Rob Beckhart had trouble containing his emotions while talking about Central Valley High School’s boys wrestling program and his family after receiving surprising news last week.
Beckhart was nominated for the National Federation High School California State Coach of the Year award for the 2019-20 school year on Oct. 29. “There are so many coaches out there that do so much for our sport,” he said. “It’s an honor to represent the coaches from our (the Sac-Joaquin) section. It’s pretty cool.”
Beckhart served as head coach of the Hawks from 2010-19.
He assisted first-year leader Jesse Vazquez this past season.
Beckhart will coach Central Valley in 2020-21 as Vazquez stepped down after earning a promotion at work.
“I never asked to be the wrestling coach,” said Beckhart, who’s been employed as a firefighter since 1993. “CV needed a coach and I just stepped in to fill the void. Our kids are awesome. They want to work hard. That’s what it takes. I can’t keep up with them. I’m 48 years old.”
“The kids that I’ve coached are part of my family,” he added. “A month ago, I got invited to (2014 Central Valley grad) Michael Manzur’s wedding. He didn’t have to do that. I really appreciate it.”
Central Valley’s wrestling program reached new heights under Beckhart’s guidance.
The Hawks enjoyed their best season to date in 2015-16 when they finished first at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament and Team Dual championships. Central Valley also claimed its second straight Western Athletic Conference overall title. The Hawks fell short in their quest of capturing their fourth consecutive WAC dual-meet crown.
Central Valley won 18 straight conference matches from 2013-16.
The Hawks experienced a remarkable turnaround during Beckhart’s first year at the helm in 2010-11.
The Hawks finished 4-1 in the WAC and advanced to the section duals for the first time in program history.
Central Valley placed last in the Valley Oak League standings (0-8) in 2009-10.
“All the success we’ve had, I attribute to the kids for working hard and the coaches that have helped me,” Beckhart stated. “I love CV kids. They know how to work hard. They don’t quit.”
“The most challenging part (of coaching) is balancing the family part with the team part,” he added. “It takes a lot of time. There’s no way I could do this without my wife. She’s 100 percent supportive. You can’t put a price on that.”
Rob and his wife Megan have four children.
Their two oldest sons, Josh and Jason, both wrestled at Central Valley.
Youngest son Caleb, 12, attends Whitmore Charter School in Ceres and hasn’t decided if he’ll wrestle for the Hawks in the future.
Daughter Brielle is 8 years old. She also goes to Whitmore Charter.
“She thinks she’s a wrestler,” Beckhart said.