FCAW Board Member
Former Coach, Wrestling Official, & President of MN Wrestling Booster Club
"I am thrilled to be a part of FCAW, to serve with fellow Christian brothers in a sport I love, and to bring honor to Jesus Christ in the process," says board member Gary Huhnerkoch. Raised in a Christian home, Gary accepted Christ into his life while at a Bible camp at the age of 10. However, it wasn't until he got involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship while attending Winona State University that he really started "living for Christ." Gary had just started dating Debra (now his wife) when they both attended a youth retreat. A retreat speaker said, "girls if you settle for anything but the very best God has for you, you will be cheating yourself. Guys, if you settle for anything but the very best God has for you, you are cheating yourself." Gary knew that God was telling him that if he was really interested in this girl (Debra), he needed to get himself right so he could be the godly man that God desired for her. Gary and Debra married in 1979, and now have three grown daughters.
Gary got involved in wrestling when he was hired for his first teaching job. The school needed a junior high wrestling coach and asked if he would be interested. Being young and newly married, he accepted. Gary recounts checking out books from the Library to stay a day or two ahead of the kids. However, he quickly fell in love with the sport and landed another coaching position in a small SW Minnesota town. The school was about to drop the wrestling program due to lack of participation, but Gary had the desire and intuition to start a kid's program at the elementary level which revived and ignited the entire wrestling program. Chad Kraft -- the first four-time All American in Minnesota's history -- was one of the young wrestlers that went through the kid's program under Gary's direction. After coaching, Gary continued his involvement with wrestling as a high school official for 15 years. He was also the first president of the University of Minnesota's Wrestling Booster Club during Coach J. Robinson's first 11 years at Minnesota.
Gary had a 27-year career at Herff Jones, and was inducted into the Herff Jones Hall of Fame in 2007. He is presently working with Lifetouch.