PLATTSMOUTH – Curtis Gocke has been one of the top advocates for the sport of wrestling in Plattsmouth over the past 12 years.
He will continue that work from the stands during the next high school wrestling season.
Gocke has announced that he will be stepping down as head wrestling coach at PHS after this campaign. He said family considerations were the primary factor in his choice. He said he and his family had discussed their options before he tendered his coaching resignation letter to school officials.
“It was a tough decision, but felt like PHS needed new leadership as wrestling coach,” Gocke said. “I also have a seventh-grade and third-daughter daughter who are active in dance, volleyball and soccer and I don’t want to miss any of their activities.”
Gocke said he will continue to work at Plattsmouth Community Middle School as a seventh-grade social studies teacher. He said he will remain involved with wrestling in different capacities and would like to resume his coaching career at a later date.
“I love the sport and I do not see myself being done coaching, but as of now the plan is to be done here and continue to be a teacher here,” Gocke said.
Gocke worked as an assistant wrestling coach at PHS for eight years before becoming head coach in March 2014. He helped the Blue Devils compile one of the program’s best seasons in the 2015-16 campaign. Plattsmouth won the Class B state duals wrestling championship with victories over Adams Central, Bennington and Omaha Skutt. PHS also placed second in team standings at the individual Class B State Meet that year. The 2015-16 team became just the third Plattsmouth squad to finish in the top two spots at the state meet.
Gocke was named the 2015-16 Nebraska Coaches Association Wrestling Coach of the Year for his efforts. Nebraska USA Wrestling members also selected him for the organization’s Person of the Year Award that season.
Gocke helped six Blue Devils reach the state finals in his four years at the helm of the program. Gage Orton (2016), Andrew Nielsen (2016) and Kole Gray (2017) all won state titles and Zach Prall (2015), Andrew Null (2015) and Gage Orton (2015) all earned silver medals.
Plattsmouth had 22 state medalists during Gocke’s tenure. PHS produced seven state medalists in the 2014-15 season, eight in 2015-16, five in 2016-17 and two in 2017-18. The Blue Devils set a program-best mark for the most state medalists in one season during the 2015-16 campaign.
Gocke has also worked with students in roles with the Nebraska USA Wrestling organization. He coached Team Nebraska at the Cadet Nationals in Fargo in 2013 and has organized camps and clinics across the state. He has been a previous member of the group’s board of directors.
Gocke said he has enjoyed coaching in Plattsmouth and working with numerous students and staff members. He said the Blue Devils would continue to enjoy successful moments on the mat because of the sturdy wrestling DNA in town.
“Plattsmouth is a very strong wrestling community,” Gocke said. “The ability to work with eight alumni on our coaching staff at some time in these four years makes it very enjoyable and rewarding. Coach (Jerrod) Nielsen and Coach (Mike) Anderson have been with us this entire journey and are awesome and supportive assistant coaches and men that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”