

Roseburg’s tradition is steeped in excellence and this past season was no exception. In a state that allows two entries per weight class, Roseburg nearly had a perfect season, qualifying 27 of 28 possible wrestlers to the state championship and placed 13 wrestlers in the top six with seven wrestlers reaching the finals. Of those seven, four would win state championships, giving Roseburg its ninth 6A state title in the last 11 years.

Lander has also spent the past 23 years as the Junior Director for Oregon Wrestling Association and as the national team coach for the Oregon Junior and Cadet teams. In Fargo, he’s led his wrestlers to 25 individual medals and has coached countless state champions and state placewinners over the course of his 28 years at Roseburg.

“There are iconic programs all around the country,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “When you look at the landscape of high school wrestling in Oregon, Roseburg High School and Coach Lander set a standard that’s hard to top.”

Eastman has been a fixture coaching at Dixon High School in Dixon, Illinois, for a half-century. In 50 years at the school, Eastman has never been paid for his time coaching and mentoring kids. It’s a lesson in volunteerism and passion for the sport of wrestling. This season, the school of 800 students near the Rock River, made history by reaching the Illinois Dual Team Championships for the first time in school history. Dixon ultimately finished third with the assistance of Eastman.

“When you have someone involved in the sport as long as Coach Eastman has, there’s a respect and there’s an admiration there,” said Moyer. “In an era where we can see some coaches leaving because of the financial strain it causes, we have lifers like Coach Eastman. His value to wrestling and those kids at Dixon is more than any dollar amount can signify.”

Lander and Eastman were chosen from the eight section winners, which come from each state’s respective coaches association. Other NWCA Section Coach of the Year Award winners were: Ray Adams of Long Beach High School in New York (Section 1), Dave Crowell of Nazareth Area High School in Pennsylvania (Section 2), Bobby Shriner of Orange High School in North Carolina (Section 3), Kevin Milder of Lena-Winslow High School in Illinois (Section 4), Doug Denson of Millard South in Nebraska (Section 5), Sam Frederico of Pomona High School in Colorado (Section 6) and Troy Tirapelle of Buchanan High School in California (Section 7).

Winners along with Eastman for the NWCA Section Assistant Coach of the Year were: Steve LoFaso of Liverpool High School in New York, Adam Colombo of Nazareth Area High School in Pennsylvania, William Evans of Richmond Hill High School in Georgia, Shawn Bammes of Manhattan High School in Kansas, Herb Stinson of Aztec High School in New Mexico, Morgan Robertson of Bear River High School in Utah, Tomas Rosa of Sweet Home High School in Oregon and Andy Knutson of Lake Stevens High School in Washington (Section 8).


New York Award Winners (NWCA Section I & State Awards):
Coach of the Year = Ray Adams (Long Beach)
Assistant Coach of the Year = Steve LoFaso (Liverpool)