Gary Hindt didn’t start out to set records. His interest in coaching has always been student-focussed.
His coaching style over the last 45 years, though, has garnered him 700 wins on his wrestling coach’s belt.
When asked how it felt to reach the 700 win level, which only two other Minnesota coaches have reached, Hindt said it wasn’t about the wins.
“It means I’ve been around a long time – it’s a longevity thing,” he said.
“On a personal basis, it’s just a number.
“It’s more important that it’s Wabasso’s, and Red Rock Central’s now, 700 win as well.”
Hindt went on to explain that Wabasso and Red Rock Central combined for Wrestling and that he and Brett Bartholomaus now co-coached the Bobcats together.
“When wrestling went to 14 classes and open enrollment dropped, neither of the schools had enough wrestlers to cover all the classes,” the coach said.
“We used to get over 50 out for wrestling every year. This year we have 43
out, 23 are from Wabasso.”
Coach Hindt was asked what his coaching style was like, why were the Rabbits, and now the Bobcats, so successful?
“I’ve got a few things I try to do,” he said. “The important thing is to get to know the kids well. The main thing is you promise to love them all. Treat them all fairly and they’ll respond.”
Hindt stated that the community support has been solid from the Wabasso and Red Rock Central area, and that means a lot to the team.
“We’ve got second generation wrestlers on the team,” he said. “I coached some of their fathers. We’ve got a good rapport with the parents, the students, and the community. We don’t pressure the players to win all the time. I don’t ask much, just their best effort. The community expects it too.”
The coach said this year’s team pretty well typifies the average year. No one stands out individually, but everyone is a solid performer. Combine that with staying healthy, and you will eventually have success.
“Continuity also plays a part in success,” he continued. “Low coach turnover and community support help make successful teams because daily contact is important to students.”
“The Bobcats are currently ranked fourth this season. KMS is ranked fifth and that’s the team we have to beat,” Hindt said. “We’ve beaten them by the narrowest of margins, and it drives us to be better.”
Page 2 of 2 - Hindt graduated Fulda High School and went on to college in nearby Worthington. He finshed off his education at Dakota State – Madison before getting his first teaching and coaching position in Magnolia.
He was there just half a year before coming to Wabasso in 1968, where he taught physical education, health and social studies until retiring from teaching to spend more time on the real estate job he startred in the 1970s.
But, he’s still coaching and winning.
Hindt is married to Jenny who works at Jonti-Craft. They have two grown daughters and eight grandchildren who all keep track of his coaching exploits.
“Wins, losses – I don’t care. It’s all about the kids and how they turn out in life,” Hindt stated. “Wabasso is known statewide for its wrestling. The community can poke their chests out a little, not me, the community, the parents and students.
“When I see former wrestlers grow up to be successful doctors and lawyers, and such, that’s what makes me happy,” Hindt said. “When they email me or come home and visit and say, ‘Thanks, Coach!’, that’s what’s important to me.”